Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Know its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Prostate cancer is cancer occurs in the prostate, which is a small gland that sits below the bladder near the rectum. It occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate and continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way. The cancer sometimes spreads outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.
The prostate surrounds the urethra, the passage in the penis through which urine and semen pass. The gland is a part of the male reproductive system. The small walnut-shaped gland in men produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports the sperm. The prostate needs the male hormone testosterone to grow and develop.
Generally, prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease as a majority of men with low-grade prostate cancer live for many years without symptoms. However, a high-grade disease spreads quickly and can be lethal.
In its early stages, prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms at all. However, the disease may be discovered early with regular digital rectal exams or prostate-specific antigen tests. A prostate cancer that is more advanced might shows signs and symptoms which include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Trouble urinating and bone pain
Who gets affected by Prostate Cancer the most?
It is very rare that men younger than 40 get diagnosed with prostate cancer. But, understanding whether these changes are signs of a prostate tumor and knowing your risk for developing prostate cancer are important steps in protecting your health.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the average age when prostate cancer happens is 66 and the average age when death is recorded highest is 80.
Also, the risk of prostate cancer is 74 percent higher in African-American men than in non-Hispanic Caucasian men. Men with family history prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease.
So, What causes Prostate Cancer
Although it’s not crystal-clear what causes prostate cancer, doctors say it begins when some cells in the prostate become abnormal. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow and invade nearby tissues. Some abnormal cells can also break off and spread to other parts of the body. Some of the factors that can increase your risk of prostate cancer include:
- Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with growing age.
- Family history: If your family has had a history of prostate cancer, you are at risk. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
- Obesity: Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer maybe more likely to have advanced disease that’s more difficult to treat.
- Race: Black men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.
Complications of prostate cancer:
- Urinary incontinence: Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Treatment for incontinence depends on the type of condition. And the likelihoods are it will improve over time. Treatment options may include medications, catheters, and surgery.
- Erectile dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction can result from prostate cancer or its treatment, including surgery, radiation or hormone treatments. Medications, vacuum devices that assist in achieving erection and surgery are available to treat erectile dysfunction.
- Spread to nearby organs: Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs or travel through your bloodstream or lymphatic system to your bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain and broken bones. Once prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body, it may still respond to treatment and may be controlled, but it’s unlikely to be cured.
- Fewer calories: Eat fewer calories or exercise more so that you maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce the fat: Try to keep the amount of fat you get from red meat and dairy products to a minimum.
- Calcium intake: Watch your calcium intake. Do not take supplemental doses far above the recommended daily allowance. Some calcium is OK, but avoid taking more than 1,500 mg of calcium a day.
- More fish: Eat more fish –several studies suggest that fish can help protect against prostate cancer because they have “good fat” particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid trans-fatty acids.
- Tomatoes: Try to incorporate cooked tomatoes cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower) into your meals. Soy and green tea are also potential dietary components that may be helpful.
- Say no to smoking: Avoid smoking for many reasons. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
- Chronic diseases management: Seek medical treatment for stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression. Treating these conditions may save your life and will improve your survivorship with prostate cancer
- Avoid over-supplementation: Say no to over-supplementation with megavitamins. Too many vitamins, especially folate, may aggravate the cancer. A multivitamin course is not likely to be harmful if you follow a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.
- Yearly examination: Although living a healthy lifestyle and eating right are always good for you, they will not eliminate the risk of prostate cancer. Nor will they cure you from prostate cancer, if you have been diagnosed with the condition. So, it is desirable that you should consider a yearly rectal examination and PSA test. If the report is positive, discuss the risks and other related factors with your doctor.
- Prostate Cancer is the cancer of Prostate Glands
- The patient diagnosed with the disease, may experience erectile dysfunction, pain white urinating, and blood in urine and semen
- Decreased force of urine is also a symptom of prostate cancer
- Men with a family history of prostate and breast cancer are more likely to suffer from the disease
- The treatment for prostate cancer is available
- With healthy lifestyle and precautions, the possibilities of prostate cancer can be decreased
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