Prostate cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in men, is not widely talked about in male circles. Yet, statistics have shown that one in six men should expect this diagnosis. This slow growing disease and today’s treatments ensure that only a few may die from it. Of course, the more you know about the disease the better the chance of being one of the few to prevention and fighting it if necessary. High risk category patients will be those who have a family history or are currently experiencing symptoms, but regular examination can spot the cancer early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigens in the blood. Using the most effective means of testing is the digital rectal exam where the doctor inserts a finger into the rectum and manually checks for abnormalities on the prostate. As uncomfortable as this may seem, priority will encourage you to seek regular testing the catch the cancer early to increase the chances of experiencing the effects of prostate cancer, which are much more uncomfortable than the examination.
Prostate cancer in its most common form develops in the glandular cells, typically very slowly with the possibility to spread to areas surrounding the prostate and continuing to attack the lymph nodes, lings, liver, and possibly other organs if not quickly diagnosed and treated. The prostate gland is walnut sized in the front of the rectum and below the bladder and produces the fluid that protects and supply nourishment to the sperm cells. The scary part about prostate cancer (and many other types of cancer as well) is that the signs are not always immediately noticeable. You may have the disease for months before it grows big enough to become noticeable, and by then it may be too late. Therefore if you have even the slightest suspicion of a tumor, you should get an examination just to be doubly sure.
While the risks of prostate cancer increases with age it is also more likely to occur in black men rather than white and Hispanic men; and occurrences appear to be extremely low in Asian men. The reason for this is still unknown but at any rate, family history plays a big factor and can double your risks of actually contracting prostate cancer. Many cases of prostate cancer are symptom free with minor notification like difficulty in urination, hip and /or back pain, burning during urination, or just a weak stream of urine, or pain during ejaculation. The encouragement to see a doctor if you experience these symptoms won’t be necessary as most men will immediately seek medical attention if these symptoms occur. Detection of the cancer is priority one, and if detected the doctor will then grade the cancer stage from 1 to 5 depending on the amount and presence of the number of cancerous cells as compared to the amount of abnormal cells. A determination of the aggressiveness of the cancer is then evaluated to produce what is called a Gleason score. The higher the score the more aggressive the cancer.
There is high hope of cure if detected and treated early. Treatments include the watch and wait approach which, as the name implies, monitors the progression for slow growing cancerous cells. Radiation treatments that can be linked to impotence, Radical prostatectomy where the prostate gland is removed, Chemotherapy drugs used for advanced stages, or hormone therapy which can slow the progression and manage the disease. The main point is to seek immediate care if you think that you may be experiencing problems and not to let the examination scare you out of your chances for survival. Take care of your body, particularly as you enter the older stages of your life. Being cautious leads to longevity and happiness, and prostate cancer is certainly something that you need to be cautious about. For further reading, check out a book from your library, or ask for literature from your doctor.