Cancer is the most dangerous disease noticeable throughout the world. The most common type of cancer that affects men is prostate cancer. Prostate is a small exocrine gland situated directly below the bladder and in front of the rectum. This is gland is approximately in size of a walnut and plays an important role in production of a milky fluid during orgasm of sex in which the semen travels. During the climax stage of the prostate gland is forced to push the fluid and remove the semen out of the reproductive structures.
Prostate gland is a slow progressive disease which makes many males left unidentified even the presence of prostate cancer even until they die. 6 out of 100 male over the age of 60 are getting prostate cancer. Though prostate cancer can be cured at a better rate when compared to other type of cancer it is always best to stay protected. Prevention is always better than cure. Here are few tips to keep your prostate healthy.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer:
During the early stages of prostate cancer there are usually no symptoms. Most men at this stage find out they have prostate cancer after a routine check up or blood test. When symptoms do exist, they are usually one or more of the following:
The patient urinates more often
The patient gets up at night more often to urinate
He may find it hard to start urinating
He may find it hard to keep urinating once he has started
There may be blood in the urine
Urination might be painful
Ejaculation may be painful (less common)
Achieving or maintaining an erection may be difficult (less common).
If the prostate cancer is advanced the following symptoms are also possible:
Bone pain, often in the spine (vertebrae), pelvis, or ribs
The proximal part of the femur can be painful
Ways to have a healthy prostate:
Diet and weight – the most important factor is the diet to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid fatty food items and take fats from vegetables than from animals. Avoid dairy products and increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exercise – have a regular practise of doing exercise at least for 30mins a day. This really helps you to keep your body fit.
Be precautious – if you have a family history of prostate cancer or if you feel you are at high risk of getting prostate cancer talk with your doctor about it and take preventive drugs as per the doctor’s advice.
Red foods – research shows that men who consume red foods like watermelon, tomato and other red fruits are at lower risk of getting prostate cancer as they contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene
Caffeine – three to four cups of coffee per day reduces your risk of getting prostate cancer.
One of the most common issues with old age in men is the enlarged prostate. Any difficulty with urination (no constant stream, difficulty initiating, or incomplete emptying of the bladder for instance), and the first suspect is an enlarged prostate. These symptoms are followed by a digital rectal exam to check for an enlarged prostate. Once confirmed, the next step is to check for levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). If both the exam and the PSA are positive, it could mean prostate cancer. As with any cancer, it is believed that sooner it is diagnosed and the treatment is started, the better.
Historically, the best way to rule out prostate cancer had been to do a prostate biopsy. This is a minor invasive procedure, wherein biopsies are taken from various regions of the prostate which are known to develop cancer (about 12). A disadvantage of this procedure includes missing out on the front part of the prostate which can also develop cancer. Secondly, it is not a very pleasant experience and given a chance, most men would not want to have it done.
There is good news for these men who would like to avoid prostate biopsies. The first is the multiparametric MRI which uses no x-rays and is considered very safe with extremely accurate results. This MRI exam requires about an hour, and once the images are obtained, the doctor will analyse these images and check for several parameters to assess for prostate cancer. The absence of cancer can be confirmed with up to 90% accuracy, which is far greater than with usual biopsies. If there is a possibility of cancer, then a biopsy can be done to confirm it.
Also, these images indicate the exact region where cancer likely is, and this guides the doctor to biopsy only where absolutely essential. The chances of false positive and false negative results are reduced drastically.
As cancer prostate is treatable so no need to panic. Depending on the stage the treatment is offered, which can be Robotic surgery, radiotherapy, hormonal treatment in the form of injection once a month/3 monthly.
The prostate gland is a small walnut-shaped organ that produces seminal fluid which carries the sperm and also provides them nourishment.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of prostate cancer in men. The progress of prostate may take years and so symptoms may not be evident until it has reached an advanced stage. Also, prostate enlargement is an extremely common condition in most elderly men. This condition is known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The symptoms produced by prostate enlargement are similar to those of prostate cancer in the earlier stages. Therefore, men may confuse the cancer symptoms with BPH symptoms and often ignore the same. For most men, BPH is part of ageing and night-time visits to the bathroom are quite common.
Symptoms of prostate cancer can be clubbed into two broad categories – urinary and others.
Urinary symptoms are due to the enlarged prostate gland pressing on the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside. These include:
Non-urinary symptoms include:
In addition, there would also be generalized symptoms of cancer, including:
As noted above, these symptoms are not indicative of prostate cancer. Even prostate infection or in older men prostate enlargement can cause these symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to correlate these symptoms with risk factors and clinical diagnosis.
Clinically, when a patient experience any of the above symptoms, the doctor would need to confirm the diagnosis via:
A combination of clinical presentation, lab, and imaging will help in confirming the diagnosis. Earlier the diagnosis, better is the prognosis.