Prostate cancer awareness
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs only in Men, occurs in the prostate, and is one of the most common types of cancer. It is not known what causes Prostate Cancer.
Where is the Prostate gland?
The prostate gland is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The urethra is a tube-like structure that connects to the bladder, and ends at the opening of the penis, which allows urine to exit the body.
What does the Prostate do?
The prostate gland produces seminal fluid, which nourishes sperm, and also transports sperm out of the body, through the urethra.
The prostate, when normal, is approximately the size a small walnut.
In Prostate cancer, cancerous cells grow within the prostate and cause it to become enlarged, But also these cancerous cells can travel to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Prostate cancer
It the early stages, prostate cancer may not show or cause any signs or symptoms.
As Prostate cancer progresses it may cause
· Trouble urinating
· Decreased force in the stream of urine
· Erectile dysfunction
· Blood in the urine
· Blood in the semen
· Unintentional weight loss
· Bone pain
Risk factors for Prostate Cancer
Age. Prostate cancer risk increases most commonly after age 50.
Family history. The risk is increased if a family member has had prostate cancer. If there is also a family history of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2), this can also increase the risk of Prostate Cancer.
Race. It is more common in Black males.
Obesity. Being overweight also increases the risk.
Complications of Prostate Cancer
Metastasis or spreading of cancer cells to areas such as the bones of the body, bladder and other organs.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, can occur either due to prostate cancer or it’s associated treatments
Incontinence, or the inability to voluntarily control urination.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH is not to be confused with Prostate Cancer.
Benign refers to not being cancerous. Hyperplasia refers to increased abnormal cell growth, which causes the prostate to become enlarged.
As the prostate becomes enlarged, similar signs and symptom of prostate cancer may occur, but BPH does not become Prostate Cancer.
That is why it is important to be screened.
Screening for Prostate Cancer
Screening for prostate cancer can be done by blood test called a Prostate Specific Antigen, also known as a PSA.
This test measure the amount of a specific substance made by the prostate that is in the blood, and is usually elevated in Prostate cancer. But can be elevated due to BPH, medications, prostatic infections, or even certain medical procedures.
The normal range is between 1.0 and 1.5 ng/ml. Changes would and should be monitored by a health care provider.
Another type of screening tool is the Digital Rectal Examination, also known as a DRE.
During a digital rectal examination, a medical provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for size, and anything abnormal.
Treatment for Prostate cancer
Different types of treatment include
Monitoring the PSA