What is Prostate Cancer? – Finding out the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Methods of Prostate Cancer

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Impact your lifestyle? Are you aware of the symptoms, causes, and risk factors associated with prostate cancer? If not, continue reading this guide. Here, we will let you share all the helpful information you need to know about prostate cancer. So, continue reading this guide until the end to enhance your learning about prostate cancer.

What is Prostate?

The prostate is a tiny walnut-shaped gland in males and people assigned male at birth (AMAB). It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. 

This gland is part of the reproductive system in men and is responsible for producing the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. The prostate secretes fluid that mixes with the semen, keeping sperm healthy for conception and pregnancy.

What is Prostate Cancer?

The cancer that occurs in the prostate is known as the prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the very common types of cancer. Usually, prostate cancers grow slowly and are confined to the prostate gland. They do not cause serious harm and may need minimal treatment. However, some types of prostate cancer can spread quickly and can cause serious harm.

If detected early (when the cancer is confined to the prostate gland), prostate cancer has the best chance of most successful treatment.

Is Prostate Cancer Common?

Prostate cancer is a common health complication. It is the second most common cancer (the first being skin cancer) affecting men and people AMAB. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of 100 people with prostates, 13 develop prostate cancers at some point in their lives. Surveys suggest that nearly 34000 people in the US die from prostate cancer each year.

Reposts also suggest that around 1 in 8 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. However, because of the slow progression of prostate cancer and effective treatment options available, only 1 in 41 of these people will die because of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Initially, prostate cancer may not show any signs or symptoms. However, once the condition worsens, the sufferer may experience the following symptoms.

  • Difficulty while urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine (weak urine flow)
  • Experiencing pain or burning when you pee
  • Blooding coming out while urinating
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Blood in the semen
  • Erectile dysfunction

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not delay booking an appointment with the doctor.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

The exact reasons for prostate cancer aren’t known. However, doctors claim that it originates when the cells in the prostate develop changes in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains instructions and tells the cell what to do. The changes tell the cell to grow and divide rapidly. Resultantly, abnormal cells grow and continue living while the cells die.

This accumulation of abnormal cells forms a tumour which may grow and invade nearby tissue. Meanwhile, some abnormal cells break away and spread to other parts of the body.

Fortunately, prostate cancer grows slowly. In most cases, tumours are diagnosed before cancer spreads beyond the prostate. 

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Screenings can help in catching prostate cancer early. If you are from an average-risk group, you will have your first screening test at the age of 55. However, if you are from a high-risk group, you might have to go for screenings earlier. Screening stops after the age of 70. 

If screenings diagnose that you have prostate cancer, you will have to go through additional tests discussed below.

  • Digital Rectal Exam

In this test, the provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum and feels your prostate gland. Bumps or hard areas indicate prostate cancer.

  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test

The prostate gland makes a protein called PSA (protein-specific antigen). Higher levels of PSA indicate prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate cancer treatment depends on various factors. The best prostate cancer treatment in the world method chosen varies for each individual. So, you have to discuss your condition and medical history with the doctor, who will devise the treatment method accordingly. Some common treatment methods are discussed below.

  • Surveillance

Before suggesting a treatment method, your healthcare provider monitors your condition and monitors the spread of cancer. Several screenings, biopsies, and scans are performed to monitor cancer growth. If the condition worsens, the healthcare professional decides to start treatment.

  • Surgery

This treatment method relies on removing the diseased prostate gland. This procedure often eliminates prostate cancers that haven’t spread.

  • Radiation Therapy

The patient may be advised radiation therapy as a standalone treatment or sometimes in combination with other treatment methods. Radiation therapy also provides symptom relief.

Risk Factors

Here are the factors that are responsible for developing prostate cancer.

  • Age

The risk of prostate cancer increases as you age. It is pretty common for people aged 50+.

  • Race & Ethnicity

Black people have a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer than people of all other races. The reasons for this are not known. Also, prostate cancer is more advanced and aggressive in Black people.

  • Family History

The probability of developing prostate cancer increases significantly if any of your parent, sibling, or child has been diagnosed with this disease. Furthermore, if you come from a family with a genetic history that increases the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or have a history of breast cancer, your risk of developing prostate cancer increases.

  • Obesity

Obesity significantly increases the risk of prostate cancer. People who are obese are at a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer compared to others. Furthermore, prostate cancer is likely to be more aggressive and might return after initial treatment in obese people.

Complications Associated with Prostate Cancer

Complications of prostate cancer include:

  • Metastasizes – Cancer that Spreads

Prostate cancer may spread from the prostate gland to the nearby organs such as your bladder. It may also travel to your lymphatic system, bones or other organs through the bloodstream.

Prostate cancer that reaches the bones causes severe pain and broken bones. Once prostate cancer spreads to other areas of the body, it may respond to treatment and may be controlled but might not be cured.

  • Incontinence

Prostate cancer and its treatment may cause urinary incontinence. Its treatment depends on the severity, and treatment options include medications, surgery, and catheters.

  • Erectile Dysfunction

ED can result from prostate cancer or its treatment, such as surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy. However, several medications and vacuum devices that assist in achieving erection and surgery are possible treatment options for ED.

Prostate Cancer Prevention

You can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by taking the following preventive measures.

  • Consume Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and fresh vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that improve your health. So, fruits and vegetables must be a part of your daily routine. There is no conclusive evidence that fruits and vegetables improve prostate cancer; however, they can surely improve your health and minimize the risk of making the condition worse.

  • Avoid Supplements

There is no conclusive evidence that supplements reduce the risk of prostate cancer. So, instead of choosing supplements, choose healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals so that you can maintain healthy levels of nutrients in your body.

  • Regular Exercise

Exercise offers countless health benefits, including improving overall health and mood, helping you maintain weight, and much more. Develop a habit of exercising regularly, as it can minimize the risk of prostate cancer by improving overall health.

  • Avoid Weight Gain

If your current weight is healthy, add several exercises with a healthy diet to your routine to maintain a healthy weight. Similarly, if you are obese, you must focus on losing weight by adding exercises to your daily routine and reducing the number of calories you consume each day. You can consult a doctor for a proper weight loss plan.

  • Stay in Touch with Your Doctor

If you are at risk of developing prostate cancer, always stay in touch with your doctor. The doctor may recommend several medications to reduce the risk of prostate cancer for your particular case. So, discuss all your symptoms and medical history with your healthcare specialist.

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