Prostate Cancer is a serious disease characterized by a tumour-like growth in the prostate. In simpler words, it is the cancer of the prostate. For some people – who are not familiar with biology and its terms - there is need to further break down what we mean by “tumour-like growth” and “Prostate.”
The prostate is a gland that functions as part of the male reproductive system and excretory system through urination. It is positioned beneath the bladder and the urethra passes through it. As a part of the reproductive system, it produces seminal fluid – an alkaline, milky or white liquid, that forms part of the semen – and as a part of the excretory system, it positions the urethra longitudinally to receive waste from the bladder.
A tumour-like growth or cancer, in this case, is an abnormal cellular growth that can either be aggressive or benign. Cancerous cells grow at alarmingly fast rate than cells would normally grow. When this type of cell growth (which can be found in any cell of the body) is found in the prostate, it is called Prostate Cancer.
Causes of Prostate Cancer
There are a range of things suspected to cause prostate cancer. However, like every other types of cancer, the cause is unknown. Factors believed to have a hand in the occurrence (risk factors) of prostate cancer in an individual includes;
- Family history: An individual with history of cancer is at a high risk of having prostate cancer. Individuals with family of breast cancer and prostate cancer have an even higher probability of having prostate cancer.
- Older age: secretion from the prostate is regulated by the masculine hormone, testosterone. As an individual gets older, the level of testosterone he produces reduces. This reduction is more pronounced as age progresses, and this may give rise abnormal cell growths in the prostate. Men from the age of 50 and above are at a higher risk of having prostate cancer.
- Ethnicity: It is still unknown why a person’s race is significant in the probability of having prostate cancer. It doesn’t end there; it also affects how aggressive the cancer is. According to research, the black race is more likely to have aggressive prostate cancer than other races.
- Weight Issues: An individual dealing with obesity is more likely to have prostate cancer than people in the healthy body weight category. Despite the mixed results that exist between these groups of individuals, it is established that prostate cancer growth is more aggressive in obese people and when treated, it is more likely to return.
Warning Signs (Symptoms) of Prostate Cancer
Some prostate cancer may be non-aggressive and will present no symptom as a result. However, with the aggressive prostate cancers, you are bound to feel certain changes in certain area of your daily life.
It is important that you pay your doctor a visit once you start to feel any of the symptoms, we’ll be discussing below to ascertain what exactly is wrong with you. This is because some of these symptoms presented are also the same for some different deviation from normal health state.
Warning signs of prostate cancer manifests in three ways; urination, sexual problems, and pain and numbness.
Change in urination pattern as in the frequency of having the need to have a pee is an indication of a problem in the bladder or prostate.
It is also possible that the stream of urine while you’re urinating is slower than you used to experience. Make sure this slow urine stream has been consistent before you pay your doctor a visit.
Hematuria, that is bleeding while urinating, is another alarming warning sign.
The major sexual problem associated with the occurrence of prostate cancer is erectile dysfunction. This is a case where a man is unable to get his sexual organ erect or maintain an erection when it is erect. It might be as a result of an issue with the prostate.
Also, if you notice blood in your semen, contact your doctor immediately.
Pain and Numbness
When prostate cancer cells spread into areas other than where they started growing, they are most likely to spread to the bones. The introduction of this to the bones causes pain in the areas where they spread to such as the pelvis, back, chest, and even the spinal cord.
In an event that the spinal cord gets a portion of the cancer cells, numbness in the legs and bladder may kick in.
- Related: 3 Tips for Using a Prostate massager
Is Prostate Cancer Treatable?
The treatment of prostate cancer is possible. According to the American Cancer Society, there are various treatment options for prostate cancer. However, it is advisable that you discuss these options with your doctor before agreeing to undergo any of them.
Some important factors that determine the treatment that best fits you are:
- Your age
- Expected life span
- Stage and grade of your cancer
- Likelihood that the treatment will help with or cure the cancer
- How you feel about the side effects from each treatment
- Your feeling about treating the cancer right away
When you have discussed these factors with your doctor, here are some of the treatments available.
- Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
- Cryotherapy for prostate Cancer
- Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer
- Chemotherapy for Prostate Cancer
- Immunotherapy for prostate Cancer
- Targeted Therapy for Prostate Cancer.
Prostate cancer is majorly a disease found in men. This is not to say women do not have what is similar to prostate cancer, they do. However, the organ that bears similarity to the men’s prostate, the Skene’s gland, rarely has cancerous growths.
For men with prostate cancer, it is important to discuss extensively with your doctor on your treatment options and their side effects.
Also, individuals with high risk of getting prostate cancer should avoid exposure to lethal chemicals and use of supplements. Instead, live healthy by eating enough fruits and vegetables. Also, watch your body weight to reduce the risk of getting the cancer.
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