Prostate cancer is the number 1 cancer that afflicts men. Every year, there are around 11,500 men who die of it every year in the United Kingdom, and there are approximately 29,500 deaths documented every year in the United States.
During its early stages, prostate cancer may not trigger visible signs and symptoms. It is a type of cancer that grows and moves slowly. It first strikes the prostate gland, which is a small gland that is shaped like a walnut and is in-charge of producing semen that feeds and transports the sperm cells, and then spreads to the nearby areas to cause more harm and damage if not diagnosed and treated right away.
What are the common warning signs of prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer does not really bring about noticeable symptoms early on. However, once you reach that stage where your prostate has become enlarged, you may experience the following:
- The need to urinate more frequently
- Some pain or discomfort while urinating
- Reduced force in your stream of urine
- Traces of blood in your semen
- Discomfort in your pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Difficulty getting and/or keeping an erection
- Lower sex drive or libido
These warning signs should be taken seriously, so you must see a doctor right away to find out whether you really have prostate cancer or some other disease that has similar signs and symptoms.
What causes prostate cancer?
Up to now, medical professionals do not have a clear answer to this question. They know that the disease starts when certain cells found in your prostate begin exhibiting abnormalities. The mutations in the DNA of these abnormal cells make them develop, grow, and divide at a much faster rate than the normal cells. These abnormal cells accumulate over time and form a tumor that can invade the healthy cells and tissues nearby. In some cases, they can even escape and find their way to your other body parts and spread the cancer even more.
What factors increase your risk of prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer can strike any man, but there are some that have higher odds of having the disease than others. Below are the common risk factors associated with prostate cancer:
As you grow older, your risk of getting prostate cancer also increases. According to data, the majority of prostate cancer cases occur in men who are aged 50 years or older. Therefore, it is crucial that you get your prostate checked regularly as you age to detect unusual changes and others that may signify problems in your prostate.
According to studies, black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than others, while Asian men have the lowest risk. The reasons for these are not yet known.
If you are obese and you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer that is advanced and more challenging to treat. So, it is necessary that you take good care of your health. You should lose weight, start eating healthy, and get into a regular exercise routine.
If your brother, father, uncle, grandfather, or other male relative has had prostate cancer, your risk of having the disease is higher than someone whose male relatives are cancer-free. Moreover, if your family also has a history of breast cancer, your odds of developing prostate cancer may increase, as well.
Is there anything you can do to prevent or at least lower your risk of prostate cancer?
Yes, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. The following are some good examples of lifestyle changes that you should seriously consider doing starting now to protect yourself:
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Your diet should contain a variety of healthy options that can give you the essential nutrients that you need for your body to be able to carry out its functions. Every meal, you have to make sure to include a serving or two of foods that are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Avoid junk foods and fast foods. Stay away from foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar. Cut down your alcohol consumption. Drink more water to hydrate your cells, tissues, muscles, and organs.
Try to be a lot more physically active.
Physical activity is good for the body. If you have a regular exercise routine, you can more easily maintain your weight and overall health. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. In addition, exercising can make your heart, lungs, brain, and other vital organs develop better strength, stamina, and endurance. It can promote better blood and oxygen flow, allowing you to perform better at tasks in school or at work, and also boost your mood.
Do your best to stay within your ideal weight range.
If you are currently within your ideal weight range, you should continue working hard to maintain it. You can successfully do that by eating healthily and regularly exercising. But, if you are overweight, you will need to exert a bit more effort to shed off the extra pounds. Try counting your calories to keep track of how much you eat. Prepare a meal plan consists of only healthy foods that your body really needs. You can consult a health professional to help you come up with a diet that suits you.
Visit your doctor.
You should go see your doctor to talk about your risk of prostate cancer. If they determine that you are high risk, they may prescribe you medications or some treatment solutions that can reduce your risk. They can also provide answers to questions that you may have in your mind, and they can clarify anything that confuses you about the disease. In addition, they can conduct prostate exams, such as the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA test), to detect the cancer in your body before it starts doing serious damage.