Eight common misconceptions about prostate cancer

Ask a man about prostate cancer and you’re likely to get one of three reactions: awkward silence, or a few wisecracks, or random remarks based on a vague notion of what it is.

But one way to get men talking about this second-leading cause of cancer death in American men is to tell them what they think they know about this disease may be wrong.

When men have preconceived notions or misconceptions on this deadly disease, it does have an impact on a malady estimated to claim the lives of more than 26,000 men in the U.S. this year.

Here are eight common misconceptions about prostate cancer:

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Misconception No. 1: Only old men get prostate cancer

Prostate cancer does mainly occur in older men, with the average age at the time of diagnosis around age 66. The old saying goes “if a man lives long enough, he will develop prostate cancer.”

Yet, 1 in 38 men between ages 40 and 59 will develop prostate cancer. For the year 2016, it is estimated 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, with 35% of those diagnosed — more than 76,000 — under the age of 60.

Prostate cancer can and does develop in younger men and when it does, it is often more aggressive and deadly.

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