Prostate cancer is prevalent in men. In fact, about one in nine men is diagnosed with prostate cancer. This disease affects mostly older men and men with African-American descent. However, men in other parts of the world are also diagnosed with this disease due to lifestyle and some other contributing factors.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland in men that can be found between the bladder and the penis. Its major role is to produce seminal fluid, which nourishes, protects, and transports sperm. It’s also where the urethra runs through to allow urine to pass from the bladder to the penis. During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes seminal fluid into the urethra, which is expelled as semen.
Cancer in the prostate is likely to develop when a man reaches the age of 40 or beyond. It’s the second most common disease in men worldwide. However, if you’re diagnosed with it, you should worry less because it can be treated when diagnosed earlier. Some prostate cancers are not serious and may require minimal or no treatment at all. In some advanced cases, treatment should be administered as it can also lead to death.
Different conditions of the prostate
The prostate could undergo several conditions that are likely to lead to cancer including:
This is a condition of an inflamed prostate caused by infection.
This is a common condition in older men. An enlarged prostate can cause urinary problems because it can block the urinary tract. This may also lead to kidney problems.
This cancer is usually confined in the prostate gland but can be treated when diagnosed earlier.
Causes of prostate cancer
Health experts don’t have a clear answer to the causes of prostate cancer but they found some risk factors to be associated with this disease, which include the following:
Studies show that prostate cancer is difficult to treat in overweight men diagnosed with the disease. Failing to receive treatment may result to more serious conditions.
most patients found to have more advanced cases are black men. Doctors couldn’t yet determine why.
As men gets older, their chances of getting the disease is much higher.
Your risk of developing prostate cancer is much higher if prostate or breast cancer runs in your family.
Acquired gene mutations
Some men may develop gene mutation in their lifetime without inheriting those genes or passing them on to their children.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Before a patient can be diagnosed with prostate cancer, he will notice the following symptoms:
- Frequent and painful urination
- Weak urine flow
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
However, some of these symptoms may also be caused by other health conditions. For cancers that have spread outside of the prostate gland, the following symptoms will show:
- Bone pain
- Pain in the back, shoulder, hips or thighs
- Swelling in the legs
- Weight loss
- Changes in bowel movements
You need to see your doctor immediately when you notice some of the above symptoms.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may discuss the appropriate prostate screening for you. You may undergo one of the following tests:
Digital Rectal Examination
This process involves inserting a lubricated and gloved hand into your rectum to feel whether or not your prostate has enlarged.
PSA is a toxic protein produced by the prostate. Higher levels of PSA means you have a problem in the prostate.
Your prostate’s condition is checked by an ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum.
A needle is used to take tissue from your prostate to check for cancer.
This involves prostate removal to eradicate the cancer cells.
Radiation will kill the damaged cells and will spare the healthy ones.
Radioactive seed implants
Radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate to kill cancer cells.
Cancer cells are being frozen to kill them.
Hormone therapy prevents cancer cell growth.
In advanced condition, chemotherapy is done to prevent cancer cells from spreading to other parts.
Prostate Cancer Prevention
While heredity increases your risk of developing prostate cancer, there is still hope to remain healthy and prevent this disease from invading your body. The following healthy choices may help you:
A clean diet
A clean diet means eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This isn’t conclusive yet since doctors haven’t found how a healthy diet can prevent prostate cancer but there’s a bigger chance that your body is able to protect itself from cancerous cells when it’s healthy and well-nourished.
Have an exercise regimen to keep your body healthy and fit. Men who do regular exercise were found to have low PSA levels, a toxic protein in the blood that indicates your chances of prostate cancer. Higher levels of PSA signify that you have the disease.
A healthy weight
Check your BMI and see if your weight is appropriate to your age. If it is, maintain that healthy weight through exercise and a healthy diet. If you’re much heavier than your age, start to lose weight. Do cardio and resistance exercises along with a healthy diet.
Talk to your doctor
If you’re older and some men in your family have cancer, you better check with your doctor even if you’re not feeling any symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe you drugs that help prevent prostate cancer development.
What Harvard Recommends
In December 2016, the journal European Urology published a Harvard study that involved 31,925 men. Interestingly, the study found that men can decrease their risk of developing prostate cancer by as much as 33% through ejaculation 21 times a month. This may sound weird but the researchers found a link between men who frequently ejaculated and those with low PSA levels. In a closer look, they found that men with the lowest PSA levels have an average of 21 ejaculations in a month.
Masturbation may look like a huge saving grace but do it along with the healthy habits above to ensure your overall health.