For most men, September is a month circled on the calendar.

For starters, it marks the start of football season.

In Louisiana, it’s also the time men begin preparing for the upcoming hunting seasons.

But September should be important to men for a far more serious reason. It could save their lives.
September is National Prostate Awareness month. While most men likely have an acute awareness of other types of cancer, prostate cancer is actually the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 6 men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The PCF says a man is 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a woman is to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Estimates show more than two million men in the United States are living with prostate cancer, and a new case occurs every 2.4 minutes.

“When to start screening is generally based on individual risk, with age 40 being a reasonable time to state screening those at highest risk,” says Karen Hathorn, RN MSN, Director of Oncology Services at Rapides Regional Medical Center. “For otherwise healthy men at high risk, starting at age 40-45 is reasonable.

“But this is a conversation you need to have with your personal physician.”

Considered high risk are those men with a history of prostate cancer in their families.

The home page of Rapides Regional Medical Center’s website,, contains an online quiz to help men identify their risks for prostate cancer.

For more information, contact your family physician, or call the Education Department at Rapides Regional at (318) 769-4027.