What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, and is most prevalent in older men. In it, cancer forms in the prostate, or the gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
While doctors have not definitively determined what causes prostate cancer, there are some general contributing factors. Diet can contribute to the risk, namely, men who eat lots of fat from red meat have an increased chance of developing prostate cancer. Hormone levels can also have an effect, as well as not exercising enough.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Unfortunately, there are no warning signs of early prostate cancer. When the cancer has caused the prostate gland to swell or it has spread beyond the prostate, though, there are many symptoms a man might experience. These include:
- Inability to urinate standing up
- A weak urinary stream
- Difficulty starting or stopping the stream of urine
- A frequent need to urinate, particularly at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
If the prostate cancer is not caught at this stage, further symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include:
- Weakness in the lower limbs
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs or upper thighs
How is prostate cancer treated?
There are a variety of different treatments for prostate cancer. When deciding the best treatment method, the doctor will take into consideration the severity of the cancer, your age and your lifestyle, along with other important factors.
If the cancer is caught at an early stage, surgery or radiation therapy are often performed, sometimes alone or in combination with each other. Hormone therapy can also be used to treat prostate cancer.
If the cancer is caught in a later stage, endocrine therapy or chemotherapy may be used to treat it. Both of these have many side effects, and should be discussed in length with your doctor.
If you are experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer and want to learn more about your options, contact Philadelphia Urology Associates today.