National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Men Take Charge of Your Health!


Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. According to the American Cancer Society, one man in nine will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. This year the American Cancer Society has estimated that there will be about 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer and about 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States.

“Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer increases significantly after age 50, especially in African American men or those with a family history of prostate cancer” explained ARH Oncologist Mohamed Shanshal, MD.

Men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Men with a PSA level between 4 and 10 have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer. If the PSA is more than 10, the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50 percent. Also, the digital rectal exam (DRE) can be done as a part of the screening. The prostate is in front of the rectum. Prostate cancers often begin in the back part of the gland, which might be felt during a rectal exam.

According to the guidelines from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young when the cancer was found. Men should take charge of their health and get screened for prostate cancer. It is the best way to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread.

The American Cancer Society states that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer. About one man in 41 will die of prostate cancer. Although prostate cancer is a serious disease, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

For more information on prostate cancer and early detection, visit If you are 40 or older, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider and get screened for prostate cancer.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), ranked as one of the Top 10 Employers in Kentucky by Forbes Magazine, is a not-for-profit health system operating 13 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs more than 5,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia, and is consistently recognized for its medical excellence.

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