Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death among men. But each September, the Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC) helps patients catch the disease early during the organization’s annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (PCAW).
Established in an effort to encourage patients to be proactive with their prostate health, PCAW provides men across the United States with access to a number of free or low-cost health events and screenings. The PCEC recommends that men ages 40 and older use this opportunity to receive a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE), both of which are considered among the safest and most reliable methods of detecting prostate cancer in its early stages.
Because there are a number of factors that can potentially contribute to a patient’s risk of prostate cancer, many screening locations also offer testing for cholesterol and testosterone. Additionally, PCAW screening sites can provide patients with informational materials and other resources to educate them on their prostate health and to help them improve their overall condition.
“What many men do not realize is that prostate cancer, if caught early, can most often be very successfully treated,” says PCEC founder and chairman E. David Crawford, MD, in a press release. “Men should not avoid the topic. Knowledge is power, and by avoiding medical tests, they are only doing a disservice to themselves and their loved ones.”
The PCEC sponsored its 26th Annual PCAW in September 2015. Following in the PCEC’s lead, several other health organizations have also organized prostate health events and screenings throughout the month of September. As of 1999, the American Foundation for Urological Disease (now the Urology Care Foundation) has designated the whole month of September as National Prostate Health Month.
“During the past 27 years, PCEC helped to provide early detection to more than 5 million men for prostate cancer and men’s health conditions in the United States and internationally,” states PCEC president Wendy Poage in a press release. “Our commitment to educating in awareness on prostate cancer and other important men’s health issues continues to expand each year.”
The 27th Annual PCAW will take place on Sept. 18 to 24, 2016. A list of screening sites can be found on the PCEC’s website.