Do you wake up at night from an enjoyable sleep and you want to ease yourself and fall back to the bed only to realize that the urine is not so forthcoming? It’s annoying right? Well,that’s what prostate cancer could cause. Let’s move on to find out more about prostate cancer causes. And then,we shall learn more about its symptoms
It is said that about 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. It could be anyone. Well, the statistics is so because it’s more likely develops as a man gets older.
And this cancer is very common, showing up in 240,000 U.S. men every year. It kills about 30,000 a year. In most men, it isn’t likely to kill them before something else does. But since prostate cancer still kills so many men, it’s important to find out which men are most at risk of dying early.
But before going extensively about it, it would be easier if you understood the male genitourinary system.
The male urogenital system consists of several parts, including the testes, epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, urethra, penis, prostate and accessory glands.
The testes are the primary reproductive organs which produces the sperm, it’s affected by temperature, which accounts for the presence of the scrotum and it’s descent performs the function of lowering the temperature. The vas deferens is a 45cm long muscular tube that transports sperm to the ejaculatory ducts.
These ejaculatory ducts are formed by union of vas deferens and duct from seminal vesicles which also make up the accessory glands (they add fluid to the semen).
The male urethra which carries urine out of the bladder is about 20cm and extends from the internal orifice If the bladder to the penis. This urethra passes through the prostate, pelvic floor and finally to the penis where it ends.
WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
Sometimes, it’s referred to as prostrate cancer which is a misnomer. It’s also called prostate carcinoma. It’s simply cancer of the prostate gland. Prostate cells growing uncontrollably and without regulation.
The prostate is a walnut sized gland in men, located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum,thus surrounding the urethra. The prostate gland enlarges and this growth could be cancerous (malignant) or not (benign).
The prostate has various functions, including:
• producing the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm;
• secreting prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein that helps semen retain its liquid state;
• helping aid urine control
WHAT ARE CAUSES OF PROSTATE CANCER?
Prostate cancer causes are not yet known, but there are some risk factors that are associated with it. Some of these risk factors are
• Age: With increase in age, the risk of getting this cancer goes up. The DNA of the prostate cells are more prone to damage as your age increases. About 60% of cases occur in men over 65 years of age.
• Genetic Predisposition: The BRCA2 gene if mutated can increase a man’s risk of having it, this gene in females increases that for breast or ovarian cancer.
• Family History: You are more likely to have it as a male if a member of your immediate or extended family has it or has had it before.
• Ethnicity: Researches have found that African American men are more liable to being diagnosed with this cancer, especially Jamaican men of African descent. Other likely races are Asians, and the Hispanics.
• Diet: Obesity and sedentary lifestyle has been linked to prostate cancer. Also,eating food high in calorie, fats and cholesterol increases the risk.
DOES PROSTATE CANCER METASTASIZE?
Prostate cancer metastasis has to do with spread of the cancer to other areas of the body. If an enlarged prostate gland is benign, it will not spread but when it becomes malignant,its very possible for the cancer to spread through lymphatic nodes and vessels to other parts of the body, these cells travel by breaking away from a prostate tumour.
Prostate cancer prefers to spread to particular areas such as to the ribs, spine, pelvic bones, lymph nodes. When it spreads from it’s original place to another part of the body, the new tumour has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary (original) tumour.
If the cancer spreads to the spine for instance, the cancer cells in the spine are actually prostate cancer cells. The disease becomes metastasized prostate cancer not spinal cancer. And so, it’s treated as prostate cancer of the spine.
HOW DOES THE SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER PRESENT?
Prostate cancer symptoms occurs slowly, many men do not know that they have it at first because at the initial stage of the cancer, they are asymptomatic.
And when they do present with these symptoms, it’s usually after it has enlarged or metastasized, they present most time as lower urinary tract symptoms, these symptoms are
• Frequent urination, during the day and/or at night
• Difficulty in starting (hesitancy), maintaining, or stopping the urine stream
• A weak or interrupted urine stream
• Straining to urinate
• Inability to urinate (urinary retention)
• Loss of control of urination
• Difficulty urinating when standing, requiring sitting during urination
• Pain with urination or ejaculation
• Blood in the urine or in the semen
HOW IS PROSTATE CANCER DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis is done by two main approaches;
a) PSA blood Test: The prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test is one way that could indicate the ailment as well as other diseases like prostatitis (inflammation of prostate), urinary tract infections and even kidney infections. A high PSA is usually indicative of prostate cancer.
b) DRE: Digital rectal examination (DRE) is done by the doctor as he palpates the prostate gland and also to collect prostate tissue sample for further histologic examinations.
Performing DRE alone cannot confirm the diagnosis of the disease neither does the PSA blood test alone confirm it too.
IS PROSTATE CANCER PREVENTABLE?
The best way to reduce the risk of developing it is to improve your diet and lifestyle living,below are 10 ways you can effectively prevent it.
• Eat less red meat. Men who frequently eat well-cooked red meat have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. …
• Eat less dairy products. …
• Eat more vegetables. …
• Eat more fish. …
• Control your weight. …
• Daily exercise. …
• Quit or Don’t Start Smoking. …
• Having frequent sex and ejaculating more often
• Know Your Personal Prostate Cancer Risk
PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENTS
Prostate cancer treatments are multimodal
– Medications: 5-alpha reductase inhibitors shrink the prostate gland when it’s enlarged (Finasteride, Dutasteride)
Also, alpha blockers like tamsulosin and alfuzosin make the prostate muscles relax, making it easier to urinate
– Surgery: Depending on the rate of metastasis, procedures like prostatectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy,cryotherapy could be done to treat the cancer.