Prostate

prostateProstate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissue of the prostate. Today, we find more men sharing experiences about how early detection of cancer made a life-saving difference. Although prostate cancer is typically slow growing, it’s nothing to ignore. It’s the most common form of cancer amongst males, affecting one out of six men in the United States.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland which produces seminal fluid. Although part of the male reproductive system, it is in close proximity to the bladder. The urethra, a tube that directs the removal of urine out of the body, is surrounded by the prostate. The urethra is joined by two ejaculatory ducts. During sexual activity, the prostate acts like a valve between the urinary and reproductive tracts. This enables the semen to ejaculate without mixing with urine.

As a man ages, the prostate may show signs of inflammation, enlarge and interfere with sexual function and block the flow of urine. Every male ought to be aware of this condition. It is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although not life threatening, it can lead to other health issues. The signs of BPH are similar to the signs of prostate cancer.

Read more about Prostate Cancer at Cancer.gov »
prostate3What are some possible warning signs for prostate cancer?
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Frequent urination during the night
  • Pain in the back hips and pelvis
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pain with ejaculation

Statistics

In the United States, while prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, for African-American males this cancer risk is even higher. The information from the Centers for Disease Control is alarming:
Read more about Prostate Cancer at Cancer.gov »

What are some possible warning signs for prostate cancer?
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Frequent urination during the night
  • Pain in the back hips and pelvis
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pain with ejaculation

Statistics

In the United States, while prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, for African-American males this cancer risk is even higher. The information from the Centers for Disease Control is alarming:

For the general male population
  • 1 – 6 chance of being diagnosed with it in their lifetime
  • 1 – 33 chance of dying from it
African American men
  • 1 – 5 chance of being diagnosed in their lifetime.
  • 1 – 20 chance of dying from it

CDC: Prostate Cancer Statistics

KnowYourStats.org

How does a man get his prostate screened for risk of cancer?

There are two simple tests:

  1. The first test is a digital rectal exam (DRE). It checks for the size and health of the prostate. The purpose of the DRE is to detect “suspicious” places on the prostate. An urologist examines the prostate by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger inside the rectum and palpating the prostate through the rectal wall. It takes a couple of minutes and is not painful.
  2. The second test is called the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA measures for the possibility of cancer. The test involves a small amount of blood drawn from the arm.  A high PSA score is like a smoke alarm. It may signal an infection or increased risk of cancer. The PSA is a step toward diagnosis but is not a final indicator.

The important fact for a man to remember is that when abnormalities are detected early, the rate of cancer survival increases dramatically. Before accepting a diagnosis of prostate cancer, be sure that your urologist has eliminated benign disease (BPH) or prostatitis and other inflammatory conditions for your test results.

CDC: Prostate Cancer Screening

CDC: Informed Decision Making: How to Make a Personal Healthcare Choice

What are your options if you’re diagnosed?

There are many options available for you depending the stage your in:

The important fact for a man to remember is that when abnormalities are detected early, the rate of cancer survival increases dramatically. Before accepting a diagnosis of prostate cancer, be sure that your urologist has eliminated benign disease (BPH) or prostatitis and other inflammatory conditions for your diagnosis.

UCLA Health System: Innovations and Technology

Loma Linda University Medical Center: What are the Benefits of Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer Patients?

Foods and botanicals that have been studied to promote prostate health

  • prostate2Tomatoes contain Lycopene which is an antioxidant compound that has been found effective in fighting cancer.
  • Broccoli studies have shown that a high intake of this vegetable has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Saw Palmetto, also known as Serenoa repens or Sabal serrulatum, is an herb that is most commonly used to treat problems related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Saw palmetto appears to have efficacy similar to that of medications like finasteride, but it is better tolerated and less expensive.
  • Stinging nettle laboratory studies have shown that it is comparable to finasteride (a medication commonly prescribed for BPH) in slowing the growth of certain prostate cells.

Don’t wait until you have a symptom to be screened.
This disease is silent and affects all men and their families.

Catch it before it catches you…..Get screened!