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HEALTH & WELLNESS: September is prostate cancer awareness month

Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in the United States, with an estimated 241,740 new cases—affecting one out of six men—this year. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men, surpassed only by lung cancer, but there are more than two million men in the United States today who count themselves as prostate cancer survivors.

Finding and treating prostate cancer early increases the chances for survival, yet prostate cancer usually has no symptoms. The American Cancer Society urges men to talk with their doctors to make an informed decision about screening for prostate cancer. All men should be given sufficient information about the benefits and limitations of testing and early detection. Men at average risk should receive this information beginning at age 50. Men at higher risk, including African American men and men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65, should receive this information beginning at age 45. Men at appreciably higher risk (multiple family members diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65) should receive this information beginning at age 40.

The American Cancer Society sponsors Man to Man, a prostate cancer support group to help men cope with prostate cancer through community-based education and support. Man to Man meetings, open to all men, their caregivers and family members, are held every second Tuesday of the month at American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Lois McClure–Bee Tabakin Building in Burlington, from 6 to 8 p.m.

To learn more about prostate cancer, visit www.cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345. To register for the Man to Man support group meeting on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m., contact Mary L. Guyette at 274-4990 or vmary@aol.com, or Sophia Morton at Sophia.morton@cancer.org or 1-866-466-0626.