A man's prostate gland is located beneath the bladder. It's shape like a doughnut, and the urethra, which transports urine from the bladder, runs through the middle. The purpose of the prostate is to produce the fluid that gets mixed with sperm when the man *** tes.
Unfortunately, the prostate is also very susceptible to cancer, and it's the most common type of cancer in men in western countries. Generally, tumors in the prostate grow slowly, and don't require treatment. However others grow rapidly, and can spread to other areas of the body, particularly the bones, which can be very painful. Around 280,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
Some of the more common symptoms indicating the presence of prostate cancer include difficulty passing urine, particularly at night, or even an inability to urinate. Patients may also have a weak or interrupted flow or urine, pain in the lower back, blood in the urine, pain when urinating or pain in the hips and upper thighs. The presence of the symptoms may also indicate a benign enlargement of the prostate, so the presence of any of these symptoms doesn't automatically indicate prostate cancer. A doctor should be consulted for an accurate diagnosis.
Research into the cause of prostate cancer has been ongoing for many years, and although no exact cause has been found, there are a number of risk factors. It's thought that radiation may account for some cases, and anything up to ten percent of cases are in men with a family history of prostate cancer, suggesting a genetic factor. It's been suggested that having a family history can increase your risk of developing prostate cancer by two or three times.
Age is another, and probably the major, risk factor. It's very unusual for men less than 50 years of age to develop prostate cancer, but more than half the diagnosed cases of prostate cancer are in men over 75.
Some research has suggested that diet can have an effect on your risk of getting prostate cancer. You need to focus on eating low-fat food, and eat lots of tomatoes and cruciform vegetables (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli). Other studies have suggested that vitamin E can be effective, but these results haven't been confirmed. Selenium is another possible option, with some studies suggesting that 200microgrammes of selenium daily can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
One myth that persisted for many years was that having a vasectomy made a man more susceptible to prostate cancer. This has been proven incorrect, with no noticeable difference in prostate cancer between men who have a vasectomy and those who don't.
The important thing to remember is that early diagnosis gives you a much better chance of successful treatment. Advanced prostate cancer is difficult to cure, and there's a much higher risk of the cancer spreading in the body. So any man who has reached the age of 50 should make sure they are aware of the symptoms of prostate cancer, and get a checkup immediately if they notice any developing. It's also a good idea to have a prostate health check regularly as well.
For more information on the common signs of prostate cancer try visiting http://www.guide-to-prostate-cancer.com, a website that specializes in providing tips, advice and resources dealing with prostate cancer to include information on hormone treatment for prostate cancer .