33¢ Prostrate Cancer Awareness
Issue Date: May 28, 1999
City: Austin, TX
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11
Although the occurrence of prostate cancer is rare among men under age 50, experts speculate that most elderly men have at least traces of the disease. It often lies dormant for years, without causing symptoms. But once prostate cancer spreads, it is usually fatal. By issuing the “Prostate Cancer Awareness” stamp, the U.S. Postal Service hopes men are encouraged to discuss the disease with a physician during their annual checkup.
After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men. African-American men have the highest likelihood of developing the disease, which can spread to the bones, liver, lungs, and other organs if left undetected. Cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate can be cured. Fortunately, more than half of the cases are diagnosed in the early stages. Medical advances have increased the overall five-year survival rate from 50 percent to nearly 80 percent.
Research has found that a change in lifestyle, along with a diet filled with fruits and vegetables instead of fats, can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer 10 to 20 percent. Exercise and weight control are also beneficial. Lycopene, found abundantly in cooked tomatoes, may help ward off the disease as well. Early detection remains the best defense against prostate cancer.