Prostate cancer affects men mainly at the age of above 50 years. Studies show that during the lifetime of men, 1 man out of 7 is diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although it is ranked as a serious disease, which of course it is, most men diagnosed early with it do not die.
There are numerous negative effects of prostate cancer ranging from the cancer itself, medication, surgery, and other treatments. To understand the effects prostate cancer has on the body, it is important to first understand what it is.
Prostate Cancer: What is It?
It is a type of cancer that affects the prostate gland. It is the most common type of cancer in men. If not treated earlier, it can also spread to other tissues and organs near the prostate gland. This cancer starts when the cells in the prostate gland multiply uncontrollably.
There are different types of prostate cancer including, but not limited to sarcomas, neuroendocrine tumors, and adenocarcinomas, which is the most common.
Prostate Cancer: What are the Risk Factors?
A risk factor is anything that increases* your chances of developing a certain disease and in this case prostate cancer. They can range from things that you have control over them to those that you cannot change.
Here are some of the risk factors for prostate cancer:
- Age – Chances of developing prostate cancer increases* with the increase* in age.
- Exercise – Those who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Race – Black men have a greater risk of prostate cancer as compared to men of other race. The reasons for this are not yet defined.
- Family history – Studies show that having a male relative with prostate cancer or female relative with breast cancer increases* your risk of developing this condition.
- Genetic changes
- Diet – Studies show that a diet with high content of calcium increases* your risk of developing this condition.
How the Body is Affected by Prostate Cancer?
This type of cancer affects the body through the growth of the prostate gland. This affects the urinary system or even invades the bladder causing bleeding or kidney failure. The prostate wraps around the urethra thus affecting urination. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder.
This leads to urinary incontinent, pain while urinating, dribbling or hesitation during urination, blood in urine, difficulties in controlling your urine stream, and frequent urge to urinate.
Other negative effects of prostate cancer include pain in the abdomen, back, and bones, lethargy, weight loss*, and anemia. Its spread affects the functionality of other body organs. Let’s look at what organs are affected by prostate cancer.
Which Organs are Affected by Prostate Cancer?
Primarily prostate cancer affects the prostate gland. As the condition gets worse, the gland fails to accomplish its functions. Since the cells are multiplying uncontrollably, it tends to spread to other body organs, especially when left unchecked. Keep reading to know the organs at risk of being affected by prostate cancer.
What Organs are Affected by Prostate Cancer?
- Urethra – The enlargement of prostate causes the urethra to swell and shut down. These results to various complications in your urinary system such as difficulties in emptying the bladder, bloody urine, pain while urinating, frequent urge to urinate, and erectile dysfunctions as well.Lymph nodes close to prostate gland swells as a result of cancer.
- Bones – The pelvis bone is severely affected. Other bones affected are hips, thighs, ribs, and lower back region.
- Blood – The cancerous cells in blood are able to travel to the entire body and affect any part they want.
- Brain – Some types of the prostate are aggressive and can even affect the brain. These forms of prostate carcinoma are hard to treat* and are hardly noticeable.
What are the Treatments for Prostate Cancer?
There are negative effects of prostate cancer treatment that mainly depend on the type of therapy. The good thing is that there are steps that you can take to manage these side effects.
It is always important to talk to your doctor about these side effects to help you manage them in the right way. Here are some of the negative side effects of prostate cancer treatment based on the procedure:
There are various medicines used to lower the level of testosterone, which, in turns, lowers the prostate cancer growth as well as prevent its spread. Some of the side effects of this treatment are vomiting, bone loss, impotence, liver problems, breast enlargement, and hot flashes. These effects are reversible after stopping the medications.
Surgical removal of prostate destroys the cancer cells. Each type of surgical procedure has its own side effects such as cryosurgery leads to nerve damage. Some of the side effects are permanent while others are temporary.
Typical effects of radiation include diarrhea, pelvic hair loss, painful urination, skin redness and tenderness, impotence, bowel and bladder problems, and frequent need to urinate. Some of the symptoms such as those affecting the urinary system improve* over time.
This leads to pain and stiffness in the lower back, hips, and thighs.
What are the Other Side Effects of Prostate Cancer?
- Weight gain – This is caused by various treatments aimed at reducing* the level of testosterone.
- Change in cholesterol levels – It is affected by numerous treatments used to reduce* testosterone levels.
- Breast pain and enlargement – Adaptogen therapy increase* the sensitivity, pain, and size of your breast.
- Dry skin – External beam radiation may cause redness, dryness, and tenderness on your skin.
- Muscle weakness and pain
- Depression and mood changes
- Trouble in concentration or remembering
- Hair changes
How to Prevent Prostate Cancer?
There are various ways in which you can lower the risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes taking plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy food, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight among others.
Read Next: How To Detect Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer, just like any other type of cancer, is a condition that everyone would like to avoid.Its effects are unbearable and if not discovered and treated at an early stage it can lead to death.Luckily, by understanding the condition and risk factors, you can avoid this deadly disease and the effects that come along with it.
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