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Every 15 minutes, a man in the U.S. dies from prostate cancer

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and awareness advocates are taking the opportunity to highlight the observance in the hope of reducing the impact of this all-too-common disease in communities all around the country.

According to ZERO Cancer and Us Too, a nonprofit partnership dedicated to seeing an end to prostate cancer, one in eight men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. This particular type of cancer is also the most common non-skin cancer among men in America.

“Every 15 minutes, another American man dies from prostate cancer,” ZERO’s website details. “That’s more than 94 deaths per day and 34,500 this year. That’s enough to fill an entire baseball stadium.”

Part of the problem when it comes to battling prostate cancer is the fact that men often have no idea they even have the disease until it has progressed. “Unfortunately, there usually aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer,” information from the Prostate Cancer Foundation states. “The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease my be silent.”

That is why proponents of prostate cancer awareness stress the importance of regular screenings for prostate cancer. The sooner cancer is identified, the easier it will be to treat.

“September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and for patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones, this is your month. Together, with our inspiring community, we are spreading one very important Prostate Cancer Awareness Month message: early detection saves lives!” ZERO’s website emphasizes. “Finding prostate cancer when it is at an early stage offers the best hope for living cancer-free for a long time.”

Right here in the Pahrump Valley, Us Too has the Jim Gregory Chapter of the Pahrump Prostate Cancer Support Group that strives to make sure this message gets out, not just during the month of September but all year long.

As group leaders are always explaining, educating oneself on prostate cancer before a diagnosis can give a person a sense of calm and confidence in the event that they do end up facing such a diagnosis. And the support group is not just for men, either. It is equally important for women to learn all they can about prostate cancer, as it is likely that at some point, a man in their lives will have to deal with the disease.

Outside of the educational aspect, the Pahrump Prostate Cancer Support Group is a valuable resource of understanding and empathy as well. “Support groups provide people impacted with prostate cancer with an opportunity to be with others who have a common purpose,” information from the local group reads. “While every prostate cancer diagnosis is unique, members of support groups often have similar feelings, worries and concerns. Finding a support group may benefit you or your loved one in many ways.”

The Pahrump Prostate Cancer Support Group meets every fourth Tuesday of the month, with the exception of November and December when the group breaks for the holidays. The chapter’s next meeting is just two weeks away and everyone is invited to stop in and learn more.

“Please attend our monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Methodist Church,” local prostate cancer support group leader Dr. Tom Waters encouraged.

For more information on the Pahrump Prostate Cancer Support Group contact Waters at TWaters2015@gmail.com

For more on ZERO and Us Too visit www.ZEROcancer.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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