USER-FRIENDLY INFORMATION ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER
FOR THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA
What is Prostate Cancer?
- Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland found right below the bladder — but only in men. (Women can not get prostate cancer!)
- If it isn’t treated, prostate cancer follows a natural course, starting as a tiny group of cancer cells that can grow into a full-blown tumor.
- In some men, prostate cancer that isn’t treated can spread (“metastasize”) and cause death.
Can Prostate Cancer be Prevented?
- We know of no sure way to prevent a man from getting prostate cancer today.
- A drug called finasteride can prevent development of prostate cancer in some men. However, its use is still considered controversial by many physicians.
Who is at Risk?
- Every year several hundred Zambian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and many more may have prostate cancer but not know about it.
- It is one of the most common forms of cancer in men around the world.
- Every man who lives in Zambia is at risk for prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer is most common in older men (over about 50 years of age).
- If your father, grandfather, brother, or uncle has had prostate cancer, you are at higher risk.
What Can You Do About It?
- A regular physical examination and a simple blood test (called a PSA test) are the keys to early diagnosis.
- You should start having regular physical exams and PSA tests in your mid 40s or early 50s.
- If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should start having regular tests in your 40s.
- Early diagnosis will allow you to have early treatment, if this is necessary.
- If prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated early, then your risk of dying from this illness is small.
- If prostate cancer is diagnosed late (when it has spread to other parts of the body), then prostate cancer cannot be cured.
How Can You Get More Infomation?
- You can read and print out a special brochure on prostate cancer prepared for Zambians.*
- You can look at these other pages on The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink:
- You can visit the web site of the Men Breaking Barriers Cancer Trust, based in Lusaka
What if You Are Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
- We have provided a second special brochure for newly diagnosed Zambian patients.*
- You can start by visiting these pages on The “New” Prostate Cancer Infolink:
- You can join the Africa & Prostate Cancer group on The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink Social Network, where other patients, their family members, and prostate cancer experts can offer you advice based on their experience.
*Copies of all such brochures may be freely printed and distributed for educational and informational purposes.