Prostate Cancer is the “Second’’ most frequently diagnosed cancer in men. Globally it is the sixth leading cause of cancer-related death in men with 899,000 of new cases diagnosed annually in the developing world (GLOBOCAN Report, 2008). It’s a form of tumor (cancer) that emerges from the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a pear shaped gland located directly below of the urinary bladder and circling the prostatic urethra.
The incidence of prostatic cancer is very uncommon in men younger than 45, but becomes more common with advancing age. In order words prostate cancer is a disease of the aging population.
While the cause of prostate cancer is exactly not known, certain things/factors have been linked with increasing a person’s likelihood of having the disease. Such factors are called risk factors (anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a disease). In prostate cancer, risk factors that have been identified include: Age, genetics and obesity.
The outlined risk factors are not absolute because based on experience, some men who don’t have any of this risk factors may still have the disease while on the other hand, those with one or more risk factors may eventually not have the disease.
Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Although, there are often no warning signs indicative of early state of the disease. Nevertheless, the following symptoms may be seen in persons with prostate cancer, when the cancer has spread beyond the prostate:
- A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- Difficulty starting or stopping a stream of urine
- A weak or interrupted urinary stream
- Leaking of urine when laughing or coughing
- Inability to urinate standing up
- A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
These symptoms often mimic those seen in BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia: formerly known as Benign Prostate Hypertrophy). However, BPH is not Cancer neither is it indicative of prostate cancer.
Anatomy of Male Reproductive System Showing The Prostrate Gland
How Then Do I Know If I Have Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer can only be detected early through screening, since the disease may present with little or no symptoms at the initial phase in individuals with the disease till the cancer is advanced.
Screening services available for prostate cancer include: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA monitoring) , Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), Biopsy (diagnostic and confirmative of prostate cancer)
Treatment Options For Prostate Cancer
Treatment options available for prostate cancer include:
- Surgery for prostate cancer
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation therapy
This treatment option can either be used singly, or combined.
Survival Rates For Prostate Cancer
The overall prognosis for prostate cancer is very good especially if it is detected early. The 5-year survival rates for Prostate Cancer (i.e. the number of people who are alive 5 years after they have been diagnosed with prostate cancer compared with survivals of the same age-group who don’t have the disease) is near 100%. With new technological advancement in treatment and research, prostate cancer can actually be cured. In fact, in the United States, over 2.5 million men are found to be still living several years after they have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
If you are above age 40, go for Prostate Cancer Screening.