Tag Archives: prostate cancer

Cancer on the Decline in South Carolina

A recent report by the South Carolina Cancer Alliance (SCCA) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) announced that cancer mortality rates in South Carolina have declined by 17.6% in the past 20 years.  According to the report, the most prevalent cancers in our state are: lung cancer, melanoma (skin cancer), breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.

Cancer specialists contribute the decline in cancer mortality rates to primary prevention strategies such as decreasing the prevalence of smoking, early detection and improved cancer treatments.

Although specific risk factors are relative to specific types of cancers, general risk factors include:

  • tobacco usage,
  • being overweight, and
  • an unbalanced diet.

It is important to understand that although cancer mortality rates have declined, health disparities still exist among minority populations and in rural communities. More than 26,000 people are diagnosed with an invasive cancer and nearly 10,000 people die from cancer each year.

“We are moving in the right direction for a state our size, but we are still behind the rest of the country,” said Dr. Gerald Wilson, chair of the South Carolina Cancer Alliance. “The best course of action people can take is to speak with their doctors about cancer screenings and lifestyle changes.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in South Carolina and ranks 1st for cancer deaths.
  • The rate of all cancers in women increased by 5.5%.
  • The death rate for black women with breast cancer is 43.5% higher than for white women.
  • Skin cancer increases of 21.2% among white men and 24.6% among white women mirror national trends.
  • The death rate for black men with prostate cancer is three times higher than white men.

For more information or to view the full report, visit:  https://www.sccancer.org/media/1348/20-year-cancer-report_spread-w-bleed.pdf.

Check on Your Health During Men’s Health Month

(GIF Credit:  https://giphy.com/gifs/bai-13pIc0znlY5WAE)

Men, when was the last time you went to the doctor for a check up?  Men’s Health Month is a time for awareness of preventable health problems and early detection for men and boys.  Sure, physical activity and good nutrition habits are key components for a healthy lifestyle, but other factors are also important.

Here are a few tips to make healthy choices this month:

  • Start a men’s exercise group. Whether it’s basketball, tag football, or power walking, there is strength in numbers.  Call a buddy and get moving!
  • Make this month the month to receive your annual check up (and stick with it every year).
  • Use this month to learn about hereditary health issues. Do chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease run in your family?
  • If you are over 55 years old, get screened for prostate cancer.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Your mental health is just as important as physical. Reduce stress where possible.  Recognize the signs of anxiety and depression and seek help.

According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment:

  • The prevalence of male South Carolina smokers (23.4%) was higher compared to women smokers (17.9%).
  • In 2016, 73.5 per 100,000 males were living with hepatitis C compared to 44.2 per 100,000 females.
  • The suicide rate in South Carolina during 2016 was higher in males (24.6 per 100,000) than females (7.6 per 100,000), a more than three-fold difference (Figure 8.12)
  • The death rate resulting from falls for persons 65 years and older in South Carolina during 2016 was higher in males (55.8 per 100,000) than women (42.3 per 100,000).
  • Deaths from drug overdoses were higher in males (22.9 deaths per 100,000) compared to women (13.3 deaths per 100,000).
  • Deaths related to opioids were almost twice as high in males (16.6 per 100,000) than in women (9.3 per 100,000).

Always remember that if something doesn’t feel right, go to the doctor.  Many illnesses can be treated if given immediate attention.  Make your health a priority this month.

Father’s Day Is Important, Dad. Get Screened.

Dads deserve the attention, accolades and gifts they get each Father’s Day. They also should give themselves and their families a gift in return: a lifelong dedication to healthy living.

That includes adopting healthy habits that help reduce the risk of developing cancer.FathersDayicon Cancer is a complex disease. Your risk of developing cancer isn’t based only on genetics or family history, although they do play a role. Have you ever wondered how much lifestyle affects cancer risk? Research shows that half of all cancer today could be prevented by practicing healthy habits.  Start by adopting one or two healthy behaviors.

Once you’ve gotten those down, move on to others:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all
  • Protect yourself from the sun
  • Get screening tests

Healthy Weight & Good Nutrition. Less Cancer.

There are several research-proven ways to lower your cancer risk! One way is by maintaining a healthy weight. dadimagineNot sure how to begin? First focus on not gaining more weight, then on eating a healthier diet and exercising to achieve a healthy weight. Ask a health care provider for tips on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Check out these sites for healthy recipe options:

Healthy Father’s Day Recipes

Healthy Heart & Soul Recipe Book

Healthier Recipes – USDA Mixing Bowl

More Exercise. Less Cancer.

Regular exercise – just 30 minutes each day – will lower your risk of developing cancer. Whether you’re running on a treadmill or walking around the block, it all counts. Encourage your whole family to get up and move together. Exercise is especially important for cancer survivors. For some cancers, regular physical activity may lower the risk of recurrence and eliminate the risk of other chronic diseases. Visit http://eatsmartmovemoresc.org and click on Let’s Go! for information on parks and trails, and other resources.

 Fight Cancer. Don’t Smoke.

Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes have been shown to cause DNA damage, including key genes that protect us against cancer. For cancer patients, studies also find that smoking hinders cancer treatment. For help with smoking, contact the SC Tobacco Quitline.

Lung Cancer

Most cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. Three screening tests have been studied to see if they decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer: 1) Low-dose spiral CT scan (LDCT scan), 2) Chest X-ray; and 3) Sputum whitebowcytology. Screening with low-dose spiral CT scans has been shown to decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer in heavy smokers. Screening with chest X-rays and/or sputum cytology does not decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer. Talk with your doctor about the risks of lung cancer screening.

More Education. Less Cancer.

Prostate Cancer

There is no standard or routine screening test for prostate cancer. Talk with yourbluebow doctor about the digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) for prostate cancer. The South Carolina Cancer Alliance is a resource for education trainings and opportunities. Visit their website for patient care information and volunteer opportunities.

More Screenings. Less Cancer.dadnote

It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms.

Colorectal Cancer

Screenings are essential to catching some cancers early and can help prevent purplebowexisting cancers from spreading. Speak with your doctor about tests to detect colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of non-skin cancer in men (after prostate cancer and lung cancer).

Prevention. Less Cancer

Cancer prevention starts with education, screening, and a healthy lifestyle. Take control of your health, and encourage your family to do the same.

Happy Father’s Day.

Men’s Health: Get The Facts on Prostate Cancer

By Stephanie Hinton, CPM, MHS, MA – DHEC Cancer Prevention and Control Division Director & Daniela Friedman, SCCA Prostate Cancer Workgroup

No one likes to think about the potential risk of cancer, but being informed can be a lifesaver. This September, DHEC is calling on all men in South Carolina to take a moment to learn about prostate cancer, the risks and symptoms, and what they can do to be proactive in protecting their health.

The Statistics

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among men and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Prostate cancer is twice as common among African-American men than it is among men of European (White) descent, and African-American men have the highest prostate cancer death rate. Advancing age, high-fat diets, smoking and family history of prostate cancer are also contributing risk factors.

The good news is that survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer have improved over the years. At least 89% of men diagnosed can expect to live at least five years from the time of their diagnosis.

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Click to open full size image.

The Symptoms

Most prostate cancers grow slowly, and don’t cause any health problems in men who have them. However, if the cancer expands or begins to spread to other parts of the body, the following may be present.

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
  • Frequent urination (especially at night).
  • Trouble urinating.
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • A pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.

What can you do?

  • Talk with your health care provider about prostate cancer screening options. Screenings are recommended starting at age 45 for African-American men.
  • Find out if you have a family history of prostate cancer, and tell your doctor if you do.
  • Learn more about screening and treatment options, and make informed decisions. Some treatment options may have serious side effects, so it is important to ask questions and make a decision that is right for you.

SCCA Prostate Cancer Work Group

The statewide South Carolina Cancer Alliance (SCCA) Prostate Cancer Work Group is dedicated to improving our understanding of how to diagnose and treat prostate cancer and to help men participate in all aspects of prostate cancer research, education, and treatment.

For more information about the SCCA Prostate Cancer Work Group, please contact Daniela Friedman at dbfriedman@sc.edu.

For more information about prostate cancer, click here.