Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments For Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

The prostate is an organ that sits under the bladder. It is only found in men and is the size of a walnut. It is a part of the reproductive system and its main function is to produce semen which provides nutrients for the sperms as they both exit the penis during intercourse. Semen also allows sperm to survive in foreign areas, like the vagina. Some of the prostate cancer causes are inevitable like when it is caused by age and genetics. However, men can try and have a healthy diet and exercise frequently to reduce* the chances of prostate cancer occurring.

Problems develop when the prostate becomes inflamed. Passing urine with an inflamed prostate can be painful. The resulting bloated bladder means that toxic cells in the urine stay in the body for too long. But how does cancer develop? When abnormal cells multiply in growth, they can develop into tumors. Benign tumors may simply continue to give harmless, but problematic issues with the prostate, while malignant tumors pose a much more serious threat. What makes malign cells so lethal is that they can spread, making a stationary cancer more metastatic.

Middle aged men over 45 are most prone to prostate cancer. Nearly 233,000 men in 2014 alone have already been diagnosed; of these men, nearly 30,000 of them will die. 40,000 new cases are presented in the UK alone every year.

What Are The Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

At times, men don’t see symptoms of prostate cancer right away. Other times, they could be suffering from what they believe is something else, but it is actually the beginning signs to prostate cancer. Painful and frequent urination is the most obvious sign, but it can be attributed to an infection. Moreover, the swollen prostate keeps urine from passing so the bladder feels like it’s full. Numbness in the muscles and joints, especially around the groin, are also signs of prostate cancer. The symptoms of prostate cancer can be mistaken for other ailments. Hence, it is advisable to consult a doctor to prevent the disease from progressing to severe stages. Passing bowels can signal problems as well. In later stages, symptoms like back pain and fatigue could mean the cancer has metastasized to other areas of the body. Failure to see a doctor immediately could mean symptoms will worsen.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

There is no set cause to prostate cancer. Often times, genetics play a part. If a father has prostate cancer, the descendants are at a greater risk of getting prostate cancer. Researchers found out that, African American men seem to acquire prostate cancer the most. Age is a factor as nearly 80% of men that have prostate cancer are over 65. A poor diet and a lack of exercise also contribute; they must be modified in patients trying to prevent cancer. Hazardous jobs like shipyards and warehouses where chemicals are everywhere are also common factors in cancer development. In addition, activity that increases* testosterone growth, like taking hormonal therapy, could cause prostate cancer.

Stages of Prostate Cancer

Like any other cancer, prostate cancer grows in stages. These stages are highlighted below:

  • Stage 1: The cancer is present when the growth is only in the prostate. It is very small and will take intensive medical equipment to actually see it.
  • Stage 2: The cancerous growth turns into a tumor and has clearly expanded in size. The growth; however, is still situated only in the prostate.
  • Stage 3: The cancer has metastasized to other regions of the body but only those very close to the prostate. The metastatic behavior is very low.
  • Stage 4: The cancer is present in other tissues. Stage 4 prostate cancer is diagnosed when it is seen in the lungs, the lymph nodes, bones, kidney and liver.

Normal doctor visits, proper dieting, exercise and water consumption is the first line of defense against cancer. The severity of the disease increases* as you move up the prostate cancer stages. Therefore early diagnosis of prostate cancer may help to curb the disease before it spreads to other areas.

What are The Treatment Methods for Prostate Cancer?

The most common treatments are listed here:

  • Surgery can remove* tumors still confined to the prostate, or could remove* the prostate itself. This option is typically most effective during the early stages of prostate cancer.
  • Radiation will kill cancerous cells in the prostate but often times will come with other complications like hair loss, fatigue and flu-symptoms.
  • Chemotherapy is used in the most advanced stages of prostate cancer. Can be used alone or with radiotherapy.
  • Hormonal therapy, especially anti-androgen medication like Spironolactone, has shown promise in reducing* symptoms of prostate cancer. However, medication should not be the only treatment in contending with prostate cancer. Many doctors advise patients to use hormonal therapy medication in conjunction with other treatment methods.?Some of the treatments may cause some of the effects of prostate cancer may include sexual dysfunction, hot flashes, hair loss and pain.

Prostate cancer treatment may require a lot time, patience and finance to fully eliminate* the tumors and symptoms. The various treatments are suitable for different stage of cancer hence require proper screening.

What Kind of Diet is Good for Prostate Health?

A diet high in fiber, protein and water and restrictive in processed fats and sugars is optimal. Key vegetables to include are broccoli, cabbage and alfalfa. Organic game and fish are optimal for protein and omega 3. Fruits like watermelon, grapefruit and pumpkin help reduce* testosterone. Cutting behaviors like smoking and drinking will help, too.

When is it Time to See a Doctor?

If you are a man experiencing the following, regardless of your age, see a doctor immediately:

  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Sex is painful, especially during climax
  • Constant bowel distress
  • Frequent lower back pain
  • Pain in the groin area
  • Always tired
  • Lost libido

Verdict

Prostate cancer, like any other cancer, should be taken seriously by all men. A good diet, exercise and routine visits to your doctor are the surest way to prevent prostate cancer.

Conclusion

Having a proper diagnosis of prostate cancer may help in identifying the stage one is in and get proper treatment. Therefore, visiting a well-equipped hospital center is essential in the quest to eliminate* the disease. Also, though the treatments offered to aid in curbing prostate cancer causes, they also may cause side effects like pain, hair loss, and fatigue. The earlier the diagnosis is done, the easier it is to treat* prostate cancer.

Prostate

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Author

Expert Author : Lisiana Carter (Consumer Health Digest)

Lisiana Carter has been a freelance health writer for over ten years having written books, blogs and articles. She is the author of a number of websites and teaches people how to enter the freelance writing field.