The prostate is the most important gland of the male reproductive system. This gland had the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and produces fluid that makes up the majority of sperm. The functioning of the prostate depends on testosterone, the male sex hormone known because it is product by testicles.
Prostate cancer is becoming a public health problem in men’s lives. Although it rarely occurs to men aged up to 55 years, experts believe that there is no older man that does not have a “beginning” of prostate cancer. This type of cancer, prostate cancer, is characterized by a tumor that grows slowly, often without symptoms, they appear only in later stages. So most men who have prostate cancer die from other causes, sometimes not knowing that they are suffering from this type of cancer.
On the other hand, once the cancer advances and spreads to other tissues, the situation takes a different turn. Evolution of the tumor is slow, but once it reaches the advanced stage, can be deadly. In early stage prostate cancer can be treated and cured and fortunately, most cases are detected at this early stage.
The causes of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer affects four of the five men aged over 65 and less than 1% of those under age 55. Rarely, cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men aged 30-40 years.
Also men with a family history of prostate cancer are exposed to greater risk than other men.
Experts believe that diet also plays a major role in the onset or development of prostate cancer. Thus, men amateur of foods that is containing animal fat or red meat presents a much greater risk of developing this cancer. Why? Because fats stimulates the production of testosterone and growth of this hormone promotes tumor growth.
Prostate cancer is more common in countries who consume intensive meat and dairy than in countries that are preferred healthy food, rice, soybeans, vegetables or chicken. That is why prostate cancer is rarely seen in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Doctors know more details about what does not cause prostate cancer. So men must know that this type of cancer can not be caused by: sexually active, vasectomy, masturbation, circumcision, infertility, infections of the prostate.
In early stage, prostate cancer does not present any symptoms or any alarm. But once the tumor is growth it cause growth of volume of the gland, or, once the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, these symptoms occur:
– the need to urinate very often and mostly at night:
– weak urinary stream;
– Inability to start and stop the urinary stream, as is normal;
– pain and burning during urination or ejaculation;
– blood in urine or semen.
Warning! These are not symptoms of prostate cancer.These symptomps are for the blockage caused by an increase in tumor volume, but not only of the prostate but also of the surrounding tissue.
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer are:
– pain and numbness in the pelvis;
– pain in the lumbar and thoracic region;
– loss of appetite and weight;
– fatigue continued and apparently without reason;
– nausea and vomiting.
Warning! If you suffer from one or more of the above symptoms, especially those related to advanced cancer you must provide immediate medical attention!
To diagnose prostate cancer is necessary to do lot of tests . The first two are : digital rectal examination and blood analysis.
During the digital rectal examination the doctor examines prostate through the rectum to determine if the tissue is modified, it is cured or have nodules. Blood analysis is to detect a substance secreted by the prostate called prostate specific antigen (PSA ).
Even so, these two tests are not 100% reliable, nor sufficient in detecting prostate cancer. So, we need a third test and perhaps safer: biopsy, which consists of harvesting a small piece of tissue from the prostate. With the biopsy, prostate cells can be examined microscopically.
Types of treatment
One of two men diagnosed with prostate cancer are older than 72 years. Since the evolution of this type of cancer is often slow, many men may die because of another severe disease but not of the prostate cancer.
Regarding treatment, it is good to know about the complications can occur or significant adverse effects. Therefore, drug therapy might not even be the best choice.
For early-stage prostate cancer, there are three types of treatment:
– treatment by surgery;
– treatment by radiotherapy;
– permanent monitoring of the patient, and this option is called “management of expectation. “
For prostate cancer in intermediate and advanced stage, treatment involves a combination of the three above treatments. However, there is a fourth treatment: hormone therapy, especially for older men or for men with advanced cancer. Chemotherapy is the final solution for those who do not respond or hormonal therapy.