TYLER, Texas (KETK) — All month long in September, medical professionals are raising awareness about prostate cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in American men.

“It’s a slower-growing cancer. It doesn’t mean that you want to ignore it, it can cause problems it is still one of the highest cancer killers of men, but that is because it affects a lot of men,” said Dr. Mary Hebert, physician at Nacogdoches Medical Center, Laird Cancer Center.

Adding it affects so many men because the prostate grows throughout its lifetime. “So, if a cell is growing long enough, and it accumulates enough mistakes, it can turn into a cancer cell,” Dr. Hebert.

Dr. Hebert, a radiation oncologist at Nacogdoches Medical Center explained that early detection is key. By age 50, start making plans with your doctor. “Working with your primary care physician with a blood test called a baseline PSA and doing an exam to make sure the prostate feels normal,” said Hebert.

Advising men, to not be afraid to go get checked. “For prostate cancer our chance of cure is high. If we catch it when it’s just around the prostate area,” said Hebert.

Adding that early detection is crucial before the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. “It’s one of the things that we that we have good success with. So, you want to take good care of yourself, and you want to know what your status is,” said Hebert.

Another thing, men should consider is a nutritious diet. That means, avoiding saturated and processed fats. While other foods could actually help take care of your prostate’s health. 

“Lycopene, that’s a funny name but lycopene is in concentrated tomatoes, so Italian,” said Hebert. 

Suggesting dishes like lasagna and spaghetti.

Dr. Hebert says taking care of yourself overall prevents other cancers too. 

“That means eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, staying away from alcohol and smoking,” said Hebert.