At the start of National Prostate Health Month (NPHM), the professional association representing urology practices in the United States, LUGPA, and

the patient advocate organization, ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, urge patients to man up and go to the doctor.

"Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men in the United States," said Juan Reyna, MD, president of LUGPA. "Unfortunately, many men have the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mentality, giving prostate cancer an undue foothold in men's overall health. Through our sustained partnership with ZERO, we have made strides to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the value of diagnosis. Diagnosis is the first step to treating the disease, which is most treatable when detected early–but diagnosis is not possible if men don't get themselves to the doctor."

The intent of NPHM, occurring every September, is to increase public awareness about prostate health–particularly, about the risk factors associated with diseases like prostate cancer, which is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men in the United States. The joining together of LUGPA and ZERO underscores the importance of communication and collaboration between physicians and patients in their united effort to eradicate this disease.

"Since I joined the fight against cancer over a decade ago, terrific advances in diagnostic imaging, surgical techniques, radiation therapy, and novel treatments have reduced the prostate cancer mortality rate by an average of 3.5 percent each year, but there is still a great need for new treatments and new hope," said ZERO's CEO, Jamie Bearse. "Working together to raise awareness and education is the first critical step toward achieving our ultimate goal of saving lives and ending prostate cancer."

Prostate cancer can often be found early, when it is most likely to be cured, by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man's blood.

LUGPA's Your Numbers Matter campaign aims to help men understand how awareness of their personal numbers, such as their PSA-level, play a role in overall health. The initiative encourages men to ask their doctor to check their numbers and serves as an avenue for physicians to maintain open lines of communication with their patients about appropriate testing for prostate cancer and other urologic conditions.

Prostate cancer continues to be the most common cancer in men, accounting for about 1 in 4 new cases, according to data published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The estimated number of new cases and estimated deaths from prostate cancer both decreased slightly for 2014, by 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Source: LUGPA; ZERO - The End of Prostate Cancer

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