If you are a part of the male species, then you probably feel like Superman until you hit 30 that is. This is usually the time when health issues start to pop out. As you get older, the capacity of your cells to protect itself and regenerate becomes sluggish, thus, you start hearing some of your friends complaining about aches and pains, having the need for a doctor’s check-up due to increase in cholesterol levels. Yes, this is the norm.
In this article, we will be talking about prostate cancer, its symptoms, its risk factors, and how to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer usually affects men in their 60’s. This condition usually occurs when abnormal cells start to develop in the prostate gland and in some cases, these abnormal cells spread to nearby organs, such as the bladder. Prostate is a small gland that can be found near the bladder. This gland is responsible for the production of semen.
Prostate cancer usually develops over time and most men live for many years without experiencing any symptoms. It’s generally localized and does not spread immediately. However, there are cases where the cancer cells rapidly spread to nearby organs thus affecting their function. Rapid progression of prostate cancer is lethal and Immediate intervention is key to prolong life.
Prostate Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Like mentioned before, prostate cancer is a slow growing condition. In early stages, signs and symptoms may be very subtle and is not definitive for prostate cancer. Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- A sudden urge to urinate
- An increase in frequency of urination
- Having difficulty urinating (this includes: trouble starting, not able to urinate when there is an urge, poor urine flow)
- Dysuria (painful urination)
- Blood in urine or semen
Are you at Risk?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer in men. This include:
Age: As mentioned earlier, prostate usually develops after the age of 60. This is probably due to the natural wear and tear of the cells in our body and the inability of the cell to properly regenerate.
Genetics: If your father or uncle or grandfather suffered from prostate cancer, this increases your risk of developing the condition later on. Though prostate cancer is not hereditary, the genes that you have inherited increases your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Diet and Lifestyle: Like many lifestyle-induced diseases, prostate cancer can be avoided simply by making a few changes on your diet and lifestyle. Try to reduce fat intake and avoid processed meats. Also increasing intake of foods rich in anti-oxidants can not only help you prevent prostate cancer but prevent other types of cancers as well.
PSA (Prostate- Specific- Antigen) Screening
There are a lot of debates regarding PSA screening as an effective way to screen prostate cancer. A high PSA result may not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer. Other definitive tests may be required such as biopsy, to diagnose prostate cancer. Prostate screening is usually done starting the age of 50 to provide early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.