Author: Seomul Evans
In the early stages of prostate cancer there are often no symptoms, which means by the time a person detects the symptoms the disease has usually spread to other parts of the body, such as the bone or lymph glands. It is very important that you consult your doctor if you have any of the symptoms outlined in this article, to be sure you do not have prostate cancer.
Risk factors for developing prostate cancer are smoking, high alcohol consumption, family history, exposure to heavy metals, eating high amounts of saturated fats, and an inactive lifestyle. Some races, especially African American, are also prone to the disease, which is most common in men over the age of 70. Hence age is the major risk factor.
What is it?
The prostate is a gland found in men's sexual organs. Men who have one or more of the above risk factors, especially age, family history and high fat diet, should be particularly careful to ensure that they have regular checks, especially because most people do not experience early symptoms of this disease.
Many of the earlier signs of prostate cancer are easily confused with other problems, such as pain in the upper leg or back, and urinary problems.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
There are other disorders of the prostate which can produce similar symptoms, therefore to confirm the presence of cancer, tests will need to be carried out. The usual symptoms, of prostate cancer, however, are as follows:-
• frequent urination
• difficulty when urinating (either holding it in, or starting)
• a painful, burning feeling when urinating
• weak or interrupted urine flow
• blood in urine or semen
• pain when ejaculating
• pain in the hips, pelvic region, lower back or thighs
If pain is experienced in areas other than the prostate area or groin, this could be a sign that the cancer has spread to nearby parts of the body. If the man experiences this symptom then the matter is very serious, and he needs to see his doctor straight away.
Although these symptoms may indicate a benign condition as well, you should still consult your doctor to have them checked out, and confirm whether you do or do not have cause to worry.
If cancer is confirmed and is in its advanced stages, then the outlook is bad. Cancer can be removed by surgery, but this will just buy the patient more time. If cancer is detected sufficiently early, then treatment may extend his life or even remove the cancer altogether. Treatment options, which may be used together or alone, are as follows.
Surgery: The prostate and surrounding tissue are removed under a procedure known as radical prostatectomy. Sexual life does not have to cease, as surgery can allow sufficient nerve tissue to remain for erections to be possible.
Radiation: A beam of radiation is directed onto the prostate from outside the body. Alternatively, the doctor may use a needle to plant a radioactive seed in the prostate. Both of these can be undergone as outpatients.
Observation: If the patient is elderly or has other medical problems, then this is usually the approach. The patient is regularly examined by their doctor, who watches for any change. No action is taken unless obvious changes occur.
The treatments are usually discussed amongst the patient and family, the doctor or a number of doctors. Having weighed up the benefits, side effects and processes, the choice of treatment is made, according to what is generally felt to be best in each particular case.
Seomul Evans is a SEO services consultant for various free content websites