Prostate Cancer: Symptoms and Risk Factors

Signs and Symptoms

As prostate cancer becomes more progressive, it may cause certain signs, such as pain and/or swelling in the lower back, hips and legs, bone pain in general, decreased urinary stream force, sexual impotence, blood in semen and/or painful ejaculation, pain urinating, hematuria (bloody urine), among others. Pain urinating and hematuria are signs also commonly found in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, due to the additional space-consuming prostatic growth. Most of these symptoms are related directly or indirectly to an enlargement of the prostate gland, cancerous or not; no matter its origin, the enlarged prostate presses on the urethra, blocking the urine and consequently causing such discomfort and loss of control over urine or semen flow.

however, pain on the bones and hips may indicate an progressive cancerous condition. In these situations, cancer is metastatic, may have spread to other areas, becoming secondary prostate cancer, and is far more difficult to treat. Spinal nerve compression can also be related to secondary prostate cancer that has spread to vertebrae, from the tailbone to the spine. It weakens the vertebrae, which in turn fails to perform its roles properly, and, depending on the level to which the compression on the spinal cord is taking place, may cause the vertebrae to collapse. When experiencing pain in this vicinity, the patient must go closest to a hospital, since long-lasting damage to the spinal cord is a possibility in this case. Such signs and symptoms portray the importance of screenings such as Digital Rectal Exams (DRE) and Prostate Specific Androgen (PSA) blood exams.

Risk Factors

Men over 40 years of age experiencing any level of pain or discomfort in any of these areas of risk can begin to think about performing these screenings ordinarily to prevent this cancer from reaching such uncomfortable and dangerous stages. The current recommendation of the American Cancer Society is for patients to perform them after the age of 50; nevertheless, there are other risk factors that are asymptomatic and must be taken into account in spite of of age, such as race, family history, and lifestyle.

Many studies have been performed to estimate the supplies related to the turn up of prostate cancer on certain individuals as compared to others. Race was clearly a variable examined, and indeed, it was proven that black men are 60% more likely to develop cancer on the prostate than are men of other racial backgrounds. Family history also seems to play an important role, since men with a long history of prostate cancer in the family (especially their fathers or brothers) also have a considerably higher chance of having the condition, as do men with a strong family history of breast cancer. Studies have shown some gene mutations that take place from generation to generation can contribute to the development of certain types of cancer; such as in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which have been found to contribute for prostate cancer.

Furthermore, people in general need to bear in mind that their lifestyle can also contribute greatly for the turn up of cancer. A diet excessive in saturated fat, for example, elevates the risk for prostate cancer. consequently, obese people are very much at risk. Men who include in testosterone therapy should be aware that this too increases their risk of having prostate cancer, since testosterone stimulates prostate growth.

As with any cancer, screening and prevention are the keys to rule a happy, normal life when having prostate cancer. Early detection is the only known way to cure the patient, since when the cancer spreads it becomes virtually impossible to keep up it back. Men and their technology are evolving, though, and without a doubt sooner than imagined new ways of preventing or already stopping prostate cancer will be discovered. Until then, it is every mans duty to ensure his own future is not jeopardized by participating in early screening.

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