National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States.[1]  Because this disease affects so many men, their families and loved ones, in 2011 President Barack Obama proclaimed September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. This is the perfect time to remind the men in our lives just how important those prostate cancer screenings can be.

The White House Office of the Press Secretary announced, “The weight of this illness is felt not only by the men living with and fighting prostate cancer, but also by their families, friends, and communities who rally to care for their loved ones.  As we observe National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we renew our commitment to reducing the impact of prostate cancer on our country by raising awareness and supporting research that will lead to better ways to detect and treat this disease.” [2]

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cancer is defined as a disease in which abnormal cells in the body grow out of control. Cancers are usually named after the part of the body where the abnormal cell growth begins, and prostate cancer is no different. Prostate cancers are cancer cells from the prostate. When prostate cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, they are called metastases.[3]

Because of the importance of early detection and treatment, Medicare helps cover the cost of prostate cancer screenings for men 50 years of age or older.  Medicare covers a digital rectal exam and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test once every 12 months. Generally, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the digital rectal exam after the yearly Part B deductible. You pay nothing for the PSA www.

President Obama proclaimed, “I encourage all citizens, government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other groups to join in activities that will increase awareness and prevention of prostate cancer.” If you are a Medicare beneficiary who is due for a prostate cancer screening, or if you have a loved one who could use a reminder, please do what you can to encourage early detection and treatment. It can change the life of someone you love.

[1] www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/01/presidential-proclamation-national-prostate-cancer-awareness

[2] www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/01/presidential-proclamation-national-prostate-cancer-awareness

3 http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/index.htm