What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is considered a type of cancer that has very high mortality rate. To understand the dangers of prostate cancer, first, you must understand how the cancer cells grow and what caused it.
What is The Prostate?
There is a small gland that resembles a walnut with a similar size. It is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra.
The prostate gland produces the semen fluid and proteins, and it also enriches the sperm. The cells inside the prostate gland keep on growing as men age.
What is Prostate Cancer?
When these cells keep on growing uncontrollably, they can create a tumour that can spread to nearby organs and even bones.
Prostate cancer is slow growing, and it is often diagnosed too late as most symptoms can easily be dismissed as trivial.
Because prostate cancer is slow growing and is found in the cells from the prostate gland, older men are more prone to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. According to research from King Saud University in 2018, the highest incidence rate of prostate cancer in the Middle East starts from Egypt, followed by Algeria, Lebanon, and then Saudi Arabia.
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
During the early stages of prostate cancer, there are little to none consistent symptoms.
However, the most common symptoms of prostate cancer are as follows:
- Trouble urinating
- A sudden urge to urinate
- Blood in the urine and semen
- Major discomfort in the rectal or pelvic region
- Persistent pain in the lower back, thighs, or hips
If you are experiencing one of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult with medical professionals and have a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test scheduled.
The PSA screenings measure the amount of protein produced by the prostate gland. It is usually measured through a blood test. However, older men around 50 years old or above, usually a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) is conducted through an ultrasound. It is done to determine the presence of a tumour in the prostate gland.
Depending on the results, medical experts will generally suggest a biopsy if previous test results are concerning.
It is also essential to understand your family medical history as most cancers are hereditary, especially prostate cancer. Those whose father is diagnosed with prostate cancer are twice as likely to be similarly diagnosed with prostate cancer.
How to Treat Prostate Cancer?
Does prostate cancer always lead to death? The answer is no. If diagnosed at an early stage, prostate cancer is 100% curable.
Although it is most likely visible in men of age between 50 years old to 65 years old, it is recommended for younger men to get PSA screenings or rectal check regularly every ten years.
There are a few treatments done to treat prostate cancer. These treatments are:
- Radical Prostatectomy – the removal of the prostate gland
- Radiation – which uses radiation energy to kill the cancer cells
- Chemotherapy – relies on chemical substances to kill cancer cells
- Hormone therapy
- Brachytherapy – uses radioactive seeds to shrink the tumour
- Cryosurgery – freezes the tissue to kill cancer cells
- Ultrasound therapy
What to do to Prevent Prostate Cancer?
The most apparent and foremost prevention step to reduce the risk of prostate cancer is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Dietary choices can also help with prevention. For example, eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help reduce the risk of cancer. Additionally, higher coffee intake, cutting down on cigarettes, and exercising can significantly help.
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