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The Definition, Signs, and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is typically a more common type of cancer, and if diagnosed early and properly, it’s easily treatable.We’ll tell you about the definition of prostate cancer, as well as anything else you need to know to aid in an early diagnosis.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
The definition of prostate cancer is that cancer cells are found within the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can be difficult to catch in the beginning phases as there are usually little to no symptoms seen in the beginning stages of this cancer.
So, what exactly is a prostate? Well, it is a small “walnut-shaped” gland that is found in between the penis and bladder, and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland is responsible for secreting fluid that nourishes and protects sperm.
Prostate Cancer Signs and Symptoms:
There are six common symptoms of prostate cancer that can typically give doctors a good idea as to whether or not you have prostate cancer. Those six symptoms include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction.
Even to this day, it is still not determined what causes the cancers of the prostate. If you have any of these warning signs of prostate cancer, it is recommended that you should consult your doctor as soon as you can. If the early signs of prostate cancer are detected, this is better for preventing the spread.
Even if you do not display any of the prostate cancer symptoms, the American Cancer Society recommends a yearly prostate screening for any men who are 50 years of age or older. However, you may want to get tested for prostate cancer earlier based on your family history. If someone in your immediate family has had prostate cancer, it is recommended to start doing yearly prostate screening tests earlier than 50 years old.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Even though we don’t know exactly how prostate cancer starts, there are several risk factors may put you at a higher risk of being diagnosed. It is not determined why this happens, but black men are more at risk of getting prostate cancer than other races. Your age also plays a risk factor. The older you are, the more your risk increases. Family history will also play a big part in this, as mentioned above. If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your chances will increase.
Men who are more obese also have a higher risk of having prostate cancer. Knowing these risk symptoms can help you recognize your need to be screened earlier in your life.
It’s also important to note that you can help prevent prostate cancer by eating a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies, exercising well, and maintaining a healthy weight. If you are worried about your chances of getting prostate cancer, it’s recommended to have a conversation with your doctor.
Prostate Cancer Tests
If you fear that you may have prostate cancer, it’s recommended to visit your doctor as soon as you can. You could check yourself for prostate cancer, but your doctor can give you better peace of mind. Your doctor will ask you about your family’s health history and about any possible symptoms you may have. Your doctor may also perform a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), where your doctor will feel the inside of your rectum to check to see if they can feel any bumps or hard areas on your prostate.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Sometimes prostate cancer cells don’t grow as quickly as other cancers, and they may not require treatment to begin immediately. If you are at a low risk, you may not need any treatment at all. Your doctor will monitor you to see if the prostate cancer cells are spreading, and if they are not spreading rapidly, they may determine to hold off on treatment right away. You may just be okay to receive regular PSA tests or biopsies.
Other forms of treatment for prostate cancer include:
- Radiation Therapy
- Hormone Therapy
- Clinical Trials
Doctors may elect to avoid radiation or surgery altogether and treat you with medications that can help kill the cancer cells. Medications can be administered to help you from producing testosterone. Hormone therapy is more typically done in men with further advanced prostate cancer to help shrink cancer, before electing to go with a different type of treatment.
It’s important to consult your doctor if you are worried about having prostate cancer. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, have a chat with your doctor. Leaving prostate cancer to grow without visiting your doctor can only become more and more catastrophic for you.
If you find yourself in need of assistance, let us ease your burden. At All American Hospice, our compassionate, highly trained team of experts can assist you and make you more comfortable. Reach out today to find out how we can assist you.