Health Awareness and Cancer Prevention for Men

On June 17, father figures will be celebrated and thanked for all they do.  June is also the month designated to raise Men’s Cancer/Health Awareness and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Since it was passed by Congress in 1994, National Men’s Health Week.  It is observed every year during the week of June that ends on Father’s Day.   Besides raising men’s health awareness during June, this month also aims to encourage men to schedule regular health check-ups and seek early treatment for disease and injury.

The cancers that most frequently affect men are prostate, colon, lung, and skin cancers.  Knowing about these cancers and how they can be prevented or found early can save your life.

The American Cancer Society suggests these actions to take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk.

Do you want to raise Men’s Health Awareness? Designate a “Wear Blue Day” to help spread the knowledge of Men’s Health Month.  Choose any day that works for your group.  Choose blue accessories, head-to-toe blue work attire, or blue prostate cancer pins to wear in support of the fight against prostate cancer.

Throughout the year, the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Community Outreach Program provides a “Men’s Fellowship Breakfast” and cancer screenings. Check periodically at the Community Outreach Event website to see when the next breakfast or free screening event is scheduled.  If you would like to talk with someone about cancer prevention, please call the Cancer AnswerLine™ at 800-865-1125 and one of our cancer nurses will help.

Continue learning about men’s cancers and prevention:

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New Test for Prostate Cancer

For many years the PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test, together with a digital rectal exam, has been used as a screening tool to identify men that may have prostate cancer. If the PSA level is elevated, then men typically need to undergo additional testing — including a prostate biopsy. While a useful tool, the PSA test shows only the level of the PSA and can’t tell if prostate cancer or another medical condition is the reason for the elevation.

Enter the PCA3 test — a new urine test that University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have been working on to detect prostate cancer.  The PCA3 urine test can provide additional information to help a man and his physician decide if a prostate biopsy is needed. Simply put: prostate cells have PCA3 genes that stimulate the production of a small amount of a certain protein.  Because prostate cancer cells make more of this protein than normal prostate cells, men with prostate cancer can be identified with this test when PCA3 proteins leak into the urine.

Men interested in PCA3 testing should ask their physician if PCA3 testing is appropriate for their individual situation. The University of Michigan does offer the PROGENSA® PCA3 test as a supplement to the PSA test, upon physician request. To learn more about next steps for PROGENSA® PCA3 urine test at U-M, contact Cancer AnswerLine™ at 800-865-1125.

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Everyone is at risk for colon cancer

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In this video with U-M physicians Kim Turgeon, associate professor of gastroenterology, and Reena Salgia, gastroenterology fellow, share the facts on colon cancer – what it is, how it’s detected and how to prevent it.

Learn more about colon cancer, its risks and prevention

If you have questions please call the Cancer AnswerLine nurses at 800-865-1125.

What you need to know about cancer screening

Between 3% and 35% of cancer deaths could be avoided through screening. The risk of developing many types of cancer can be reduced by practicing healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking. But if cancer develops, it’s best to catch it early: The sooner a cancer is found and treated, the better the chances are that treatment will be successful. Learn more about how you should be screened for cancer at