Prostate Cancer: Why It’s the Silent Killer of Men?
Prostate cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in men, has no symptoms until it’s too late. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, more than 232,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and over 28,000 will die from it.
The first signs of prostate cancer usually include lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), such as urinating more often, difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, weak stream, interrupted stream and having to rush to finish urinating.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces seminal fluid. The cancer cells may spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes.
Prostate cancer is often called a silent killer because it usually has no early symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they may be similar to those of other conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis.
Warning signs to look out for
Though prostate cancer typically doesn’t show symptoms in its early stages, there are some warning signs to look out for. If you experience any of these, please see a doctor immediately:
1-Having trouble urinating; -a feeling that your bladder isn’t completely empty after urinating;
2-Pain or burning when you urinate; -difficulty having an erection (erectile dysfunction);
3-Feeling pain in your lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
How it’s diagnosed
Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed during a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A DRE is when the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities in the prostate.
A PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. A high PSA level can be an indication of prostate cancer.
Though there are many treatment options available for prostate cancer, it is often hard to catch in its early stages. This is because symptoms do not usually appear until the cancer has progressed.
By the time most men are diagnosed, the cancer has already spread and is more difficult to treat. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy, but the best option depends on the individual case.
Improving your odds
Though prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, it is also one of the most treatable. Early detection is key to increasing your chances of survival.
There are several risk factors for prostate cancer, including age, race, and family history. However, there are things you can do to decrease your risk, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, don’t lose hope. With treatment, many men go on to live long and healthy lives.
- Trouble urinating.
- Decreased force in the stream of urine.
- Blood in the urine.
- Blood in the semen.
- Bone pain.
- Losing weight without trying.
- Erectile dysfunction.
Recommended reading: Why Women Cope With Stress Better Than Men
Image credit: Redcare HMO