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Friday, September 6, 2013

Essay on Preventing Prostate Cancer

Essay on Preventing Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed among men. Even through years of study and research, there is still no sure way to prevent prostate cancer (Mayo Clinic, 2011). Even the results of these studies on prostate cancer prevention often conflict with each other. 

Given that the exact causes of prostate cancer is still unknown, doctors still cannot determine how to prevent its occurrence. However, you can make some life choices that might help in reducing your risk. Experts know that diet and lifestyle play a big part in an individual’s risk in developing prostate cancer (Mayo Clinic, 2011). There have been some medications and supplements that show promise in preventing prostate cancer, but additional research and study is needed to evaluate their true effect.

Prostate cancer can happen to any man but is most common in older men, men with a family history of prostate cancer and most especially in African-American men (CDC Wonder , 2013). Although age, race and genetics factors cannot be controlled there are things that an individual male can do that allows him to control risk factors that doctors believe lower down the risk of prostate cancer.

Doctors recommend switching to a healthy diet that is low in fat. Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetable intake each day and eating fish that is rich in Omega-3 is also recommended by doctors. Experts also recommend maintaining a healthy weight as links have been seen between the occurrences of prostate cancer to obesity (Mayo Clinic, 2011). Screening tests like Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test that check for the occurrence of prostate cancer is also recommended. Still some men have higher risks of prostate cancer compared to others. These aforementioned steps then need to be coupled with doctor’s consultations to determine what steps should be followed for each individual.

All types of men can have prostate cancer but African-American men have a higher predisposition to the said disease.  The average baseline score for this group in 1999 is 69.0 (adjusted per 100,000 standard population) (CDC Wonder, 2011). By the year 2010 the target score set for this group is 28.2. Through looking at the year to year data, we can see that the rate of death of this group has lowered from 69.0 in 1999 to 51.5 by 2007 (CDC Wonder, 2011). This shows that among African-American males, the recommended behaviors prescribed to lower the number of deaths caused by prostate cancer are being practiced by a higher number of people since the start of the objective.

Obesity among African-American males is one of the biggest factors pinpointed that cause the high number of prostate cancer deaths (Mayo Clinic, 2011). The diet that is shared among this group is not considered healthy and is not conducive to lowering the risk of prostate cancer. The prevalent diet within this group is dominated by fatty foods, processed meats and others classified as fast food, none of which can remotely be classified as part of a healthy diet. 

Another big factor among African-American males is the lack of screening for prostate cancer (Odedina et. al., 2011). Even among African-American men who have been educated in the advantages and limitations of prostate cancer screening the number of people within this group is not as large as the number of people who get screened for prostate cancer in other groups. Furthermore, according to a journal titled Modifiable Prostate Cancer Risk Reduction and Early Detection Behaviors in Black Men, African-American men who are most informed about prostate cancer screening seem to have a more fatalistic view of prostate cancer and use that as a reason for not getting screened aside from financial constraints; the most cited reason.

Through the Healthy People Objective on prostate cancer the number of incidents of deaths caused by prostate cancer is slowly going down. The ratio has gone down progressively and with a target improvement rate of 10 percent from 2007 to 2020 the ratio is expected to go down to 21.2 (Healthy People, 2013). Even with the reduction of the number of deaths from prostate cancer this will still be a concern by the year 2020. There has not been a lot of changes to the efforts from the 2010 movement to the 2020 movement though this type of action do take time to gain traction as the general population targeted continues to get informed and the factors that inhibits the ability of the target groups to be able to follow the prescribed behaviors are addressed.

Healthy People (2013) 2020 Topics and Objectives. Healthy People 2020. Retrieved from
CDC Wonder (2011) Data 2010. CDC Wonder. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic (2011) Prostate cancer prevention: Ways to reduce your risk. Mayo Clinic Online. Retrieved from

Odedina, Folakemi T., Scrivens, Jr., John J., Larose-Pierre, Margareth, Emanuel, Frank, Adams, Angela Denise, Dagne, Getachew A., Pressey, Shannon Alexi, Odedina, Oladapo. (2011) Modifiable Prostate Cancer Risk Reduction and Early Detection Behaviors in Black Men. American Journal of Health Behavior. Jul/Aug2011, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p470-484. 15p

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