Definition

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a serious and common cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate, which is a small walnut-shaped gland producing the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Prostate cancer that is found early, when it’s still confined to the prostate gland, has a better chance of successful treatment.

How common is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is considered as a serious disease that affects thousands of men during middle and late age, with most prostate cancers occurring in men over age 65. In 2013, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 239,000 American men will be diagnosed with this condition.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms initially. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause some following signs and symptoms such as:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of consciousness

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes prostate cancer?

Until now the cause of prostate cancer is still unknown. Doctors know that prostate cancer begins when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells do. The abnormal cells continue living, when other normal cells would die. The accumulating and increasing abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

 

Risk factors

What increases my risk for prostate cancer?

You may have higher risks for this condition if you are experiencing these following conditions:

Older age

Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.

Being black

Black men have a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced. But it’s not clear why this is.

Family history of prostate or breast cancer

If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.

Obesity

Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that’s more difficult to treat.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

A diagnosis of prostate cancer is determined based on a physical exam, your health history, and other tests, such as:

Digital rectal exam (DRE)

This is a physical examination in which your physician will inspect your prostate through the rectum with a gloved finger to feel if there are any hard lumps on your prostate gland that could be tumors.

Prostate biopsy

Your physician may order a biopsy to confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis. In a biopsy, a small piece of the prostate gland is removed and examined.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A bone scan or a computed tomography (CT) scan may be performed as well.

The American Urological Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force no longer recommend the formerly widely used prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test for screening for prostate cancer. This is because the risks of unnecessary follow-up procedures outweigh the benefits. The PSA blood test checks the amount of prostate-specific antigen that is in your blood. However, there are many reasons why you could have a high amount of PSA in your blood, so this can lead to a misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment.

However, if you already have a confirmed case of prostate cancer, this test is still approved for staging or grading the cancer. Before you consider having a PSA blood test, consult with your physician about the potential risks.

How is prostate cancer treated?

If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, depending on the severity of your cancer and whether it has spread, your treatment option will be recommended by your doctors. If the cancer is not aggressive, your physician may recommend watchful waiting, or active surveillance. Surgery, radiation, cryotherapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy are also treatment options. Your physician will find the correct treatment for your cancer based on your age, health status, and the stage of your cancer.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage prostate cancer?

You can reduce your risk by following these useful ways:

Choose a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables

Avoid high-fat foods and instead focus on choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to your health. Whether you can prevent prostate cancer through diet has yet to be conclusively proved. But eating a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health.

Choose healthy foods over supplements

No studies have shown that supplements play a role in reducing your risk of prostate cancer. Instead, choose foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals so that you can maintain healthy levels of vitamins in your body.

Exercise most days of the week

Exercise improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight and improves your mood. There is some evidence that men who don’t exercise have higher PSA levels, while men who exercise may have a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Maintain a healthy weight

If your current weight is healthy, work to maintain it by exercising most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, add more exercise and reduce the number of calories you eat each day. Ask your doctor for help creating a plan for healthy weight loss.

Talk to your doctor about increased risk of prostate cancer

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: July 31, 2017 | Last Modified: July 31, 2017

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.