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September important cancer awareness month for senior men and women

Runner and prostate cancer survivor Jeph Abara is pictured at River Legacy Park on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Abara was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, but continues to organize races that raise thousands of dollars a year for local charities.
Runner and prostate cancer survivor Jeph Abara is pictured at River Legacy Park on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Abara was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, but continues to organize races that raise thousands of dollars a year for local charities. TNS

For many seniors, the month of September brings about hope for cooler temperatures and the beginning of fall, as well as the start of football season.

But September also has been dedicated as an awareness month for two types of cancer that are prevalent in seniors over 50. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month as well as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

According to Ovarian Cancer.org, the highest rates of ovarian cancer appear in women between the ages of 55-64. The median death age for ovarian cancer is 70, but it has a survival rate of 46 percent.

Other risk factors for ovarian cancer besides age include obesity, use of some fertility drugs, hormone therapy and family history of cancer.

One of the main ways to decrease ovarian cancer is by having a hysterectomy or having a surgery where the ovaries are removed.

Ovarian cancer can be detected in a variety of ways including a physical exam, ultrasound and blood tests.

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, with about 2 million men diagnosed with the cancer annually. The chances of being diagnosed increase with age from a 1-in-38 chance for men 40-59 and a 1-in-14 chance for men over 60. About six cases in 10 of the cancer are diagnosed in men over 65. The average age of diagnosis is 66.

Although prostate cancer is the second deadliest cancer in men, it also has a large recovery rate.

Early detection of prostate cancer may be the best bet for beating the disease.

Prostate cancer can be detected by both a blood test and examination of the prostate gland.

While early stages of the cancer may have little or no signs, men with symptoms that include trouble urinating, blood in urine or semen and weakness or numbness in the legs and loss of bladder control should consult their physician to discuss having as prostate examination.

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