Each year, more than 1.3 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer worldwide. It is important to know the facts about prostate cancer and to act early when there are signs.

Only men have a prostate gland. Its main function is to help make semen. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the gland reproduce more rapidly than normal, which results in the creation of a tumour. In many cases, the tumour grows slowly and does not impact health. For others, the outcome may not be as favourable – untreated cancerous cells may spread to other parts of the body such as lymph nodes and bones, causing serious health challenges and possibly death.

The important thing to know is that many prostate cancers are slow-moving and may not require surgery or some radical form of treatment. Early detection is key to a positive outcome. Have a conversation with your health practitioner about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing. Do it when you are 50. If you are of African or Caribbean descent or have a family history of prostate cancer, do it at 45. Also, familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms. These are well documented and can be found by going to the Prostate Cancer Canada website www.prostatecancer.ca . Always remember, cancer can be beaten.

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