The cliché, “all men who live long enough will end up with prostate cancer,” may hold some truth, but it has become an obstacle in preventing prostate cancer. As cited in the 2010 Ohio Cancer Facts and Figures publication, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with invasive prostate cancer is 1 in 7 (13.5%) . For breast cancer it is 1 in 10 (10.0%). The average annual number of cancer deaths in Stark County due to prostate cancer is 42 (for breast cancer, it is 69).
What is truly regrettable is that many men who suffer from prostate cancer have a history of it in their family. More importantly, if those men would have known about and received the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests, many cases and deaths could have been prevented.
A wide distribution of updated education, and available PSA screening, are two goals of a new Stark County nonprofit Prostate Awareness and Cancer Support (PACS).
A third goal of PACS is the awareness and expansion of the Prostate Cancer Support Group. Not only does this group seek to be a safe place for those affected by prostate cancer, but members hope to give and receive any needed support. Also, it will provide men with relevant medical education to empower them to have a voice in their treatment and recovery. Support group meetings are held monthly (second Tuesday of each month).
For more information about becoming active in PACS, or participating in the Prostate Cancer Support Group, visit our website at www.pacsohio.org.
David B. McCoy