Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 38 men will die of the said disease. Even though it has a high mortality rate, prostate cancer can still be fought and prevented.
Like with all diseases, the first step to battling prostate cancer is to know the truth about it. However, some myths about the condition are still persistent up to this day and commonly believed by many.
To keep those wrong notions out of the way, we will debunk the five common misconceptions about prostate cancer and reveal the truth about them.
1. Only old men are prone to prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is more common among older men. In fact, about 6 in 10 cases are diagnosed among men who are 65 years and older. However, just because it’s rare for the younger demographic doesn’t mean that they’re risk-free.
Data from the Prostate Cancer Foundation states that only 1 in 10,000 men who are below 40 will be diagnosed of prostate cancer. However, the risk drastically increases when a man is between the ages of 40 to 59, because 1 in 38 men belonging to that age range will be affected with the disease.
2. Prostate cancer marks the end of your sex life.
Prostate cancer treatments can affect your sex life, but not all cases lead to erectile dysfunction. You may experience difficulties for a while, but you can recover and have erections strong enough for sexual intercourse after a few months or a year. Your doctor can also prescribe medication that can help in this situation.
3. If my father or a relative has prostate cancer, I will have it too.
Just because someone in your family was diagnosed with prostate cancer doesn’t mean that you will have it too. Likewise, a man can develop prostate cancer even if he doesn’t have a relative who is affected with the disease. Your cancer risk depends on a lot of factors, not just on your bloodline.
Although having a relative with prostate cancer may mean an increased risk for you, it doesn’t have to cause panic. However, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor. Just for caution and early prevention, more aggressive monitoring for any signs of prostate problems may be recommended.
4. I have a high PSA level therefore I have prostate cancer.
Elevated prostate-specific antigen or PSA levels may signal prostate cancer, but not all the time. In some cases, it’s just a sign of other conditions such as prostatitis.
A PSA test is not enough to diagnose prostate cancer or rule the condition out completely. To provide a more accurate diagnosis, the doctor may recommend other tests such as digital rectal examination and prostate biopsy.
5. Prostate cancer is a death sentence.
Prostate cancer may lead to death, but not all cases result to that. In fact, numerous patients have been cured of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is almost 100%.
Prostate cancer can be fought and cured, and you increase your chances of prevention and survival if you know the truth about it. So keep these five facts in mind, and learn more about the disease through reliable and trustworthy sources. Likewise, go to regular check-ups so that you can battle prostate cancer, or any form of disease for that matter, at the first sign of symptoms.