Due to the increasing prevalence of Cancer of the Prostate, and the presentation at the late stages, we have decided to put up this publication to enlighten the public about the dangers of prostate cancer & the need to detect it early.
What is Cancer of the Prostate?
As the name says, it is simply cancer of the prostate gland (a gland in a male) that is responsible for producing part of the male semen (that is usually released in a woman’s vagina during sex, and partly responsible for pregnancy).
It is the commonest cancer in males. In Nigeria, one in every 6 men above 65 years has prostate cancer.
It is usually common with men in their old age (greater than 60 years of age). It is rarely seen before 50 years.
What Causes Cancer of the Prostate?
The cause of Prostate cancer is still unknown. The theories are actually more complex to explain here, but there are factors that can predispose you to develop cancer of the prostate. They include;
- Age: It is usually common in men after their sixties. It is rarely seen before 50.
- Family/Genetic Factors: Just like breast cancer & cervical cancer, cancer of the prostate does also run in the blood. Hence, if you know a family member who might have had cancer of the Prostate, there is a chance that you might also develop cancer of the prostate later in life. The risk increases when there are more persons in the family that have had prostate cancer.
How do I notice Prostate Cancer?
The symptoms of prostate cancer can be similar to that of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). See the symptoms here. Hence, persons with cancer of the prostate would have problems with;
- Sexual Life.
In addition to these, you should suspect cancer of the prostate when you notice:
- Blood in the Urine.
- Pain during urination.
- Blood in your stool/faeces.
Prostate Biopsy: To confirm if a person has prostate cancer, a medical test is known as a Prostate biopsy would be done. In this Test, a little part of the Prostate would be taken and tested to know if it is cancerous or not.
Treatment for Cancer of the Prostate
Anyone with prostate cancer should get to the hospital immediately & see a doctor. It is curable if detected early.
The treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage of the disease. The available options include;
- Surgery: to remove the diseased & damaged Prostate and prevent the spread of cancer.
- Chemotherapy: Use of drugs to target the cancer cells and reduce the size of the tumor.
- Radiotherapy: Use of radiation to target the cancer cells and kill the cells.
Effects of Cancer of the Prostate (What cancer of the Prostate Can Cause).
Just like BPH, Prostate Cancer can lead to difficulties with;
- Fertility: due to the function of the prostate gland in the production of semen, as well the closeness of the gland to other fertility organs (Seminal vesicles, VAS, etc), there could be problems with infertility and getting a woman pregnant.
- Urination: as a result of the urethra passing through the Prostate, enlargement of the prostate can compress the Urethra, and cause difficulty with passing out Urine.
- Defecation: in the same way that the Prostate can compress the Urethra, an enlarging prostate gland can also compress the rectum (where the faeces pass through), thereby causing constipation.
- Infections & Stone Formation: the retention of urine can also predispose you to have recurrent infections, stone formation, stone formation & further obstruction
Prevention of Cancer of the Prostate
There is no proven methods of preventing the development of Prostate cancer. However, we can reduce the risks by:
– Eating Healthy
– Doing exercise.
Other conditions that can Look Like Cancer of the Prostate
These conditions share similar symptoms with BPH. They are
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (read here)
- Bladder Stones
Let us continue to raise awareness about Cancer of the Prostate by sharing this article.
It is curable if detected early.