Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in elderly men. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder in men which encircles the upper portion of the tube that drains urine from the bladder, also known as the urethra. Its primary function is to produce seminal fluid which nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer therefore is the uncontrolled disorderly growth of cells in the prostate gland.
The risk factors surrounding prostate cancer include:
The risk of acquiring prostate cancer increase with age. It is mostly diagnosed in men above the age of 50 years. However the risk increases rapidly after 65 years.
Having a positive family history of prostate cancer among first degree relatives increases the risk by double. However, it is still possible to acquire the cancer even without a positive family history.
This has been documented to contribute only a small percentage of recorded cases of prostate cancer.
The African-American and Caribbean men of African ancestry have been found to be mostly affected by prostate cancer. The reasons for this are unclear.
It is reported to be more common in North America, Northwestern Europe, Australia and in the Caribbean islands. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. The reasons for this are unclear.
Men who eat a lot of dairy products appear to have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer.
Being obese (very overweight) does not seem to increase the overall risk of getting prostate cancer.
Some studies have found that obese men have a higher risk of getting more aggressive (faster growing) prostate cancer. The reasons for this are not clear. Obese men may also be at greater risk for having more advanced prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer, but not all studies have found this.
The various clinical manifestations of prostate cancer vary with the extent of the disease. In its early stages, no symptoms are displayed. In the locally (spread within the prostate gland) advanced stage, one may experience retention of urine which basically means that your bladder does not empty completely even when it is full therefore always giving you the urge to urinate, hematuria which is the medical word simply meaning the presence of blood in urine and hematospermia which just represents the occurrence of blood in the sperm. In the advanced disease, which means the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, one may experience edema (swelling) of the lower extremities (legs and feet) and pelvic discomfort.
Relax. I know you may be wondering what I have just said in my previous statement. Don’t worry, I will explain so that you can go brag to your friends with big fancy medical words.
Lymph nodes are small bean shaped organs that play an important role in the body’s immune system. They react to present infection in the body by swelling up since it fights off infection by filtering cells, germs and other foreign material therefore accumulating these unwanted substances in the lymph node causing it to swell up. Edema on the other hand is the swelling that is observed beneath the skin due to excessive accumulation of fluid in the body tissues caused by the leaking of fluid from small blood vessels brought about by various triggers.
The final stage of the disease is the metastatic stage. This means that the cancer has spread from the point of origin to surrounding and distant organs. In this stage, one may experience a wide variety of symptoms affecting various organs such a bone pain, loss of sensation in your hands and legs, impotence, persistent prolonged penile erection, the presence of blood in feces, constipation, intermittent diarrhea and abdominopelvic pain.
Screening can be done for prostate cancer. Screening is the detection of cancer before the symptoms begin to show. It would be suitable to carry out annual cancer checkups to avail oneself a wider variety of possible treatment options that could significantly improve one’s prognosis and hopefully lead into remission.
Ponea offers a one-stop shop for men’s health services with a cancer checkup package tailored for cancer screening in men including prostate cancer offered together with a specialist consultation. Alternatively also offering stand-alone blood tests useful in the screening of prostate cancer.
Browse our online catalogue of health services on www.ponea.com to book a service that is most preferable or contact us directly on +254 111 013 900