According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top five leading causes of death in American men are heart disease, cancer, accidental injuries, stroke and chronic lower respiratory disease—most of which are either preventable or treatable if caught early. This year, share the below tips with Dad to help keep him happy, healthy, and celebrating many more Father’s Days for years to come, including:
1. HEART DISEASE: The number one cause of death in American men, Dad’s risk can be reduced by making healthier lifestyle choices and taking care of conditions that can increase his risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. This year, encourage Dad to eat right, maintain a healthy weight, give up smoking, and get regular check ups (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.).
2. CANCER: Early detection is imperative to fighting this leading cause of death among men. Screenings have been shown to be effective in finding cancer early, particularly for prostate cancer. Impacting one in six American men, prostate cancer currently affects more than two million American men. Often treatable if detected early, there are frequently no signs or symptoms of the disease at its earliest stages, making screening essential to saving lives. If Dad is 45 years or older, or 40 years of age with high risk factors, the Prostate Cancer Education Council advises that Dad keep screening on his yearly to-do list.
3. ACCIDENTAL INJURIES: Motor vehicle, poisoning, falls and drowning accidents are among those most common causes of fatal unintentional injury to men. While accidents can happen any time, any where we can encourage Dad to take safety measures whether driving, at home or in the workplace.
4. STROKE: While nearly three–quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65, they can—and do—occur at ANY age. While you can’t control some stroke risk factors, such as family history, age and race, you can encourage Dad to control the leading cause—high blood pressure—as well as other contributing factors such as smoking and diabetes.
5. CHRONIC LOWER RESPIRATORY DISEASE: Chronic lower respiratory disease refers to chronic (ongoing) diseases that affect the lower respiratory tract (including the lungs). One of the most serious and prevalent forms is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The main cause of COPD is smoking and men who smoke are 12 times as likely to die of COPD compared to men who’ve never smoked. This year, help Dad quite smoking, avoid second hand smoke and minimize exposure to workplace chemicals to reduce his risk for COPD.
“There is still much to be done in terms of educating the public about the risks men face for prostate cancer and other fatal diseases, especially when it comes to the role of screening and early detection” said Wendy Poage, Executive Director, Prostate Cancer Education Council. “For prostate cancer, new screening methods are making it easier than ever for men to catch their conditions while the disease is still manageable.”
One such example is a new molecular biomarker for PCA3, which offers additional information to aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer through a urine test “The PCEC is currently evaluating its role in early detection, watching how it performs with and without PSA and other tests,” said Dr. David Crawford, Chair, Prostate Cancer Education Council.
Gen-Probe Incorporated is a national sponsor of the PCEC’s Father’s Day Awareness Campaign and sells PCA3 ASRs (Analyte Specific Reagents) to several highly specialized laboratories across the U.S. (i.e., labs which are CLIA certified for high complexity clinical testing). Currently, there are several labs that offer urine tests to identify the PCA3 gene, including: Bostwick Laboratories, Dianon Systems/LabCorp, OUR Labs, CARIS/MPI and Mosaic Diagnostics.
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. Estimates for 2008 indicate that more than 186,000 men will be diagnosed in the United States, and nearly 28,700 will die from the disease. African American men are twice as likely to get prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from the disease. The second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer, prostate cancer is often treatable if detected early.
About the Prostate Cancer Education Council
A national organization committed to men’s health, the Prostate Cancer Education Council (PCEC) is dedicated to saving lives through awareness and the education of men, the women in their lives, as well as the medical community about prostate cancer prevalence, the importance of early detection, and available treatment options, as well as other men’s health issues.