What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a small gland that is shaped like a walnut. It is an important part of the male reproductive system because it helps transport semen and produces seminal fluid. It is estimated that 1 in 9 men will develop this condition in their lifetime. It has a tendency to develop slowly.Read More »
In many cases, men do not have any symptoms. In fact, you probably won’t have any symptoms if you are in the early stages of the condition. However, if you do have symptoms, then you are likely to have bloody semen, erectile dysfunction or discomfort in the pelvic area.
When Do I Need to Get Screened?
You should start having prostate cancer screenings at the age of 50. However, if you are in the high-risk group, then you may have to start getting screenings earlier. For example, if you have a family history of this condition, then you may have to start getting screenings earlier.
There are two types of screenings, digital rectal exam and PSA blood test. The doctor will insert a gloved finger into the rectum. They will feel for any irregularities.
The PSA blood test will check for levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Elevated levels of PSA may indicate that one has this cancer.
Any male can develop this condition. However, there are some people who are at a much greater risk for it than others. Age is one of the risk factors. Your chance of developing cancer increases as you get older. Studies have shown that this condition has a genetic component. Men who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene are more likely to develop cancer.
Race is another risk factor. Black men are more likely to develop this condition. They are also more likely to develop an aggressive form of cancer. Furthermore, obese men are more likely to develop cancer.
What Are Some Treatment Options?
There are several treatment options available. Your age, the stage of the cancer and your overall health will determine the type of treatment that is recommended. Surgery may be recommended if you are in the early stages and your cancer has not spread. Your doctor may recommend that you have your entire prostate removed. You may also need to get the surrounding tissue removed.
Radiation is another treatment that may be recommended. This is typically only used if the cancer is small and only inside of the prostate. It uses x-rays to kill off the cancerous cells.
Hormone therapy may also be recommended. This treatment will reduce the production of testosterone. This will help the cancerous cells die. Doctors can administer medication that reduce the production of testosterone.
If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, then they chemotherapy may be recommended. It uses drugs to destroy the cancerous cells.
How to Reduce the Risk of Cancer
There is nothing that you can do that will 100 percent prevent cancer. However, if you take care of your overall health, then you will be less likely to develop cancer. You will need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables can help your body break down carcinogens. Those are cancer-causing substances.
If you are a smoker, then you should quit. Smoking can increase your risk of developing cancer. It is never too late for you to quit and reap the benefits of it.
Furthermore, it is important for you to make time to exercise. Running, walking and cycling will help improve your overall wellness. You should vary your routine in order to avoid boredom.
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