The most common question about almost every type of illness and disease is who is at risk? In the case of prostate cancer, we can safely say that it is only men who are at risk in this life-threatening disease.
70% of patients of this disease are adult males, 65 years old and above. Study shows that, African American men are more susceptible to this disease than men of other races. The cases of this illness also differ from populations to population around the world.
Genetics plays a big role in the acquisition of this disease. Below are some obvious symptoms for this kind of cancer, if these symptoms seem to affect and really bother you, it will be wise if you consult your doctor right away.
Prostate cancer does not really shows signs of symptoms of the disease for many years. But when the symptoms start to appear, it means that cancer cells have spread beyond the prostrate. These symptoms are:
Urinary problems such as:
- Can’t urinate
- Difficulty in urinating
- Weak flow of urine, or flow the frequently stops
- Frequent urination, especially at nighttime
- Pain while urinating
Other symptoms manifest on the male reproductive organ itself like:
- Having a hard time for an erection
- Blood in the semen and/or in the urine
- Recurring pain in the lower back, thighs, upper thighs, and hips
Symptoms like these may not directly say that one already has cancer cells develop in his prostate.
Aside from the signs and symptoms mention above, there are also some conditions and circumstances that lead to development of prostate cancer. As men age, the prostate gets bigger, affecting urine flow and greatly interfere his sexual function. This condition is called BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
This is a common condition and not related to cancer. Although this condition may not impose serious health problems, it can be treated through certain surgeries and medication. However, inflammation due to infection in the prostate called prostatitis, can lead to development of cancer on the particular gland. Thus, it is very important to get the condition checked before any disease develops.
The specific cause of this kind of cancer is yet to be discovered, making the illness hard to detect. The good thing about this is that, even though symptoms may not manifest in the early stage of the disease, it can be found through doctor consultation and examination.
Doctors use two tests to detect the disease in the prostate gland in the absence of its symptoms. The first one is the DRE or the digital rectal exam; this test is done by doctor feeling the prostate gland through the rectum to look for lumpy and hard areas on the gland. The other effective test to detect any development of cancer in the prostate gland is through blood test.
Blood test for this exam looks for a particular substance produced by the prostate which is called the PSA or prostate-specific antigen. PSA is a kind of protein which is usually over produced by the developing cancer cells in the gland. However, the presence of this protein in the blood does not directly indicate that one has cancer, as it could be caused by infection or certain drugs that increases PSA.