Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type that affects men. It is largely associated with older men and can affect men's sexual function. However, this form of cancer can be treated through the right medical intervention. The following are some things you need to know:
1. Who is at risk?
Commonly, prostate cancer is diagnosed in older men. The average age at diagnosis is 66. It is rarely found in men under the age of 40, but that doesn't imply that it is totally unlikely to happen. In younger men, it can have serious long-term concerns including infertility. Additionally, men diagnosed with prostate cancer below the age of 55 are likely to die from complications arising from cancer than any other causes, according to a recent study.
2. What are the symptoms?
Usually, there are no symptoms of early prostate cancer. In advanced stages, symptoms might include blood in urine, a weak or slow stream of urine, erectile dysfunction or frequent urination, especially at night. Other symptoms include an enlarged prostate, pain in the hips, ribs, and back especially for cancer that has spread.
3. When should you go for screening and how?
Screening for prostate cancer is simple and can be done in the doctor's office. Here, a simple blood test for prostate-specific antigen is done to determine the PSA levels in the blood. It can be combined with a digital rectal examination to establish if there are any abnormal lumps in the prostate.
However, it is still unclear how often and at what age the screening should take place. It is ultimately a personal decision and a discussion with your doctor. If you have a family history of cancer, you might consider getting screened as early as possible, preferably at the age of 40.
4. Prostate cancer surgery
If diagnosed early, several treatment options can work and cure prostate cancer. Watchful waiting or delayed treatment can be considered in its early stages. However, if the cancer has already advanced, prostate cancer surgery may be the best treatment option. This operation may involve the removal of the prostate gland if it has already been affected. Otherwise, only the tumor will be removed. A nerve-sparing surgery is necessary to limit the risks of erectile dysfunctions, which is always a concern for many patients.
Prostate cancer can affect all men but is commonly associated with older men. Some of the best ways to reduce the risk of this cancer are by eating healthy foods, maintaining a physically active lifestyle and a healthy weight.