When talking about gender-specific Cancers, there seems to be more talk about Women: Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. More Walks, Workshop, Seminars and Policies than for the Male Folks. Men feel like they are spectators or cheer-leaders and they keep asking themselves: “what about us?”
Today, we would review a Male-specific Cancer – Prostate Cancer.
It affects Males usually when they are above 65 years.
Now, this may be the time for Ladies to want to back out. Most Women reading this have a Male in their lives – Father, Brother, Uncle, Uncle or even a Colleague. So, it is important to know some facts.
It is good to know this topic with the following points:
- What is the Prostate?
- What is Cancer?
- Some Prostate Cancer Facts
- Risk Factors
- Signs and Symptoms
- Let’s leave the Management to your Doctor.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. It produces fluid that makes up a part of semen (that sticky whitish fluid containing sperm). The prostate gland surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis and out of the body).
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease where some normal cells of the body become abnormal, may grow (multiply) rapidly and develop a tendency to spread, ultimately killing the organism. Prostate Cancer is a disease where the normal Prostate cells become abnormal, grow abnormally and may spread.
- Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men.
- Prostate cancers usually grow slowly.
- Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years
Risk Factors refers to those factors that if present means you are likely going to have the disease than the general population.
There is no way to know for sure if you will get prostate cancer. But some factors stand out:
- Being a Male. That’s obvious as the organ is present ONLY in males.
- The older a man is, the greater his risk for getting prostate cancer.
- Men also have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer if they are of African origin
- If a Man has a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.
What would you feel (could be your Father, Brother or Colleague too)?
Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all. Some symptoms, the danger signs, may not point to the disease at all.
Some of those symptoms include:
- Difficulty starting urination.
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
- Frequent urination, especially at night.
- Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
- Pain or burning during urination.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
- Painful ejaculation.
The above may warn you when the disease is still young but the following are quite disturbing:
- General Body weakness/easy fatigability
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Nagging low back pain
- Difficulty walking
When you see the above, the situation is bad and outcome not so good. You don’t need to wait for those symptoms before seeing your Doctor. Yearly general Screening at a good Health Facility will help prevent it.
Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer—
- Digital rectal exam (DRE):A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
- Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test:Measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.
Should You Get Screened?
A PSA test can find prostate cancer earlier than no screening at all. However, the PSA test may have false positive or false negative results. This can mean that men without cancer may have abnormal results and get tests that are not necessary. It could also mean that the test could miss cancer in men who may need to be treated. Talk to your Doctor about the right decision for you.
Prostate Cancer is real and threatening our Society of good men. Information/Education about this Cancer, Screening for early detection and Seeking help from a Competent source can help with Survival.
Get Screened today!!