If you are a middle aged man chances are you may have gone in for a prostate cancer screening with your doctor. Prostate cancer is a very serious ailment that can be very detrimental to your health and it should always be taken seriously.
The disease is known only to affect men because it happens in the prostate gland, which something that only men have. The word prostate actually stems its meaning from prostates, which is a Greek word that translates to “one standing in front.”
What is a Prostate?
A prostate is an exocrine gland that is located directly under a male’s bladder and has direct relations in the reproductive system. Exocrine glands are glands that are the cause of bodily excretions to exit the body. Sweat glands can also be known as a form of exocrine gland within the human body. The prostate is relatively small in size, and is on average around the size of a walnut. The tube that runs from your bladder and ends towards a penis’ end is known as the urethra.
The purpose of a urethra is to carry urine as well as urine through your prostate gland. If you are able to examine a chart of your prostate you will notice that it is covered with thousands of small glands. The small glands that are located in the prostate are what is used in the creation of semen. When a male is able to experience an orgasm the vesicles will produce a liquid that will allow semen to travel.
This liquid that is produced is created with the participation of the testicles and the prostate. It is when a male experiences a climax that he will experience contractions that will force semen into the urethra which will exit via the penis.
It is also good to keep in mind that your prostate is also what controls your urine. Your prostate is able to control the flow of your urine through the use of muscle fibers. The muscle fibers that are located in the prostate will release as well as contract as a means to regulate urine flow. There is also a protein that goes by the name of PSA that is produced in the prostate gland that helps to keep semen in a liquid state.
It is also very common for extra levels of PSA to be released into the bloodstream. Your doctor is able to measure the levels of PSA I your body by checking your blood. If it is found that a man contains an extremely high amount of PSA in his blood it can lead doctors to believe there is a risk of prostate cancer. You want to also keep in mind that just because your PSA level s is high does not mean that it will be harmful to you. Your hormones are what affect how your prostate grows as well as the levels of PSA that is produced by your body.
There are certain types of medications that will alter the levels of PSA produced, especially medicines that affect your level of hormones. If you have an extremely low level of male hormones in your body it may cause your prostate to not grow to it complete size.
It has been found that in older males that their prostates can continue to grow and most of the growth occurs in the area surrounding the urethra. If it goes untreated you may experience a difficulty to urinate because the increase in size of your prostate may cause your urethra to collapse. The name of the condition that results because of an over growth in the prostate gland is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is not a form of cancer but will be in your best interest to get it treated should it occur.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Most cases of prostate cancer are known to have started in the gland cells in your prostate. Prostate cancer is a disease that has very slow levels of progression. It is very common for a man to have died of old age without him having a clue of the prostate cancer that existed in their body.
In most cases men will only know they have prostate cancer after undergoing an exam.It has been reported that around 80% of men who are in their 80’s will have had prostate cancer without their doctor knowing it. In its beginning stages prostate cancer will often start by alterations in the size as well as shape of your prostate cells.
The condition that results from the minor alterations in the prostate is known as Prostatic Intraepithlian Neoplasia or PIN. It is estimated that around 50% of men that are in their 50’s will have PIN. The cells will not change in location and can be easily detected by a doctor who uses a microscope. If the cells become cancerous they will advance in location to other parts of your prostate. If it is found that you have a high grade PIN, then it will ultimately lead to you having a greater risk factor of developing prostate cancer. In most cases, your doctor will want to regularly perform biopsies to monitor your PIN levels.
What You Should Know
The stage that the cancer is in once diagnosed as well as how far it has spread.
The types of treatments available to you once you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
What the size of the tumor is in your prostate.
How many lymph nodes are involved with your cancer, and any other form of metastases.
What your Gleason score is.
Symptoms Associated with Prostate Cancer
Very frequent urination.
Difficulty when you urinate.
A significant increase in difficulty to urinate once you begin the urination process.
Finding traces of blood located inside your urine.
Experiencing any pain while you urinate.
Feelings of pain or discomfort while ejaculating.
Causes and Treatment of Prostate Cancer
The biggest risk factor that will be associated with prostate cancer is a person’s age. As a man ages his risk factor increases the older he gets. It is also common for prostate cancer to from due to genetics reasons and lifestyle. There is really no set cure for prostate cancer because every male’s body will respond to treatments differently.
Prostate cancer is best to treat in its early stages in order to formulate a cure. It is mostly treated with hormone or chemotherapy. Make sure that you go to regular screenings by your doctor for prostate cancer to catch the disease in its earliest stages. If you find that your cancer has advanced to a very late stage it will be nearly impossible to find a cure.
Prostate cancer that is in its advanced form may only be able to be treated by surgery. It will be crucial to your health that you stay on any medications prescribed by your doctor for its full duration. Never take yourself off of a medication just because you begin to feel better. If you go off of a medication before its intended duration you may find yourself experiencing symptoms all over again. It may also be in your best interest to seek the advice of more than one doctor.