Prostate cancer occurs in a man's prostate which is a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. This is the most common type of cancer in men. Usually, it grows slowly and stays confined to the prostate gland where there is minimal harm caused. Unfortunately, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.
Advanced signs and symptoms:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
The cause of cancer is unsure, but doctors know that when mutations are created in the DNA of cells, prostate cancer is formed. Compared to healthy cells, these abnormal cells grow and divide rapidly.
- Older age
- Being black
- Family history of prostate or breast cancer
Treatment options depend how fast the cancer is growing, if it has spread, and your overall health condition. If prostate cancer is diagnosed early, you may not need treatment right away. Instead, your doctor might recommend active surveillance which includes blood tests, rectal exams, and possible biopsies to monitor the progress of the cancer. A risk of active surveillance is that cancer could grow and spread between checkups, decreasing the chances of it getting cured.
Radiation that comes from the outside of your body (external beam radiation): The patient lies on a table while a machine maneuvers around your body and directs high-powered energy beams to your prostate cancer. You usually have to do this five days a week for several weeks.
Radiation placed inside your body (brachytherapy): Many rice-sized radioactive seeds are planted in your prostate tissue where they deliver radiation over an extended period of time. Your doctor uses needles to insert them which are guided by ultrasound images. These seeds will stop producing radiation after a certain period, so they don’t need to be removed.
Biological therapy is when cancer cells are fought off by your body’s immune system. This treatment involves genetically engineering your immune cells in a laboratory to fight the prostate cancer. Once this is done, the cells are injected back into your body through a vein.
Other treatment options include surgery to remove the prostate, hormone therapy, freezing prostate tissue, and chemotherapy.
- Choose a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables
- Choose healthy foods over supplements
- Exercise most days of the week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Talk to your doctor about increased risk of prostate cancer