Are You at Risk of Prostate Cancer?
Cancer is the abnormal uncontrollable growth of cells in the body. Prostate cancer refers to the condition of cancer that affects the prostate, which is a small walnut-shaped gland in males located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate has multiple functions including the production of the seminal fluid that nourishes and is the media of transportation for sperm, secretion of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and aiding in urine control.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer, affecting about 1 in every 8 males. However, a small fraction, less than 3%, die as a result of the disease, as treatment is normally effective especially if the disease is caught early. Hence, it is highly recommended that adult males regularly get screened in order to catch it early.
If you are unable to make an appointment with a physician for a regular check-up we recommend that you consult an Online Urologist.
Though there are hardly ever symptoms during the early stages of the disease, when they do occur, they normally have to do with the penis or pelvic area owing to the position and function of the prostate gland. These symptoms include:
- A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night, which is known as nocturia
- Pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips
- A weak urinary stream
- Blood in the urine and/or semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Difficulty in starting to urinate or maintaining a urinary stream
- Painful urination or ejaculation
- Bone pains or aches
As a result of increased prostate growth, PSA levels may be elevated and can be measured as a way of diagnosing prostate cancer.
Though it is currently unknown what the exact cause of prostate cancer is, we know that the disease begins as a result of changes in the DNA of healthy cells, causing the regularly programmed cell death to be bypassed, preventing cells from undergoing a regular life cycle.
Initially, abnormal gland cells are characterised as a symptom of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), which almost 50% of males over the age of 50 are diagnosed with. These cells may be characterised as high grade or low grade. The former being more likely to develop into cancer.
However, there are some factors that have been found to be associated with a higher risk of developing the disease.
The most common factors associated with a higher risk of developing the disease include:
- Age: Most males develop prostate cancer following the age of 50.
- Obesity: Having a high fat diet or being overweight may put you at greater risk than if you were a normal healthy weight or have a normal balanced diet.
- Race: The condition has been found to be more likely to develop in individuals with African ancestry, while it is least likely to develop in Asian or Hispanic descendants.
- Family History/Genetic Inheritance: Having a family history of the disease means you are more likely to develop it yourself. Inherited genes that are normally associated with breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, also put you at greater risk of having prostate cancer.
There are also other factors that have not yet been thoroughly studied that may increase risk. These include smoking, alcohol consumption, sexually transmitted infections and exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.
If you think you might be at risk of developing prostate cancer due to the above mentioned factors, we recommend you consult a professional and get examined as soon as possible. These Best Urologist in Lahore are great options in that city.