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Know Your Stats About Prostate Cancer

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September is Prostate Awareness Month - 1 in 6 will be diagnosed. 1 in 36 will die. The second leading cause of cancer death in American men is prostate cancer, behind only lung cancer. Memorial Medical Center – Lufkin and the Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center are promoting awareness of and prevention of this disease during the month of September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Special priced screenings and exams will be held by appointment only on September 24 at the Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center. 


The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system.  The walnut-sized gland is located beneath a man's bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.  Prostate cancer is usually a slow growing cancer, compared to other types of cancer, which occurs when cells within the prostate grow out of control.  While one can live without a prostate, its location makes prostate cancer difficult to treat. 

The average man has about a 17% chance of getting prostate cancer in his lifetime, according to Zero - The Project to End Prostate Cancer.  While the causes of prostate cancer are not completely understood, researchers have found several factors that may change the risk of getting it.  Age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer.  Prostate cancer is rare before the age of 40 but the chances of having it after the age of 50 rises rapidly.  This type of cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in men of other races.  According to the American Cancer Society, African-American men are also more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men. Other factors that increase risk include family history, nationality, diet, obesity, and genetics.

Zero - The Project to End Prostate Cancer suggests five things you can do to lower your risk of prostate cancer:

  1. Get tested.  Catching prostate cancer early increases the odds of survival to nearly 100%.
  2. Eat right.  Eat veggies, tomatoes, soy, mushrooms, and fruits.  Take Vitamin E.
  3. Drink Right.  In a new study, coffee and tea have been found to have the biggest source of cancer fighting antioxidants.
  4. Lower your cholesterol.  Research shows high cholesterol levels are strongly associated with advanced prostate cancer.
  5. Get some sun.  Sunlight is key to processing vitamin D.  Men with increased levels of vitamin D may have as much as 45% reduction in risk of prostate cancer.

With prostate cancer there are rarely any noticeable symptoms in its early stages, which is why screenings are so important. In more advanced stages, symptoms may include difficult or frequent urination, blood in the urine or bone pain.  Like most forms of cancer, prostate cancer is more treatable and has better outcomes the earlier it is caught. 

Prostate cancer can be detected early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.  Another way to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam (DRE), where the doctor feels for bumps or abnormalities on the surface of the prostate.  These screenings do not show whether there is prostate cancer present, only that further testing is needed. 

For the average man, annual screenings should start at age 50.    Men with one risk factor or who have an immediate relative with prostate cancer should start annual screening at age 45.  Men with more than one risk factor or who have several immediate relatives with prostate cancer should start annual screening at age 40.  It is acceptable and sometimes recommended for men to take a single test at an earlier age, 35 or 40, to establish a “baseline” level for future comparison. 

Memorial Medical Center – Lufkin and the Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center are offering screenings at a special price, $25, Friday, September 24 by appointment only.  To schedule an appointment call 936-639-7066 or 1-800-409-7890.  The screenings include a PSA blood test and physician exam.

For more information on Prostate Cancer you can visit the Zero –The Project to End Prostate Cancer website at or the American Cancer Society at


About Memorial Health System of East Texas

As the largest health care system in the deep East Texas area, Memorial Health System of East Texas is a private, not-for-profit hospital that provides care to almost a quarter of a million patients each year.  Since its inception in 1949, Memorial Health System has paved the way for quality, innovative health care in East Texas.  In fact, Memorial consistently ranks among the nation’s best for exceptional health care and patient satisfaction. 

Memorial Health System of East Texas is comprised of four hospitals—Memorial Medical Center—Lufkin, Memorial Medical Center—Livingston, Memorial Medical Center—San Augustine, and Memorial Specialty Hospital, the only rural long-term acute care facility within the area.  Memorial offers a wide array of services, including the newly renovated Arthur Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center, which consistently earns a three-year accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer.  In 2009 the System opened the doors to the area’s first dedicated heart and stroke care center—the Cardiovascular & Stroke Center of East Texas.   With a partnership with The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Memorial provides an advance level of stroke care, while offering the latest in heart care from a highly trained team of heart surgeons and cardiologists.  Memorial was the first health care facility in Texas to acquire the DaVinci High Definition Robot for robotic assisted procedures in heart, lungs, kidneys and gynecology.  The hospital also is known for providing the area’s only comprehensive diabetes center—The Horace C. Polk Regional Diabetes Center.  Other centers of excellence include the Temple Imaging Center that offers some of the most advanced procedures in the area, including PET/CT scanning for cancer and Alzheimer’s, 64 Slice CT scanning, Open Bore MRI, 4D Ultrasound, and digital mammography. Other specialty areas include Orthopedic care, Women’s Services, Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation, Homecare, Wound and Hyperbaric Therapy, Kidney & Diabetes Treatment, Sleep Disorders Treatment, Occupational Health and Express Lab. Memorial Health System of East Texas—founded and funded by the people it serves.

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