Learn the risks associated with prostate cancer

September 03, 2019

During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, learn the risks associated with the disease and discuss with your doctor if a screening is right for you.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and educate men about the risk factors associated with the disease and the importance of early detection.

Prostate cancer is the third most prevalent type of cancer in the United States; about 13 out of every 100 American men will be diagnosed during their lifetime. The good news is that the earlier the cancer is caught and treated, the more likely the patient will be cured.

Who’s at risk?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all men are at risk for prostate cancer; however, certain factors increase that risk:

  1. Age: The older a man is, the greater the chance of getting prostate cancer.
  2. Ethnicity: African American men are more likely to get prostate cancer.
  3. Family history: Men who have a father, son, or brother who had prostate cancer are at increased risk for getting prostate cancer. Men with three or more first-degree relatives (father, son, or brother), or two close relatives on the same side of the family, who have had prostate cancer may be at risk for a type of prostate cancer caused by genetic changes that are inherited.

Prostate cancer screening

A blood test called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is commonly used to screen for prostate cancer. The CDC encourages men to talk to their doctors about their personal risk factors and to decide if a PSA test is right for them. Your annual preventive exam is a good time to have that conversation (although you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you have concerns or symptoms).

Employees and their family members who have medical coverage* through the Board of Pensions can receive annual preventive exams without paying a copay, deductible, or copayment.

*Those enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan also have preventive care benefits under their plans, but coverage details may differ. Consult your plan’s provisions for details.