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Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Overview and Facts

The prostate, which produces the majority of the fluid within semen, is controlled by the male sex hormone, testosterone. Cancer of the prostate is the most common form of cancer in men and consists of cells within the organ that grow in an uncontrollable manner. Fortunately, however, the cancer grows slower than other forms of cancer meaning that the disease is usually treatable. However, if the cancer grows and metastasizes away from the prostate, it is usually fatal.

Signs and Symptoms

There is typically little to no warning during the early stages of prostate cancer. If the tumor is malignant and has progressed to a later stage, the following are the prostate cancer signs which can be expected:

  • Difficulty controlling the stream of urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Weak stream of urine
  • Burning during ejaculation and urination
  • Blood in the semen or urine
  • Pain in the pelvis, thighs, ribs, and lower back
  • Loss of appetite and weight, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue
  • Swelling in the lower body

Causes and Diagnosis

Cancer of the prostate is primarily present in men over the age of 65 although it can occur in individuals as young as 30. Men who have a family history of the disease are more likely to develop a fatal version of the prostate cancer although diet has also been shown to be a large contributor.
Males who eat a large amount of fat, such as is found in red meats and other forms of animal fat, are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is most likely due to hormonal issues as fat stimulates the production of hormones including testosterone, which has been known to speed up the growth of the cancer. Research has shown that testosterone may trigger normal cells in the prostate to become cancerous. The majority of older men have an enlarged prostate although this does not necessarily mean that they are subject to prostate cancer.
Two initial tests along with a collection of family medical history, a narration of experienced symptoms, and a physical exam are the most common ways in which the condition is diagnosed.

Tests and Treatments

In order to diagnose the condition, two tests are usually performed. The first is the digital rectal exam in which the physician examines the area for nodules. The other test consists of blood being taken to test for PSA or “prostate-specific antigen”. However, just because a man has PSA in his system does not mean that he necessarily has cancer.
Neither of these tests is conclusive. In order to confirm the existence of the cancer, the cells of the prostate need to be examined under a microscope during a procedure known as a biopsy.
Due to the nature of the cancer, it has been known for the disease to be diagnosed during an annual rectal examination, which is recommended after the age of 50 for men. However, those men of African American descent and those you have a family history of prostate cancer are recommended to begin examinations between 40 and 45 years of age.
The type of treatment which is sought for the cancer largely depends on the age and overall health of the patient. The most common treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or very rarely, chemotherapy.

Tips and Home Remedies

As diet has been determined to be one of the known causes of the cancer, the addition of certain foods may help in the prevention of the cancer. Limiting the amount of consumed animal fat along with increased consumption of foods such as cole slaw, cauliflower, broccoli, and tomato may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

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