For Immediate Release
September 7, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE Promotes Informed Decision Making about Prostate Cancer Screening

Topeka-The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is proud to promote Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men (other than some forms of skin cancer) and is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in Kansas and the United States.

In 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), 2,072 men in Kansas and 223,307 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2009, 241 men died of prostate cancer in Kansas. In the United States, 30,000 men die yearly from prostate cancer. The main screening tools for prostate cancer are the digital rectal examination and the prostate-specific antigen test; however, these tests do not detect prostate cancer and only suggest the need for further tests. The potential benefit of screening is finding cancer early when treatment may be more effective.  Potential risks include false positive test results, treating prostate cancer that may never affect health, and serious side effects from treatment.

Robert Moser, MD, Secretary of KDHE, encourages men to talk with their doctors to learn the nature and risks of prostate cancer, understand the benefit and risks of the screening tests, and decide whether prostate cancer screening is right for them.

Medical experts do not fully understand what causes prostate cancer or how to prevent it. There is no way to predict which men will develop prostate cancer. Men have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer if they are 50 years old or older, are African-American, or have a family history of prostate cancer.

Visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/ for more information.  For Kansas cancer information and resources, visit www.cancerkansas.org.