Prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer among males. Although prostate cancer can be a slow-growing cancer, thousands of men die of the disease each year; prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in males.
Prostate cancer risk factors:
Age is the number one risk factor. Chance of developing a prostate disease increases as you get older. Though rare in men under 40 years, it can happen, but mostly affects men who are 70 years old or older.
Family history: If a close relative developed prostate cancer before he was 60, you are four times more likely to develop it yourself.
Ethnicity: The highest rates of prostate cancer are recorded in Afro-Caribbean men. For reasons that aren’t fully understood, the condition is more common in men of Afro-Caribbean or African descent and less common in men of Asian descent.
Diets high in red meats and saturated fats are also considered a contributory factor.
need to urinate more frequently (often during the night);
need to rush to the toilet;
difficulty starting to urinate (hesitancy);
straining or taking a long time while urinating;
weak flow and
feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied fully.
The outlook for prostate cancer is generally good. This is because, unlike many other types of cancer, prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly. A man can live for many years without any symptoms or need for treatment. Many men die with prostate cancer, rather than as a result of having it.
Prostate cancer can usually be cured if treated in its early stages. Treatments include:
using surgery to remove the prostate gland;
radiotherapy – radiation is used to kill the cancerous cells and
hormone therapy – the growth of prostate cancer is stimulated by a hormone called testosterone, so hormone therapy involves using medication to block the effects of testosterone.
All of the above treatment options carry the risk of significant side effects, including:
loss of sexual desire (libido);
the inability to obtain or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction) and
loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence).
For this reason, many men choose to delay treatment until there’s a significant risk that the cancer might spread.
If the cancer spreads from the prostate gland to other parts of the body (metastasis), typically the bones, it can’t be cured. In this case, treatment will aim to relieve the symptoms and prolong life.