Important Aspects of Prostate Gland and How to Prevent Prostate Cancer
Before learning about how to prevent prostate cancer let’s understand what is Prostate cancer. The prostate is a gland present under bladder which produces semen in men. It is of a size walnut.
It is present in between the bladder and the penis. Prostate gland secrets fluid to protect sperms. It pushed the fluid through the urethra during ejaculation to let the sperm out as semen.
The prostate gland is part of male reproductive organs in most mammals. It also functions in passing the urine to urethra through the tube. As you age, prostate gland will increase in size which is quite normal but if it is too large you might face health issues.
There are some common prostate problems which might not necessarily be prostate cancer symptoms. Signs of prostate cancer are entirely a different ball game when compared to common problems once can face.
Some common problems which do not fall into the category of prostate cancer symptoms are
It is commonly present in old aged men and it is not cancerous. Prostate gland increases in size and makes it difficult for urination.
- The size of the gland can be reduced/ shrunk by using medication. It will relax the muscles around gland and eases the urination.
- If medication does not help in resolution surgery is the next best option. However, this decision should be to take after doctor consultation. The doctor may recommend surgery if the enlargement of gland exceeds the permissible limit and if the medicine doesn’t come to aid.
- Different type of lasers, waves can be used the reduce the prostate gland tissues.
Prostate gland may develop acute bacteria which can result in fever and pain. Immediate doctor consultation is required as he/she can provide medication. Sometimes you may blood in your urine.
Chronic bacterial infection may come back again. So, medication should be continued for long period of time.
Feeling pain in the groin area and at the tip of the penis is a common prostate problem. Men will have a painful ejaculation. Combination of surgery and medicine is required to treat this problem.
Identifying the prostate cancer symptoms in its early stage can partly answer the question of How to Prevent Prostate Cancer.
Symptoms or Signs of Prostate Cancer:
Uncontrollable growth of cells in the prostate may result in the generation of cancerous cells resulting in various problems like
- Difficulty in urination or burning sensation
- The uncontrolled flow of urine from the bladder.
- Weak flow or pressure while urinating.
- Blood in semen
- Frequent visits to the restroom for urination, especially during nights.
- Erectile dysfunction
- Discomfort in groin
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in other parts of the body like back or pelvic if the cancer cells spread.
- Numbness in feet.
Prostate Cancer Stages
In this stage, the tumor is not detectable through image testing as the cancer is not spread outside of the prostate. Prostate cancer survival rate at this stage is 100% with a 5-year time period.
Even in this stage, the tumor is not spread out of the prostate but its size increases and once start seeing the signs of prostate cancer.
Cancer has spread out of the prostate now. It might affect the seminal vesicles which are nearby. They might not have been moved to other parts of the body yet but surely are in growing phase.
This is the last stage and cancer has spread to other parts of the body which include bladder, liver, lungs and lymph nodes.
Each case is different and the approach to providing cure will be different. The prostate cancer survival rate has been significantly increased with advancement in the prostate cancer treatment techniques.
After learning all the stages of cancer, reliable treatments can be found with the knowledge of causes. The technical causes of the disease will clearly let us understand how to prevent prostate cancer in the earlier stages.
Prostate Cancer Causes
The exact reason for prostate cancer inception is not fully understood by researchers and doctors. However, there are some risk factors identified.
It is caused by changes in the prostate cell DNA. DNA does more than determining how we look and similarity with parents. DNA gene controls how the cells are produced and how they function.
Genes should normally suppress cells when the new cells are generated and coming to replace the old one. If the old cells do not die, the accumulation of cells results in the formation of a tumor.
DNA changes may cause genes to turn a blind eye to one cells generation and accumulation. DNA changes can be inherited or can be acquired by one’s lifestyle.
If your family has a history of prostate cancer, there is a risk that you might have acquired that damaged DNA. According to the analysis of American Society of Cancer, 5–10% of the prostate cancer cases have been observed to be acquired by inheriting damaged DNA.
If your diet has high amounts of red meat and fat-dairy products, the risk of acquiring prostate cancer is high. A study in America related the high-fat dairy products consumption may develop a tumor in the prostate gland.
Surprising environmental conditions are observed to play role in prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Foundation states that people located geographically 40° northern latitude are at risk of acquiring cancer. This might be due to lower levels of sunlight and less availability of vitamin D. Prostate cancer is mostly observed in North America and Northern-European countries.
The causes might help you find answers to the question of How to Prevent Prostate Cancer.
- Develop a diet which is rich in nutrients like fruits and vegetables
- Look at your family tree for any history of cancer.
- Make sure that you get enough vitamin D as some prostate cancer are linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Is Prostate Cancer Curable?
Researchers and doctors say that among all other cancers, prostate cancer survival rate is higher as it is a slowly growing disease. Considering the figures provided by American Cancer Society, one can be cured within a period of 5 years which vary according to the prostate cancer stage they are in.
Exploring the treatment and answers for how to prevent prostate cancer are found from thorough research as the disease is not generated due to body reflexes or as a result of any natural effect. The cancers are developed due to abnormal growth of cells for which the solutions will also be found from the researches of science.
Prostate Cancer Treatments
Once you pass through the clinical phase of prostate cancer which includes MRI scans and x-rays, you need to go through brainstorming sessions with your doctor before stepping into prostate cancer treatment. It is vital to know all possible treatment options to put a full stop to the question, “how to prevent prostate cancer?”
Also, each case is different and treatment option changes depending on the stage which the tumor is in and on the patient’s existing health conditions. Important aspects to be taken note before treatment are
- Current age and lifespan
- Stage and grade the cancer is in
- Any existing serious health condition
- Possible side effects of the treatment
- How likely is the treatment going to cure the disease
Different Prostate Cancer Treatments include…
Prostate cancer tumor grows slowly, especially in old men. Sometimes there might be no need of treatment for it. But we should watch for the cancer growth vigilantly and frequent visit clinics for observing the prostate gland.
Active surveillance in clinics by taking prostate blood samples once in every six months will give observational reports and alarm us when there is any risk element.
Watching vigilantly for some time may reveal that it is common problems of the prostate gland which is not cancerous as mentioned above and proper medication will solve the problem.
If the symptoms are fast growing and making it unbearable for you, it might not be the best resolution you are looking for. Talk with your doctor and consider the possibility of treatment which can provide the resolution.
This kind of approach is suggested by doctors for only slow growing cancer cells in the prostate.
This is the common prostate cancer treatment chosen if the tumor does not go past the stage 2. The surgeon will be removing the tumor and prostate gland. If cancer has spread to lymph nodes also. the surgeon will remove some of the lymph nodes and send them to the lab for testing the presence of cancerous cells.
If they are present, the surgeon may reconsider the surgery and start diagnosis again for further treatment. This surgery is called Radical Prostatectomy.
You will be under anesthesia even after the surgery to as you may feel pain in penis. Some side effects of Prostatectomy surgery are
- Bleeding after the surgery
- May develop infections at the surgery site
- Blood Clots
- Nearby organ damages
Surgery alone can get you the final answer to the query, how to prevent prostate cancer. Along with that, few more treatments like radiation therapy and its types will help us in finding promising cure.
This treatment is chosen in the early prostate cancer stages and also if the tumor returns after the surgery or if the cancer is not removed completely.
There are two type of radiation
External Beam Radiation:
In this treatment, the high beams will be focused on the prostate tumor from the machine outside of the body. This type of radiation is used to cure early stage of cancer and relieving the bone pain if the cancer is spread to different parts.
Treatment will be lasting for 5 days. New radiation techniques help in reducing the side effects on other parts and will have intense ray directed to the tumor.
Internal radiation therapy:
In this treatment, radioactive seeds or pallets are directly placed in the prostate. These are about the size of a grain. It is used along with external beam radiation for men who have a higher risk of cancer spread.
Men having large prostate glands cannot benefit from internal therapy as it is not possible to place at correct places in the prostate gland. Urinary side effects are observed after the treatment.
If the tumor has passed prostate gland, it is very likely to affect the bones and treatment will real hard and painful. So, it is important to go through bone directed treatment.
Drugs will reduce the osteoclasts, bone cells. Osteoclasts generate more cells when prostate cancer attack which is not desired and will cause complications. So, Bisphosphonates drugs are given to slow the growth of cancer cells and prevent fracture.
Radioactive drugs like Radiopharmaceuticals are induced into veins in the damaged area of the bones to attack and kill the cancerous cells. These drugs can also help in relieving pain.
If cancer has spread too far and treatments like surgery and radiotherapy will not affect it, hormonal therapy is the next best option.
Hormonal therapy is androgen suppressing or depriving process. Androgens are made by testicles which include Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Unfortunately, androgen stimulates cancerous prostate cells.
By attacking the androgens, there is a prevention of the growth of prostate cancer cells to other parts of the body. There are different androgen suppressing drugs which will significantly affect. But there are possible side effects
- Reduced sexual desired
- Weight gain
- Bone thinning
- Shrinkage of penis
- Risk of high blood pressure
- Diabetes and heart stroke
Chemotherapy is observed to have additional benefits if added along with hormonal therapy. Drugs in chemotherapy will attack the fast-growing cells in the body which is why it should be adopted for men having fast-growing prostate cancerous cells.
Drugs will be induced through veins to directly attack the cancerous. The major disadvantage is that chemotherapy will not be able to differentiate cancerous cells from healthy cells. It’s mission to attack fast growing cells irrespective of which side those cells are in.
So, side effects are evident and include
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Chances of acquiring multiple infections are high
- Low confidence
How to prevent Prostate Cancer?
The important aspect is that each cancer case is different and each one should be diagnosed and observed with at most clinical care. One should consider their existing health condition before going for any treatment.
Make sure you consume adequate amounts of high-fat dairy products and they share a great part in your daily diet because of which you can reduce the risk of prostate cancer to a greater extent. Take a note of your geographical location and make sure that you are also providing sufficient vitamin D to your body.
The risk of acquiring prostate cancer increase with aging. So, observe the changes your body is going through with the year you grow old. Go outdoors and have some fresh every morning with your family or family.
Also, follow up your family line up and check for any abnormal health conditions your grandparents or great-grandparents have gone through which will help you in in the quest for the question How to prevent Prostate Cancer.
The natural cure for prostate cancer is to be happy, eat healthy foods and go out and have some fun under the sun.