Prostate cancer is one of the commonest cancers in humans and affects an increasing number of men every year. In the United States, it is the most common cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually remains for years without any symptoms, and sadly, it receives little attention compared to other cancers including breast cancer.
Therefore, raising awareness regarding it can help countless men who suffer from the disease to detect themselves early on and seek medical help. In this article, we will discuss prostate cancer, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
What is the prostate?
The male genital system consists of several organs that serve to produce sperms, the male reproductive cells, and testosterone, the male sex hormone. Sperms need a special fluid called the seminal fluid to live and reach the uterus. The main gland that secretes most of that seminal fluid is the prostate.
The prostate is located just under the urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube through which urine passes.
How does cancer occur in the prostate?
Prostate cancer occurs when cells of the prostate begin to behave abnormally and divide at an increased rate. Such division causes an abnormal mass in the prostate. There is no clear cause of cancer in the prostate. However, several risk factors have been linked to prostate cancer including:
- Increasing age: Increasing male age is the one of the most common determinants of prostate cancer. The more a man lives, the higher his possibility of having prostate cancer. There are many theories for this occurrence, and most studies suggest the cause to be due to increased and prolonged exposure to testosterone.
- Family history: People with members in their families with prostate cancer have a higher risk of having it. In addition, it was proven that males whose mothers had breast cancer also have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. This is thanks to the presence of some genes that are responsible for both cancers.
- Obesity: Both smoking and obesity have been linked to prostate cancer in some studies, but the relationship is variable, and there is no clear correlation between them and cancer.
- Some nutritional deficiency: Some studies suggested that some nutritional deficiencies can cause prostate cancer especially vitamin E.