Early detection is only possible if you know what signs you should be looking for to determine if you have cancer. Men should know the signs of prostate cancer in particular because it only affects their gender. In fact, it is the most common form of cancer in men after skin cancer. In 2002, 1.1 million men had it with 307,000 succumbing to it.
Here are a few facts on prostate cancer that can help you to detect and deal with this medical condition.
The possible causes of prostate cancer
The exact cause of this form of cancer remains unknown but scientists have narrowed it down to a few risk factors that could increase your chances of getting it. One of them is the genetic factor. For example, men with a brother or father who has prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop this illness as those who do not have one. Dietary factors such as low levels of vitamin D or obesity can also increase the risk of getting it. Other things than can increase the risk include sexually transmitted infections (STI), elevated levels of testosterone, and having a vasectomy. Promiscuity i.e. having multiple sexual partners increases the chances of you getting prostate cancer significantly.
The signs and symptoms associated with prostate cancer
Unfortunately, prostate cancer does not show any clear symptoms during its early stages. In other words, you or your physician may confuse these symptoms with those associated with other diseases. For example, you might experience frequent urination or just increased frequency levels at night. These are the signs associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia(BPH).
Other symptoms may include blood in the urine, painful urination, and difficulty maintaining a steady urine stream. These are all signs that should prompt you to contact the doctor as soon as possible if you notice them. Other difficulties that may manifest themselves include painful ejaculation or trouble in realizing an erection.
Sometimes, this type of cancer can spread to other areas of the body causing bone pain, leg weakness, fecal incontinence, and a tingling feeling in the spinal cord.
The most important thing to do if you suspect that you might have prostate cancer is not to panic. Remember, it is possible to manage the condition through radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, high intensity focused ultrasound, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, cryosurgery, or a combination of a number of them. It is also important to note that low-grade types of this disease progress so slowly that sometimes treatment for them is unnecessary at all.