Cause and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
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Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that affects the prostate gland, a small walnut-shaped organ that produces seminal fluid in males. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among males, and it can be life-threatening if it spreads to other parts of the body.
The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, but it is believed to be related to changes in the DNA of prostate cells that make them grow and divide abnormally. Some of the risk factors that may increase the chances of developing prostate cancer are:
- Older age: Prostate cancer is more common in older males, especially after age 50.
- Race: Black males have a higher risk of prostate cancer than other races, and they are also more likely to have aggressive or advanced forms of the disease.
- Family history: Having a close relative, such as a father, brother, or son, who has had prostate cancer increases the risk of developing it.
- Genetics: Certain inherited genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, that are linked to breast and ovarian cancers in females can also increase the risk of prostate cancer in males.
- Lifestyle: Factors such as obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diet can affect the risk of prostate cancer. A diet high in red meat, processed meat, dairy products, and fat may increase the risk, while a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and soy may lower it.
Prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. However, as it grows or spreads, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Trouble urinating: This may include difficulty starting or stopping the urine stream, weak or interrupted flow, frequent or urgent need to urinate, especially at night, pain or burning sensation while urinating, or blood in the urine.
- Sexual problems: This may include erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or keeping an erection), painful ejaculation, blood in the semen, or reduced amount of semen.
- Pelvic pain: This may include pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, groin, hips, back, or rectum.
- Bone pain: This may occur if the cancer has spread to the bones and caused fractures or spinal cord compression. The pain may affect the ribs, spine, pelvis, legs, or other areas.
- Other symptoms: These may include weight loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, swelling in the legs or feet, weakness or numbness in the lower limbs, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
If you have any of these symptoms or other changes that concern you, you should see your doctor for evaluation. Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by various tests and procedures such as:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: This is a blood test that measures the level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland. A high PSA level may indicate prostate cancer or other prostate conditions.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): This is a physical exam in which the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any lumps or abnormalities in the prostate gland.
- Biopsy: This is a procedure in which a small sample of prostate tissue is removed with a needle and examined under a microscope for signs of cancer cells.
- Imaging tests: These are tests that use x-rays, ultrasound waves, magnetic fields, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of the body. They can help determine the size and location of the tumor and whether it has spread to other organs. Some examples are bone scan , computed tomography (CT) scan , magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan , positron emission tomography (PET) scan , and ultrasound .
Prostate cancer can be classified into four stages based on how far it has spread from the prostate gland:Stage I: The cancer is small and confined to one half or less of one lobe of the prostate. It cannot be felt by DRE and has a low