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Lee County, IL Health Department
Thursday September 2nd, 2010 :: 12:33 p.m. CDT

Community

Prostate and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Symptoms and risk factors men and women need to know

SPRINGFIELD – This September, for National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is encouraging men and women to learn the symptoms and risk factors of prostate and ovarian cancer.



“As a prostate cancer survivor, I know first hand the importance of early detection,” said Dr. Arnold. “I want to encourage people to learn about the symptoms of prostate and ovarian cancer, how cancer is detected and what they could be doing to live longer lives.”



Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer found in American men and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. One in six men will get prostate cancer and one in 36 will die of this disease according to the American Cancer Society. The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates 9,030 men in Illinois will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, and approximately 1,330 men will die of it.



There are certain risk factors linked to prostate cancer:



Age - The chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer increases with age, especially after 50.



Race – Prostate cancer is more common in African-American men and African-American men are more likely to die of the disease.



Family - Men with close family members (father or brother) who have had prostate cancer are more likely to be diagnosed with it themselves.



Although early prostate cancer often causes no symptoms, advanced prostate cancer symptoms may include:

· Trouble having or keeping an erection (impotence)

· Blood in the urine

· Pain in the spine, hips, ribs, or other bones

· Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet

· Loss of bladder or bowel control



Men who are at average risk of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor or health care professional about prostate cancer screening starting at age 50. Men who have a father, brother or son diagnosed with prostate cancer at a young age, and African-American men, should start talking with their doctor about screening around age 45. Men who have several family members diagnosed with prostate cancer at a young age should begin talks at age 40.



Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women (not counting skin cancer) and ranks fifth as the cause of cancer death in women according to the American Cancer Society. The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates 990 women in Illinois will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and around 660 will die from it.



Some of the risk factors or risk reducing factors of ovarian cancer include:



Age: Most ovarian cancers happen after menopause.



Birth control pills: Birth control pills reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, especially among women who use them for five years or more.



Having children: A woman who has had children has a lower risk of ovarian cancer and the risk decreases with each pregnancy. Breast feeding may lower the risk even further.



Female surgery: Having your “tubes tied” (tubal ligation) or a hysterectomy may reduce the chance of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.



Family history: Your ovarian cancer risk is higher if your mother, sister or daughter had ovarian cancer. Increased risk for ovarian cancer does not have to come from your mother's side of the family - it can also come from your father's side.



Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages. You should see your doctor if you have the following symptoms on a daily basis for more than a few weeks.

· Bloating

· Pelvic or abdominal pain

· Trouble eating or feeling full quickly

· Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often



This September, recognize National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by learning about the diseases and talking with your doctor about screenings and exams.

Address/Location
Lee County, IL Health Department
Lee County Services
Dixon, IL 61021

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 815-284-3371

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