The prostate is a walnut-sized gland, which is located between the bladder and the penis. This glandular organ is located just in front of the rectum. The urethral passes through the center of the prostate, from the bladder into the penis, allowing urine flow out of the body. The prostate gland functions by secreting fluid that protects and nourishes the sperm. When you ejaculate, the prostate squeezes this fluid into your urethra and it’s expelled with sperm as semen.
Cancer of the prostate is one of the most common types of cancer that occurs in men. According to Urology care foundation, cancer of the prostate ranks second most common of all cancer related deaths among men in America and most of these deaths occur among older men. Mostly, prostate cancer develops slowly, initially confined to the prostate gland where it may result to serious harm. Basically, some types of prostate cancer develop slowly and only need minimal or even no treatment while other types are aggressive and can spread across quickly.
Just like what happens with other types of cancers, normal cells undergo a change in which they grow and multiply without normal controls and they also change their microscopic look and can invade adjacent tissues. Cancer cells from the prostate gland forms into malignant tumors that later overwhelm surrounding tissues depriving them of vital oxygen and nutrients. Cancer cells contained in these tumors will eventually spread to other organs and they can be found in the pelvic lymph nodes and bones, the lungs and the liver.
Early detection of prostate cancer when it is still confined to the prostate gland stands a better chance for successful treatment. This necessitates regular testing before metastasis to the surrounding organs occurs.
Quick Facts on Prostate Cancer
- Cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer found in Men
- The prostate gland is an organ of the male reproductive system and secretes fluid that nourishes the sperm.
- It is associated mostly with symptoms of urination.
- Frequent screening is essential to detect early and this makes it treatable before it spreads.
Cancer of the prostate may not give signs or symptoms in its early stages but at an advanced stage, it may cause signs and symptoms like
- Frequent urges to urinate, even at night
- Difficulty starting and maintaining urination
- Blood in the urine
- Blood found in semen
- Painful urinating
- Bone pain
- Feeling of discomfort in the pelvic region
- Erectile dysfunction
If the cancer moves to the spine and compresses the spinal cord, you may experience
- Weakness of the leg
- Fecal and urinary incontinence.
What causes prostate cancer?
Researchers do not know what exactly causes prostate cancer but a common knowledge is that it begins when cells in your prostate gland becomes abnormal and the abnormal cells develops and divide rapidly than your normal cells do. When the abnormal cells accumulate, they form a tumor that develops to invade the surrounding tissue and later on metastasize to other organs or parts of the body. However certain risk factors have been identified to increase your risk of prostate cancer. They include:
Race and Ethnicity. Black men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than men of other races and the cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced in nature. African-American men are more likely to develop the disease, diagnosed at a later stage and twice more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.
Family history. You are at risk of prostate cancer if you have a family history of one, because you may have inherited the damaged DNA.
Age. This is one of the biggest risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Rare will this disease affects young men but reports ascertained that majority of cases are diagnosed in men over 65 years.
Obesity. Being obese makes it more prostate cancer more difficult to treat as you are more likely to have advanced disease if you are obese.
Diet. Research suggested that a diet high in red meat or high fat diary products will possibly increase your chances of developing prostate cancer.