The month of September has been designated prostate cancer awareness month in an effort to sensitise men on the dreadful sickness which is the third leading type of cancer in Guyana.Among the plans to raise awareness during the month of September, the Guyana Cancer Foundation will host a number of outreaches across the country.President of the Foundation, Bibi Hassan disclosed that some 25 outreaches have already been held for the year, as the non-governmental organisation (NGO) continues in its quest to decrease the number of cancer related deaths nationally.According to her, prostate cancer is the third leading type of cancer in the country. During some of the outreaches the Foundation conducted, several persons were referred to hospitals, due to the severity of their condition.“The prostate cancer screening, you got to do the screening – the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) testing (because) we don’t do the actual physical check-up anymore because that has moved off now. (In this new process) you just draw the blood and you do it at the lab,” she stated.She hinted that plans are being finalised to conduct advanced screening for men, even as the country joins in observing prostate cancer month.According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data published in 2017, prostate cancer deaths in Guyana reached 89 or 1.54 per cent of total deaths. The age adjusted death rate is 44.40 per 100,000 of population ranks Guyana at number 13 in the world.A report from the Public Health Ministry back in 2014 showed that cancer was the third leading cause of mortality in Guyana with Ischemic Heart Diseases coming at second and Cerebrovascular Diseases at number one. Prostate, breast, lung and cervical cancers are the main categories affecting the Guyanese population.According to the Government Information Agency, the report shows that during the period of 2004-2011, over 3400 persons died from various forms of cancer, with the largest number of deaths being 621 in 2011.Prostate cancer is also the most common type of cancer in the United States as well as Canada. According to statistics, one in every seven Canadian men will be diagnosed in their lifetime.This type of cancer occurs in the prostate – a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.It is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.When this type of cancer is detected early, or while it is still confined to the prostate gland, it has a better chance of successful treatment.While it may show little or no symptoms in its early stages, trouble urinating, blood in semen and erectile dysfunction are a few of the serious warning signs men experience.Doctors say prostate cancer begins when some cells in the prostate becomes abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells do. The abnormal cells continue living, when other cells would die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumour that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can also break off and spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body.The disease can be prevented by simply maintaining an exercise routine as well as eating lots of fruits and vegetables.