The prostate is a gland found in men located in front of the rectum and below the bladder. It is about the size of a walnut and encircles the urethra, where seminal fluid and urine pass through the penis.
Prostate Cancer is a disease that affects this gland with abnormal cell growth that eventually develops into a tumor. The condition is among the most common cancers to affect American men. The mass may be malignant or benign, and it can grow very slowly over many years without causing any symptoms. This cancer is unique in that it does not always spread to other areas of the body.
Often diagnosed in the later stages, indications of prostate cancer may include:
It is important to remember that numerous noncancerous conditions, such as BPH and urinary infections, can create similar symptoms. Likewise, some men may not experience any of these. The best way to know for certain is to be tested.
If the cancer has spread elsewhere, patients might notice:
Just like other types of cancer, the specific cause of prostate cancer is not known. However, researchers have identified some risk factors and are trying to learn more on how they cause prostate cancer.
In most cases, prostate cancer has multiple factors causing it. These factors include exposure to radiation or other environmental toxins, as well as genetics.
Changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell partly causes prostate cancer. Any mutations or changes in genetic material lead to the growth of cancerous cells. The mutations cause prostate cells to begin growing abnormally and uncontrollably. Eventually, a tumor develops in that area.
Depending on the aggression of the prostate cancer, the tumor may metastasize or shift to another location. Some of these gene mutations are hereditary while others are naturally acquired.
Options vary depending on several factors: location and size of the tumor, the patient’s overall health, and if the cancer has spread.
If caught early, close monitoring may be recommended with treatment beginning if there are indications of the cancer beginning to spread, blocking the urinary tract, or causing pain.In other cases, treatment may include hormone therapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. For later-stage tumors, chemotherapy and vaccine therapy might also be used.
No certain way of preventing prostate cancer has emerged. The existing risk factors such as age, race, and family background cannot be controlled. However, doctors advise men at potential risk to make abstemious healthy choices that will benefit them.