Often, signs of cancer are not detected until you visit a doctor. Nevertheless, you should know possible symptoms of prostate cancer in order to be able to take measures at an early stage.
3 facts about prostate cancer
– Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men at 22.7 percent. – Most cases are diagnosed in men over 50. The disease may be asymptomatic. First detected during a routine medical exam.
It's that time of year again when men grow mustaches to support "Movember" – a portmanteau of the words "moustache" and November. Movember campaign aims to raise awareness of men's health ies. There are three main areas of concern: mental health, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.
We talked to Kry general practitioner Dr. Rhianna McClymont talked about the facts about prostate cancer.
1. What is the prostate?
The prostate – or prostate gland – is about the size of a walnut and is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. This gland is only found in men.
The main function of the prostate is to produce the thick, white fluid that, together with sperm cells (sperm) from the testicles, forms sperm.
2. What are risk factors for prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Germany, accounting for 22.7% of all cases.
In 2017, about 62.230 men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Research suggests 4 possible risk factors:
Age: Most disease is diagnosed in men over age 50. "The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age," explains Dr. McClymont.
Familial predisposition: "If a close relative – such as a father or brother – has prostate cancer, and especially if the cancer was diagnosed at a younger age, that is, before age 60. diagnosed on his or her birthday, the risk is higher," says Dr. McClymont.
Ethnicity: "Research has shown that men of African and Afro-Caribbean descent have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer."
Obesity: Recent research suggests that obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer. This was reported by scientists in the journal Cancer Medicine.
3. Prostate cancer often shows no symptoms in its early stages. May require no or minimal treatment.
However, common symptoms may appear as the disease progresses:
– increased urge to urinate, especially at night – difficulty urinating and/or weak urine flow – feeling that the bladder has not emptied completely – feeling the need to urinate urgently.
4. How prostate cancer is diagnosed?
The common screening methods used for early detection are
PSA blood test: Blood test indicates the concentration of a certain protein produced in the prostate gland. It is performed by your family doctor or a urologist.
Digital rectal exam: "Digital" in this case means that the examination is performed with the finger (digitus = lat. "Finger"). During the DRU, the doctor inserts a finger into the anus to palpate the prostate surface as painlessly as possible. This involves the use of sterile gloves. Lubricant used.
"A PSA test can indicate prostate cancer, but if the PSA level is elevated, this does not necessarily mean prostate cancer," explains Dr. McClymont.
As a rule, a biopsy is also performed for clarification in the event of an elevated PSA value. Tie samples are taken and examined for this purpose. Only after tie sampling is a clear statement possible.
5. How is prostate cancer treated? The treatment of prostate cancer depends on the severity. Depends on the extent of the cancer and the patient's general state of health.
Prostate cancer can be treated in several ways. These include
– Surgery, – Radiation therapy, – Hormone therapy, – Chemotherapy, or – Wait and see.
"In the latter case, the cancer does not affect natural life expectancy. Therapy, therefore, aims to relieve symptoms while monitoring the cancer to make sure it doesn't progress," says Dr. McClymont.
6. What side effects may occur during treatment of prostate cancer?
"Any form of treatment carries potential side effects," she stresses. When surgical removal of the prostate is recommended to treat the cancer, these are important considerations. After a prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate), for example, many men subsequently suffer from erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
The wait-and-see strategy has advantages and disadvantages. Treatment has no side effects, and no regular exams or biopsies are needed. Any pain or swelling that occurs can then be treated accordingly. However, most men do not need treatment.
However, disadvantages include the possibility that the tumor will grow and/or spread.
"In general, wait-and-see is appropriate for men with mild cancer that does not cause significant symptoms or for men with other health problems who would not benefit from more invasive treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy," explains Dr. McClymont.
7. Should I go for screening?
Prostate cancer is a serious disease. But it is rarely fatal.