Causes of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer

What is prostate cancer?

Cancer is a disease that occurs when cells in the body become abnormal. These abnormal cells grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. This can lead to tumors (growths) that invade surrounding tissues and can spread to other parts of the body.

Here are some answers about prostate cancer which is the most common cancer in men.

Prostate cancer is cancer that develops from cells in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. 

The prostate is located below the bladder and surrounds part of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder during urination and semen (containing sperm) out of the penis during ejaculation. The prostate surrounds the urethra just below the bladder.

What are the Causes of Prostate Cancer?

The causes of prostate cancer are not fully known, but factors such as family history, race, age, diet, and lifestyle may contribute to an increased risk of developing the disease.

However, early detection is possible with regular PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and digital rectal exams.

Prostate cancer is more common after the age of 50, so older age is a risk factor for prostate cancer. 

You will also be at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer if a blood relative has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Obesity also increases the risk of developing prostate cancer as this type of cancer is more likely to be aggressive in obese people and more likely to return after initial treatment.

Environmental causes of prostate cancer include exposure to combustion by-products and agricultural chemicals. Some studies suggest that firefighters and farmers are more likely to develop prostate cancer because they are exposed to these environmental catalysts.

What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

To be diagnosed with prostate cancer, a man usually has some or all of the following symptoms

  • Difficulty in getting or keeping an erection.
  • Painful ejaculation or difficulty in ejaculating.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Frequent or painful urination. 
  • Weak stream of urine. 
  • Difficulty in starting the urine stream or slow urine flow.

How to Avoid Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer may be prevented by following these tips:

  • A balanced diet: Choose a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. They contain vitamins and nutrients that are vital for prostate health. 
  • Regular exercise can help you maintain weight and enhances your mood as well. Try to exercise most days of the week.
  • Obesity can make you prone to developing prostate cancer. Therefore, keep a check on your weight and add more exercise and reduce the number of calories that you eat in a day. If you are unable to do something about your weight, ask your doctor to help you in creating a healthy weight loss plan or you can also take health supplements to increase your fat-burning rate.
  • Consult a doctor to know about your increased risk of prostate cancer. Certain medications or treatments may reduce the risk. 

What are the Four Stages of Prostate Cancer?

Stage 1: Prostate cancer stage 1 is the least advanced form of this cancer. The cancer is small and has not spread past the prostate gland. Stage 1 of prostate cancer has a 5-year survival rate of nearly 100%.

Stage 2: The tumor is still confined to the prostate and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Thus, the doctor may or may not be able to feel the tumor during the prostate exam. The survival rate of stage 2 prostate cancer is still nearly 100%.

Stage 3: Cancer cells may or may not have spread outside the prostate to other tissues and therefore the survival rate of stage 3 prostate cancer is still 100% provided that cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body.

Stage 4: Prostate cancer stage 4 is the most advanced and by now the cancer cells have typically spread to the distant parts of the body. If it has reached other organs, the 5-year survival rate drops to about 30%.

Which is the Most Aggressive type of Prostate Cancer?

Usually, ductal prostate cancer is considered to be more aggressive than other types of prostate cancers. Ductal prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the cancer.

Which is the Most Common type of Prostate Cancer?

Acinar Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of prostate cancer wherein cancer develops in the gland cells that line the prostate gland. It is a histological subtype of gland-forming cancer where malignant cells in the neoplastic tissue form acini and tubules.

Take Away

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer amongst men in India and a leading cause of cancer deaths in men. Most prostate cancers are found in men aged 50 and above, however, it is also seen in younger men.

Some advanced symptoms of prostate cancer include edema, weight loss, tiredness, back pain, changes in bowel movements, etc. Consult your doctor if you want to know your risk of developing prostate cancer.

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