What Causes Men to Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth that develops in the male prostate gland. The prostate gland is a small organ located near the bladder. It helps produce seminal fluid, which is very important to the male reproductive system..
What is the Cause of Prostate Cancer?
Currently, the exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown. However, changes in your DNA (contains your genes) may trigger the cells of the gland to grow out of control. Normal DNA tells your cells what to do and how to function in your body. Cells normally divide to make new ones, and older cells die in order to make room for these new cells. In the case of prostate cancer, the DNA changes and prevents older cells from dying. Over time, they can build up in your gland’s tissue and develop into a mass (tumor).
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
You may not experience noticeable symptoms in the beginning of the cancer. The symptoms usually become apparent when the cancer reaches an advanced stage. These symptoms may vary depending on how large the growth is and whether or not it spread (metastasized) to other areas of your body.
These symptoms include:
Normal values vary with age. Older men typically have slightly
• Blood may be present in your urine and semen.
• You may have problems urinating, such as difficulty getting started.
• You may have pain in your pelvis.
• Swelling may be present in your legs and feet.
What are the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer?
You may be at risk for this cancer if you:
• are over the age of 65 (the risk increases as you age)
• are an African American
• have a family history of prostate cancer or any cancer
• are overweight (this increases your risk for advanced cancer of the prostate)
Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
Your doctor will ask you about your past and present medical history. He will most likely do a physical examination before providing treatment or ordering tests. Your doctor may use certain tests to check the size and condition of your prostate. Blood can be drawn at a legal to prescribe lab test facility located near you.
The most common testing used are:
• A biopsy: A biopsy takes a small sample of your prostate to see if it contains cancer cells.
• A rectal exam: This examine checks the size of your gland.
• A PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test: This test checks to see if you have abnormal levels of PSA in your blood. Your prostate makes this antigen naturally and secretes it into your bloodstream.
• Scans: Your doctor may use imaging scan tests (like ultrasound and MRI) to look inside your body in order to see how large or far (if at all) your cancer metastasized.
What are normal results for a PSA test?
Prostate Treatment Your doctor will base your treatment on several factors. These include your age, cancer stage and overall physical condition. If your cancer has not grown or spread to other tissues, your doctor may only monitor your condition. For more advanced cancer, radiology, chemotherapy treatment and proton therapy (less side effects) may be options.
You may help prevent prostate cancer by getting regular checkups. Early detection may help reduce the spread of the cancer.