Understand Prostate Cancer in men


Last reviewed on: 12nd October, 2020

Prostate cancer, also identified as carcinoma of the prostate, is the growth of cancer in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are gentle developing; though, some develop comparatively rapidly. The cancer cells may extend from the prostate to other parts of the body, mostly the bones and lymph nodes. It might firstly cause no symptoms. In future stages it can lead to trouble urinating, urine with blood, or pelvis and back pain when urinating. 

A disease identified as benign prostatic hyperplasia may cause similar symptoms. Further symptoms may include feeling tired because of low levels of red blood cells. 

The initial risk factors are obesity, age and family history. Prostate cancer is very unusual in men younger than 45, but becomes more familiar with advancing age. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 70, though a lot of men certainly not know they have prostate cancer. 

Men who have family members with prostate cancer seem to have doubled the risk of acquire the disease compared to men with family members free from prostate cancer. 

Primary prostate cancer normally has no clear symptoms. Occasionally, though, prostate cancer does cause symptoms, often related to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. These symptoms include; 
  • Recurrent urination
  • Increased urination at night (Nocturia)
  • Trouble starting and maintaining a stable stream of urine
  • Blood in the urine (Hematuria)
  • Hurting urination (Dysuria)
Prostate cancer is related with urinary dysfunction as the prostate gland nearby the prostatic urethra. Alterations within the gland, therefore, straight affect urinary function. Since the vas deferens place seminal fluid into the prostatic urethra, and discharges from the prostate gland itself are involved in semen content, prostate cancer may also cause problems with sexual function and performance, such as difficulty attaining erection or painful ejaculation. 

Chronic prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body, perhaps causing other symptoms. The most usual symptom is bone pain often in the vertebrae (spine bone), pelvis, or ribs. Widen of cancer into other bones such as the femur is regularly to the proximal or nearby part of the bone. Prostate cancer in the spine can also squeeze the spinal cord, causing tingling, leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence. 

The causes of prostate cancer are not well known, though doctors know that prostate cancer originates when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Changes in the abnormal genetic makeup of the cell, cause the cells to develop and divide more quickly than normal cells do. The abnormal cells remain living, while other cells would die. The following are some causes of prostate cancer; 

1. Genetic background
Men who have close relatives (father or brother) with prostate cancer have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer, and those with distant relatives affected have a five times greater risk compared with men with no family history. 

2. Dietary factors
There is little evidence supports on the role of dietary fruits and vegetables in prostate cancer existence. Red meat and processed meat also seem to have little effect in human studies. Higher meat ingestion has been related with a higher risk in some studies. 

Lower levels of vitamin D in the blood might increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Folic acid supplements have no consequence on the risk of developing prostate cancer. 

3. Medication exposure 
There are some relations between prostate cancer and medications, medical procedures, and medical conditions. Use of the cholesterol depressing drugs known as the statins may also lower prostate cancer risk. 

Swelling of prostate gland (prostatitis) might increase the chance for prostate cancer while another study shows infection might help avoid prostate cancer by raising blood to the area. Above all, infection with the sexually transmitted infections chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis appears to increase risk. 

Obesity and high blood levels of testosterone might increase the risk for prostate cancer. There is relationship between vasectomy and prostate cancer, however, more investigation is needed to conclude if this is a causative relationship. 

4. Infectious diseases
Relationship with gonorrhea has been established, but a mechanism for this association has not been recognized. In 2006, a formerly unknown retrovirus, Xenotropic MuLV-related virus or XMRV was related with human prostate tumors, but following reports on the virus were inconsistent, and the original 2006 finding was instead due to a previously unnoticed contamination. 

5. Sexual factors
Numerous case-control studies have revealed that having many lifetime sexual partners or starting sexual activity early in life considerably increases the risk of prostate cancer. Although the available proof is weak, uncertain results suggest that frequent ejaculation may lessen the risk of prostate cancer. 

Previous study revealed that those who ejaculate most frequently like over 21 times per month on average were less likely to develop prostate cancer. 

When your prostate cancer has been identified and staged, you have a lot to consider before you and your doctor choose a treatment plan. It is important to consider carefully about each of your choices. You should weigh out the benefits of each treatment option against the probable risks and side effects. 

Which treatments are used for prostate cancer?
Depending on the condition, the treatment options for men with prostate cancer might include; 
  • Watchful waiting
  • Operation
  • Radiotherapy
  • Cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Vaccine
  • Bone directed treatment
These treatments are usually used one at a time, although in some cases they may be combined. 

1. Diet and lifestyle
The facts on the association between diet and prostate cancer are weak. There is little evidence to support the relationship between trans-fat, saturated fat and carbohydrate ingestion and risk of prostate cancer. The proof about the role of omega-3 fatty acids in avoiding prostate cancer does not propose that they reduce the risk of prostate cancer, though further research is needed. 

Vitamin supplements seem to have no outcome and some might increase the risk. High calcium intake has been related to advance prostate cancer. Consuming fish may lower prostate cancer deaths but does not seem to affect its existence. There is some uncertain evidence for foods containing lycopene and selenium. Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, soy, beans and other legumes may be related with a lower risk of prostate cancer, specifically more advanced cancers. 

Men who get consistent exercise may have a slightly lower risk, especially vigorous activity and the risk of advanced prostate cancer. 

2. Medications
For those who are being regularly screened 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (finasteride and dutasteride) reduce the overall risk of being identified with prostate cancer though there is inadequate data to define if they have an effect on the risk of death and might increase the chance of more severe cases. 

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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