Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Your Health Matters

Numbers tell the story.

Approximately 1 in 8 men in the U.S., will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over the course of a lifetime. While prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, with early detection, treatment leads to better outcomes.

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder).

“Typically, there aren’t early-warning signs for prostate cancer, which makes screenings something important for men to schedule,” said Dr. Douglas Spotts, chief health officer, Meritus Health.

Risk factors are also important to discuss with your doctor. These include family history, genetic factors, race, lifestyle and diet.

“Men who have a relative with prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease,” Spotts said. “If the patient has two or more relatives who have prostate cancer, then he is nearly four times as likely to face a prostate cancer diagnosis.”

Also referred to as an “enlarged prostate,” benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition for men as they age. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms and kidney problems.

If you’re having urinary problems, talk to your healthcare provider. If left untreated, urinary issues can lead to serious problems.

Because of effective screening options for prostate cancer, the disease is often caught before it spreads, and as a whole, survival rates are good for this type of cancer.

“Many health problems that happen below the belt are preventable or easily treated, so talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual, and keep up with your tests and screenings,” Spotts said.

Of course, there are things you can do to decrease your risk for developing prostate cancer. Things like regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, not smoking, reducing stress and limiting alcohol consumption are all key factors to reducing your risk for not only prostate cancer, but a wide variety of other health issues.

If you’re ready for a change in course in the direction of your health journey, join the community-wide initiative for Bold Weight Loss, Bold Nutrition and Bold Wellness.

“The Go for Bold campaign is aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in Washington County, all wrapped around the Bold Goal of losing 1 million community pounds by the year 2030,” Spotts said.

To find out more information and join in with other community members and organizations, visit