Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men across the world. Reports have shown that African men have a disproportionately higher risk of prostate cancer compared to the men in other parts of the world. The rate of cancer mortality is also relatively higher in men of African descent, possible due to the delayed diagnosis.
This indicates the need to educate men about the early warning signs of prostate cancer and the importance of timely medical intervention.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer affecting the prostate. It is a small gland the size of a walnut present in males. The primary function of this gland is to produce seminal fluid that nourishes the sperms and transports them.
Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly and are often confined to the gland itself, where they may or may not cause any severe harm.
Most forms of prostate cancer do not need any active medical intervention. However, in some cases, the cancer may become aggressive and spread quickly to the healthy tissues necessitating advanced medical treatments.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms in the initial stages. It might cause a few symptoms in the advanced stages like:
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Trouble in urinating
- Presence of blood in the semen
- Pain in the bones
- Losing weight without any apparent reason
- Reduced force of the stream of urine
- Erectile dysfunctions
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
Some factors that may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer include:
The risk of prostate cancer tends to increase with age. It is common after the age of 50 years.
For some reasons not entirely determined, people with a darker skin tone have been found to have a higher risk of prostate cancer than those with a lighter skin tone. In Black people, prostate cancer is also likely to become more advanced or aggressive.
Men who are obese have a higher risk of prostate cancer than those with a normal or healthy weight. In obese men, the cancer is more likely to become aggressive and even relapse after the initial treatments have shown the signs of recovery.
Screening for prostate cancer
Regular testing of healthy men without the symptoms of prostate cancer could be beneficial for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Some sensitive prostate screening tests include:
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test
- Digital rectal examination
- Transrectal biopsy of the prostate
- Magnetic resonance imaging
Treatment for Prostate Cancer
The treatment of prostate cancer involves the use of drugs like 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, including finasteride and dutasteride. These medications are also used to control the enlargement of the prostate gland.
However, these drugs may not be suitable for men with a severe form of prostate cancer, such as high-grade prostate cancer. Hence, it is best to avoid these drugs unless prescribed by a healthcare practitioner.
We have a team of skilled medical professionals who have expertise in the management of prostate cancer. You can visit our center or contact us to learn more about the various methods for the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.