Prostate Cancer

While prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, if detected early, it can often be treated successfully. According to the American Cancer Society, one man in 36 will die of prostate cancer, while one man in 6 will get prostate cancer. The prostate gland, which is only found in men, is located below the bladder. The prostate’s main function is to produce a fluid that protects sperm.

There are more than two million American men who are prostate cancer survivors. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age; two out of every three prostate cancers are found in those over 65.

Other risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Ethnicity: Not only is prostate cancer more common in African-American men, but they are also more likely to die of the disease.
  • Family history: Genetics play a role in prostate cancer risk, and prostate cancer seems to run in families.
  • Obesity: Being overweight is linked with a greater risk of prostate cancer.
  • Smoking
  • Infection and inflammation of the prostate.
  • Diet: While studies are not conclusive, men who eat a lot of high-fat diary products and red meat seem to have a greater risk of prostate cancer.
  • Nationality: Prostate cancer is less common in Asia, Central and South America. While the reasons behind this are not clear, prostate cancer is most common in North America and northwestern Europe.

Early detection is vital, but prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms until its later stages, when it is more difficult to treat. This is why many doctors recommend a yearly prostate exam and cancer screening, which involves a blood test to determine the PSA (prostate-specific antigen test) level and a digital rectal exam. However, prostate cancer is usually slow-growing and is often confined to the prostate gland. Speak to your doctor about your family history, risk factors, and if a yearly prostate exam is recommended. Advanced prostate cancer may cause the following symptoms:

  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Bone pain
  • Difficulty urinating or maintaining a urine stream
  • Bone pain
  • Leg swelling

Treatment for prostate cancer may include radiation therapy, prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland), chemotherapy, cryosurgery (freezing the prostate tissue), or, if the cancer is growing slowly, immediate treatment may not be necessary. However, it is vital to speak with your doctor to determine which treatment plan is right for you.

Read more about Prostate Cancer on our Blog.

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