September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is here, and that means it’s time to spread awareness of prostate cancer. Each September, health professionals observe Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (and Urology Awareness Month). The goal of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is to spread awareness, not only about prostate cancer but also about prostate health and wellness. Of all the different types of cancers that affect men, prostate cancer is considered the most invasive. Every year, roughly 175,000 men are diagnosed with this form of cancer, and an estimated 31,600 perish as a result of the disease.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The History of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Behind skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men in America. The first treatment of this type of cancer was performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1904. Hugh Hampton performed the treatment, which involved the surgical removal of the prostate of a man who became diseased with cancer. The surgical removal of the prostate is known as a prostatectomy.

Moving forward, treatments evolved and advanced, and by the year 1912, medical doctors started to implant radium directly into the prostate to treat cancer. Fast forward to the year 1947, doctors began utilizing different types of surgical techniques to remove prostates of men that were diseased with prostate cancer. In 1962, megavoltage radiation was introduced as a treatment for prostate cancer. However, megavoltage radiation was only used on patients whose cancer has not spread outside of the prostate gland.

In 1966, a grading system was developed to aid doctors and patients in determining the risk of prostate cancer; whether it was low-risk, intermediate-risk, or high-risk. This system was known as the Gleason grading system. By 1977, a combination of hormone therapy and radiation had become the standard and most widely used treatment for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer research and treatments continued to evolve, and by the turn of the century, the first-ever robot-assisted surgical procedure was performed to remove the prostate gland of a man with prostate cancer. The robot-assisted surgical procedure was considered more accurate, as it allowed surgeons to see the prostate gland in 3D.

By the year 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever therapeutic cancer vaccine. It’s claimed that this vaccine improved the survival rate of men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, this has not been confirmed, as the evidence is conflicting.

A Timeline of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The following is an overview of the timeline of prostate cancer awareness month.

1904 - The First Treatment of Prostate Cancer

In 1904, the first treatment of prostate cancer was performed. This treatment involved the surgical removal of a man’s prostate that was diseased with cancer. This surgical procedure is known as a “prostatectomy”. It was performed by Hugh Hampton Young at Johns Hopkins University.

1962 - Megavoltage Radiation was Introduced

In 1962, megavoltage radiation was employed to treat prostate cancer in men who were diagnosed with the disease, but the disease had not yet spread past the prostate gland.

1997 - Prostate Cancer Treatment Evolved

The standard treatment for prostate cancer became a combination of radiation and hormone therapy by the year 1997.

2010 - First Cancer Vaccine Approved

By the year 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever therapeutic cancer vaccine. It is said that the therapeutic cancer vaccine helped to improve the lifespan of men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, the findings vary and this has not been confirmed.

Ways to Spread Awareness During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Whether you know someone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, has passed away, or has beat prostate cancer, if you’re looking for ways to spread awareness this September, here are a few different options to consider:

  • Wear a prostate cancer awareness ribbon. The ribbon color for this type of cancer is light blue
  • Participate in a walk that raises funds for cancer research. You can either join a walk that has already been organized, or you can plan your own walk.
  • Spread awareness using flyers and pamphlets that highlight key factors that pertain to prostate cancer, including signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for, and ways to protect yourself from developing this condition
  • Donate funds to a prostate cancer group or to a cancer foundation

Related Articles:

Signals of Prostate Cancer and Advanced Treatment

Using Biopsy to Detect Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Requires Lifelong Monitoring

Why A PSA Test For Prostate Cancer Is Important?

Additional Information:

Prostate Cancer in Nebraska - Nebraska Cancer Registry

State Cancer Profiles - National Cancer Institute


The attentive, compassionate physicians, providers, and staff at Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology are committed to providing innovative, quality patient care in our state-of-the-art facility.

From screening and prevention to treatment and recovery, our health professionals will be there for you. Our team of dedicated physicians has been serving residents of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota for more than 25 years.

Contact us today