Prostate Cancer – What you need to know
Studies suggest that more than 70% of men who are over 60 are diagnosed with various diseases, prostate cancer being one of the most prevalent. It is a form of cancer that slowly develops in the prostate gland. It is a slow progressing disease that most men who died of old age never realized they had. This is because cancer of the prostate typically shows no symptoms during its early stages. Symptoms only become evident during the later stage when other unrelated causes such as old age, heart diseases and other complications become evident. Nonetheless, early symptoms involve urinary frequency, hematuria or blood in urine, and painful urination. Prostate cancer starts with minimal alterations of prostate gland cells, and with time, cancer cells gradually spread across the body, directly affecting other adjacent and non-adjacent organs.
Specific causes of prostate cancer remains unknown. While there are many factors, age and genetics are considered the primary causes. Research indicates that more than 80% of men who are 65 and older are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Statistics, however, reveal that genetics is another major factor in prostate cancer risk. Other factors involve lifestyle, medication and environment. Interestingly, a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan indicated that sexually transmitted diseases specifically gonorrhea is another factor that increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer treatment relies on the result of the system known as TNM (Tumor/Nodes/Metastases), which is used to determine the cancer stage. This involves size and quantity of the tumor, lymph nodes and metastases, if there is any. Some of the treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, cryotherapy and chemotherapy.
Because of the asymptomatic nature of prostate cancer, it is highly-recommended for men who have reached 50 to have regular medical check-ups and physical examinations.