10 Things You Should Know About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer altogether, and the 2nd most common form of cancer in men. Above the age of 65, 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed. And with statistics like this, awareness about prostate cancer is a must.
Here are 10 things that you should know:
1. The Prostate Gland
The prostate is a small walnut shaped gland in the male reproductive system. It is located between the bladder and the penis. The two main functions of the prostate are regulating urine flow and producing semen.
2. It Is More Common Than Breast Cancer
The mortality rate due to breast cancer has been on the decline since the 90’s, whereas the number of men dying from prostate cancer has risen. Worldwide, men are at a greater risk of prostate cancer than women are of developing breast cancer.
3. The Earlier It Is Detected the Better
While it is true that the symptoms are difficult to notice early on, the sooner it is detected the greater your chances of a successful treatment. The good news is that if it is caught earlier on, within 5 years of treatment, the success rate of being cancer-free is nearly 100%.
4. Average Age for Prostate Cancer
It is true that prostate cancer is more common in older men. It is rare for the cancer to develop below the age of 40 and the average age of diagnosis is around 66 years.
5. Common Symptoms
Symptoms of prostate cancer can vary but some of the common ones are:
- Pain or stiffness in thighs, back or hips
- Pain or blood in urination or ejaculation
- Difficulty or pain in urination
- Erectile dysfunction
6. Possible Treatments
There are several types of treatment options depending of the growth or aggressiveness of the cancer:
- Hormone Treatment
- Surgeries like radical prostatectomy or cryosurgery
- Radiation therapy
- Ultrasound therapy or brachytherapy
7. Not Just an Old Man’s Disease
A University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center study has shown that prostate cancer in young men has been on the rise and has increased six fold over the past 20 years. Thus, it is important for men of all ages to be aware about the risk and plan a test with the help of their doctors in order to make sure that it is caught early on.
8. The Symptoms May Be Difficult To Detect
While it is important to detect prostate cancer as soon as possible, it is often hindered by the fact that most men don’t develop any symptoms until much later on. Thus, it is essential to discuss this issue with your doctor and plan a cancer screening test.
9. Healthy Lifestyle Equals Lower Risk
Factors like high consumption of dairy products or meat, smoking and lack of exercise may increase your risk of developing cancer. Lifestyle changes are necessary in order to reduce the risk. Quit smoking, increase you plant based diet consumption, and exercise more. Because ultimately prevention is better than cure!
10. Family History
Most researchers believe that the development of cancer has some sort of genetic link for people. If your father or brother had prostate cancer, you’re twice as likely to develop it or some other form of cancer. Hence, you should be on edge if people around you have battled with this disease.