Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know About It

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Prostate Cancer is one of the most prevalent health issues of men worldwide. According to the doctors, there is a chance that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer. The prostate is a small gland positioned in the lower abdomen under the bladder. 

When there is an abnormal growth of cells in the gland, it’s known as prostate cancer. You should be aware of prostate cancer causes and treatments. If caught at the proper time, it is very much treatable. 

Causes of Prostate Cancer

Researchers are not quite sure about the prostate cancer causes. It generally occurs when a particular change occurs in the glandular cells, which results in the abnormal growth of harmful cells. These accumulating cells form a tumor that may spread to other tissues, metastasizing to other body parts. 

 What are prostate cancer risk factors?

  • Age: – The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, especially for men above 50 years old. 
  • Genetics: – If you have a blood relative who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, there is likely a chance that you may have it too. Inherited features which cause changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes usually increase your risk.
  • Obesity: – Studies suggest that people who are obese have a higher chance of prostate cancer compared to fit people. 

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

In the early stages of it, there are often no symptoms shown, and only screening can detect the presence of cancer.

Advanced stages of prostate cancer may cause symptoms such as: –

  1. Difficulty in maintaining urination
  2. Frequent urge to urinate
  3. Blood in the urine or semen
  4. Bone pain in the backs, hips, or pelvis

But most men don’t have it, and often getting tested is the only way of understanding its existence. Screening is one of the tests which consists of a digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA). Nowadays, prostate MRI is conducted, which is a way to detect cancerous cells that are likely to cause harm.

Treatment

Depending upon the stage of cancer, treatments are conducted, but it’s better to also know that various treatment options are applicable irrespective of the stage.

Early-stage

In the early stage of prostate cancer, the doctor is likely to recommend the following steps: – 

  • Careful observation: – As prostate cancer grows slowly, the doctor may just check your PSA blood level without taking any immediate action. Sometimes, the risk of side effects because of the treatment outweighs the necessity for treatment.
  • Surgery: – To remove the tumor, the surgeon may perform: –
  1. Radical prostatectomy, where along with the prostate, the surrounding tissues, nearby lymph nodes, and the seminal vesicles are removed. It is done using either open or robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. 
  2. Radiation Therapy where radiation is used to remove or stop the growth of cancer. External radiation therapy is one of the methods where a machine is used outside the body to send radiation to cancerous cells. Conformal radiation therapy uses a computer to locate the exact area, thereby reducing the chances of exposure to healthy tissues and allowing a larger dose of radiation to reach the affected part.
  3. Internal radiation therapy, also known as brachytherapy, is where radioactive seeds are implanted near the prostate of the patient. A surgeon uses scans such as ultrasounds to help in placing the radioactive substance carefully.

Advanced stage 

With the growth of cancer, it can spread to your entire body. In this case, or if cancer comes back even after treatment, the methods hence applied are much more aggressive: 

  • Chemotherapy: – Here, drugs are used to stop the growth of cancerous cells, but on the other hand, it has a lot of adverse side effects.
  • Immunotherapy: – In this technique, the body’s immune system is used to fight against cancer. Scientists may use the products your body produces naturally or may create those artificially to boost your body’s natural defenses and help fight against cancer. 
  • Hormonal therapy: – Sometimes, reducing or blocking the production of male hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone delay the growth of cancer cells. One way to accomplish it is to remove the testicles; sometimes, drugs can also be used.

Effect of prostate cancer on fertility

The prostate gland is necessary for reproduction, and prostate cancer can affect this ability. The different treatments of prostate cancer affect the reproductive system. If anyone would like to have children after treatment, they must discuss this with their doctor because there is no guarantee whether they will be fertile after the treatment. 

Prevention

Even though it’s not very clear about the prostate cancer causes, there are ways with which you can try to prevent it. Some of these are listed below: –

  • Maintain a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. They contain many vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to your overall health.
  • Exercise regularly. It will help you in maintaining a proper weight and improving your mood. Good exercise routines are a general remedy to a lot of different diseases.

Conclusion

If you have a higher chance of prostate cancer may be because of hereditary or blood relations, consult with your doctor. There are medications and drugs available that may reduce the risk.

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