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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is extremely common amongst all demographics of men. It also disproportionately impacts black and older men. Despite the frequency of the disease, there is a silver lining. On average, prostate cancer patients have an extremely high rate of 5-year survival. Things like regular checkups and self-monitoring greatly aid in catching any potential
incidences early on which immensely improves the fight against prostate cancer. And with the
right plan of care, a high quality of life can usually be maintained.

This disease usually presents itself through issues with the urinary tract. It is screened for through blood testing and physical examination, and it is diagnosed through either biopsy or imaging such as ultrasound or MRI. There is also genetic testing available after diagnosis to assess any cancer mutation which allows for more effective, targeted treatment plans. Below, we have provided some statistics and their sources. We intend for this information to encourage vigilance with screenings and awareness of symptoms

4 Things Black Men Should Know About Prostate Cancer

  1. Black men both get and die from prostate cancer at a higher rate. The reasons are complex and unclear.

  2. Black men should be screened for prostate cancer more proactively.

  3. Black men and their doctors should be more cautious about active surveillance.

  4. Large research studies are seeking participants to help understand prostate cancer in Blacks.

This year, more than 174,600 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 31,600 die from the disease. Most prostate cancer is diagnosed in men older than 65.


  • In 2021, almost 250,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 34,000 will die from the disease. That is one new case diagnosed every two minutes and another death from prostate cancer every 15 minutes.

  • One in eight men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. For Black men, one in seven will develop the disease.

  • Black men are over 75% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men, and are more than twice as likely to die from the disease.

  • Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the U.S., and the fourth most common tumor diagnosed worldwide.

  • Early detection through screening is key. If caught early, nearly 100% of men with prostate cancer will survive five years or longer.

Risk Factors & Symptoms

Risk Factors & Symptoms

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Research  & Clinical Trials

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Screening Diagnosis

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A Patients Health Journey

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Patient Support

Risk Factors & Symptoms

Risk Factors & Symptoms

Prostate Stages at a Glance

There are usually no symptoms in the early stages. Some men do not have symptoms at all.

Some symptoms of prostate cancer include—

  • Difficulty starting urination.

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine.

  • Frequent urination, especially at night.

  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.

  • Pain or burning during urination.

  • Blood in the urine or semen.

  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.

  • Painful ejaculation.


If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.

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Screening and Diagnosis

Screening and Diagnosis

Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer—

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.

  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test: Measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.


As a rule, the higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely a prostate problem is present. But many factors, such as age and race, can affect PSA levels. Some prostate glands make more PSA than others. PSA levels also can be affected by—

  • Certain medical procedures.

  • Certain medications.

  • An enlarged prostate.

  • A prostate infection.


Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results. Only a biopsy can diagnose prostate cancer for sure.

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Different types of treatment are available for prostate cancer. You and your doctor will decide which treatment is right for you. Some common treatments are—

  • Active surveillance. Closely monitoring the prostate cancer by performing prostate specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exam (DRE) tests regularly, and treating the cancer only if it grows or causes symptoms.

  • Surgery. A prostatectomy is an operation where doctors remove the prostate. Radical prostatectomy removes the prostate as well as the surrounding tissue.

  • Radiation therapy. Using high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill the cancer. There are two types of radiation therapy—

    • External radiation therapy. A machine outside the body directs radiation at the cancer cells.

    • Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy). Radioactive seeds or pellets are surgically placed into or near the cancer to destroy the cancer cells.

  • Hormone therapy. Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.


Other therapies used in the treatment of prostate cancer that are still under investigation include—

  • Cryotherapy. Placing a special probe inside or near the prostate cancer to freeze and kill the cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy. Using special drugs to shrink or kill the cancer. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given through your veins, or, sometimes, both.

  • Biological therapy. Works with your body’s immune system to help it fight cancer or to control side effects from other cancer treatments. Side effects are how your body reacts to drugs or other treatments.

  • High-intensity focused ultrasound. This therapy directs high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) at the cancer to kill cancer cells.


For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Prostate Cancer Treatment PDQ®. This site can also help you find a doctor or treatment facility that works in cancer care. Visit Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment for more information about treatment and links that can help with treatment choices.

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A Patients Health Journey

A Patients Health Journey

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Diet and exercise is key to help improve prostate health.

Enlarged prostate diet is a diet that is followed to ease the symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia. Certain foods and beverages are known to have an impact on prostate health because of their effects on testosterone and other hormones.

Research has found that a diet primarily consisting of meat or dairy products can increase the risk of prostate enlargement and cancer. This is especially true if a person does not incorporate enough vegetables into their diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is thought to protect the prostate.

Some of the foods that can be included in enlarged prostate diet are:

  1. Salmon is rich in healthy fats that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent and reduce inflammation within the body.

  2. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that may benefit prostate gland cells. Cooking tomatoes, such as in tomato sauce or soup, helps to release the lycopene and make it more readily available to the body.

  3. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, which help to remove free radicals from the body.

  4. Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are all high in vitamin C, which may help to protect the prostate gland.

  5. Food items like red meat, dairy products, caffeine, alcohol and sodium should be avoided.


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Research & Clinical Trials

Research & Clinical Trials

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Research data provides a more detailed picture on the prevalence of the disease amongst certain demographics. Black men in the United States have been newly diagnosed with this affliction at a rate of over 160 diagnoses per 100,000 men which is significantly higher than the national average of about 108 per 100,000. Compared to the next most-impacted ethnicity of white men with a new-diagnoses rate of 98 per 100,000, the relative severity of this issue is even more apparent with Black men being  impacted more than 50% more often. Data from the research program known as SEER shows that the death rate for black men is even more exaggerated relative to other ethnicities. Although Black men are afflicted at least 50% more often than the next leading group, they have over a 100% higher mortality rate.


White men represent 17.9% of all prostate cancer deaths, while black men represent 37.4%.  There also is a significant increase in this disease after the age of 50. 


The chart below based on 2018 data highlights just how steeply the rate of incidence increases with age. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that prostate cancer has a higher death rate than all cancers besides lung cancer and that 1 in every 8 American men will be diagnosed with it. The statistics also show that 1 in 41 men will die of this disease. That puts prostate cancer just slightly below breast cancer in terms of its likelihood of occurrence and mortality.

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Science Lab

Research & Clinical Trials:

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Patient Support

Patient Support

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Support groups are a community of people with a similar diagnosis or challenge who gather together to share knowledge, encouragement, and emotional comfort.

These groups come in many shapes and sizes. Some are large online communities with many people to answer your questions.  Some are sometimes facilitated by a mental health professional, a person diagnosed with an illness, the family of someone diagnosed, or a medical expert in the specific field. They can be held in person, online, or by phone. You may want to check out a few groups to find one that you are comfortable in. PCF has several private, moderated support groups on Facebook for different interests.

Prostate Cancer Foundation website identifies serveral groups, Including the following:

Therapy Session
Support Group

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