Prostate cancer is a disease in which cells in the prostate gland become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably, forming tumors.
Prostate cancer is a malignancy of one of the major male sex glands. Along with the testicles and the seminal vesicles, the prostate secretes the fluid that makes up semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and lies just behind the urinary bladder. A tumor in the prostate interferes with proper control of the bladder and normal sexual functioning. Often the first symptom of prostate cancer is difficulty in urinating. However, because a very common, non-cancerous condition of the prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also causes the same problem, difficulty in urination is not necessarily due to cancer.
Cancerous cells within the prostate itself are generally not deadly on their own. However, as the tumor grows, some of the cells break off and spread to other parts of the body through the lymph or the blood, a process known as metastasis. The most common sites for prostate cancer to metastasize are the seminal vesicles, the lymph nodes, the lungs, and various bones around the hips and the pelvic region. The effects of these new tumors are what can cause death.
As of the early 2000s, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy among adult males in Western countries. Although prostate cancer is often very slow growing, it can be aggressive, especially in younger men. Given its slow growing nature, many men with the disease die of other causes rather than from the cancer itself.
Prostate cancer affects African-American men twice as often as white men; the mortality rate among African-Americans is also two times higher. African-Americans have the highest rate of prostate cancer of any world population group.
Signs and symptoms for prostate cancer are:
- need to urinate often, especially at night
- intense need to urinate (urgency)
- difficulty in starting or stopping the urine flow
- inability to urinate
- weak, decreased or interrupted urine stream
- a sense of incompletely emptying the bladder
- burning or pain during urination
- blood in the urine or semen
- painful ejaculation
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
, the male hormone, does not cause prostate cancer but is known to feed its growth. Therefore, some prostate cancer treatments are aimed at blocking the body's production of testosterone.
AgeMen over age 50 are at risk for prostate cancer and risk increases with age. As studies into aging continue, scientists may find that the aging process produces biochemical reactions that contribute to abnormal cell growth. This is an area of intense research.
If a man's father or an older sibling has had prostate cancer, he is at increased risk. Also, African American men are at increased risk.
Scientists are looking at genes that may be responsible for inherited prostate cancer. The genes under investigation are called Hereditary Prostate Cancer Genes 1 and 2 (HPC1, HPC2) and HPCX.
It is not yet known to what degree these genes are responsible for prostate cancer. It may be that genetically acquired prostate cancer develops differently than cancer from other causes, but more research into this theory is needed.
Researchers are finding that genetic flaws are responsible for many cancers. Recent research has shown that a genetic defect may keep some men from developing a certain enzyme. This enzyme could mount a defense against cells vulnerable to cancer-causing agents in the environment.
Some studies have found that a diet high in animal fat may increase a man's risk for developing prostate cancer, while a diet high in fruits and vegetables (especially tomato-based products) may decrease the risk.
Discover which tests your doctor may perform to diagnose prostate cancer, treatments available such as radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy, as well as therapy used for advanced prostate cancer.
What are the five most important lifestyle choices you can make to lessen your risk of prostate cancer?
1.Maintain a Healthy Weight
2. Don’t Overindulge on Red Meat or Fatty Foods
3.Eat the Right Amount and Type of Fruits and Vegetables
5.Look Ahead to the Long-Term