Granholm Recognizes September As Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

September 1, 2006

Per a proclamation signed by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm in 2005, September is being recognized as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Prostate cancer continues to be the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Michigan men. In 2004, 967 men in the state died of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006, 800 Michigan men will die of the disease and 7,370 new cases will be diagnosed.

The causes of prostate cancer are unknown at this time; though, genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors are being investigated. The following are known risk factors for prostate cancer:

· Age: Prostate cancer is found most often in men older than age 50; 64 percent of Michigan men diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and 94 percent of deaths from prostate cancer in 2002 were in men 65 years of age or older.

· African Ancestry: African-American men are affected disproportionately by prostate cancer. The diagnosis of prostate cancer in African-American men in Michigan is 1.5 times that of white men, and the death rate is 2 times greater in African-American men than in white men.

· Family history of prostate cancer on either maternal or paternal side increases the likelihood of getting prostate cancer.

There may be no symptoms of prostate cancer. Today, early prostate cancer is most often found with a blood test, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), before the cancer has caused symptoms.

Prostate cancer is different from other cancers in that most cases are of the slow growing type that would never have caused problems. Therefore, each man must decide whether or not to get tested for prostate cancer, and if it is found, which treatment option to select based on the risk and benefits as informed by his values and preferences.

The Michigan Cancer Consortium has developed a decision aid to help men make informed decisions regarding treatment of early prostate cancer. Making the Choice: Deciding What to Do About Early Stage Prostate Cancer is available in booklet, audio, and web-based formats. To order the decision aids, free of charge to Michigan residents, please call1-800-249-0314 or visit

For more information about prostate cancer, please visit the prostate cancer information section on the MDCH website,