Prostate cancer; What you should know

Prostate cancer; What you should know

Cancer is becoming a common disease nowadays. There are many organs of the body that can be affected by cancer. Among the leading reported cases of cancer is the prostate cancer. The prostate is a gland which secretes fluids and other secretions that are used outside the body hence referred to as an exocrine gland. The main work of the prostate is providing fluid for nourishing and transporting sperms for fertilizing the ovum. It works by contracting in order to force the semen out through the penis when the male is undergoing orgasm. The prostate is also responsible for controlling urine by tightening or releasing the muscles so as to control the urine flow.

Early signs of the cancer

Among the early signs of this cancer is having excess prostate-specific antigen in blood. The other signs include changes in the size of the cells of the prostate gland. Some of these signs may take very long before they manifest. Early symptoms of the cancer are frequent urination urges, bloody urine, painful urination and ejaculation and difficulty becoming and maintaining an erection.
For advanced stages of the cancer, symptoms include pain in bones especially ribs, the pelvis, and the spine as well. The cancer may also spread to the spine causing weakness in legs and difficulty containing urine and fecal matter.

Factors putting one at risk of prostate cancer

Age

As one becomes older, their chances of getting this cancer increase especially for those above forty-five years. It is less likely to occur in males under forty-five years.

Genetics

Some people having a certain gene may be at higher risk of getting the cancer. One is more likely to develop the cancer if their identical twin has the cancer. Alternatively, if one has a brother with cancer, they are more at risk than if it is their father who had it.

Diet

Too much of red meat in the diet or dairy products high in fat are also considered risk factors.

Medication

There have been claims that some drugs like the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have increased chances of developing the cancer. These claims have however not been confirmed.

Obesity

There are many other risks that come with being obese. Among them is prostate cancer where further research has shown that there are increased chances of death if the cancer goes to the advanced stages when one is obese.

Agent Orange

This was a chemical weapon that was used way back during the war in Vietnam. Exposure to this agent has been linked to other different types of cancers.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is done by doing a physical examination and scanning of images which track the cancer. The doctor may also order blood tests to examine the high PSA levels in the blood.
Other tests include a DRE which is a digital rectal examination meant to find out if there are any other abnormalities of the prostate. A biomarker test is also done to check if there are any other cancerous cells in blood, urine and also tissues.

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Treatment

The major form of treatment is by chemotherapy which aims at destroying the cancer cells and avoid their replication. The other treatments include removing the prostate by radical prostatectomy among other procedures done.