So What Causes Prostate Cancer
The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown. Most prostate cancers happen by chance, or due to shared environmental and common genetic factors. But what we do know is that prostate cancer happens when some prostate cells become abnormal.
Abnormal cells grow and multiply more quickly than normal cells. And as abnormal cells continue to accumulate, normal cells die and a tumor forms. That tumor can grow and spread to nearby tissue, and those abnormal cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
Brca1 Or Brca2 Gene Changes
You might hear your doctor call these mutations. Youâre born with them, so they fall in the category of risk factors you canât control. They run in families, but they only affect a small number of people. They raise the odds of breast and ovarian cancers in women and prostate cancer in some men.
Does Undergoing A Vasectomy Cause Prostate Cancer
The link between prostate cancer and vasectomy is controversial. A 2020 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that undergoing a vasectomy may result in a small increased risk of prostate cancer that persists for at least three decades, regardless of the age at vasectomy. However, other studies have not found this to be true and more research is needed, according to the American Cancer Society.
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What Are Prostate Tests And How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed
Tests which check for prostate cancer include:
- A digital rectal exam . In this exam, your provider feels your prostate for lumps or anything unusual by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum.
- A prostate-specific antigen blood test. A high PSA blood level may be a sign of prostate cancer. But many other things can cause high PSA levels, too.
- Imaging tests. These tests may use ultrasound or MRI to make pictures of your prostate.
If these tests show that you might have prostate cancer, the next step is usually a prostate biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to diagnose prostate cancer.
During a biopsy, a doctor uses a hollow needle to remove some prostate tissue. The tissue is studied under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
You Can Take Action Now To Reduce Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer Later On
You cant control your genes or what the future may hold. But you can take steps to reduce your risk of prostate cancer through lifestyle choices. For starters:
- Maintain a healthy diet. A diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can contribute to your overall health.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise not only improves your physical health, but also your mood and mental health. Plus, there is some evidence that men who exercise are at a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a risk factor for prostate cancer.
- Talk proactively with your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer. If youre over 40 and havent discussed your risk level with your doctor or urologist, I suggest you make an appointment. Depending on your risk factors, you and your doctor can work together to create an action plan that works best for you, which may include a prostate cancer screening.
Also, if youve been experiencing any unusual urinary or erectile symptoms, dont ignore them. Make a primary care appointment, for starters.
Your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms, answer your questions and recommend treatment next steps if needed. They may also recommend you see a urologist like me. Urologists are experts in urinary and male reproductive health, including prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.
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Common Symptoms Associated With Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer might not cause any symptoms, especially when its in the early stages. Some signs and symptoms are similar to other diseases and ailments, so you must speak with a doctor to determine your diagnosis.
Prostate cancer symptoms in advanced stages include:
Blood in the semen or urine
Pain in the back, chest, hips, or other parts of the body where it spread to the bones
Difficulty urinating, including the urge to urinate more frequently or a weak or slow urinary stream
Numbness or weakness in the feet or legs
Loss of bowel or bladder control if the cancer is pressing against the spinal cord
If you notice any of the symptoms above, you should immediately make an appointment with a medical provider. Most of these symptoms can be the result of another ailment. For instance, non-cancerous growth of the prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , can cause trouble urinating. You might have a less serious condition thats causing your symptoms however, you should see a specialist so they can perform tests and screen for prostate cancer.
Changes You Shouldnt Ignore
Early-stage prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms but as the disease progresses, you may experience certain warning signs. Knowing the signs of prostate cancer will help you keep an eye out for any concerning changes to your health.
Keep in mind, though, these symptoms dont indicate trouble with your prostate, Dr. Weight says. In fact, almost all of them come standard with aging. But if you experience several symptoms or have other concerns, it may be a good idea to visit a urologist.
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Family History And Genetics
Your family history is information about any health problems that have affected your family. Families have many common factors, such as their genes, environment and lifestyle. Together, these factors can help suggest if you are more likely to get some health conditions.
Inside every cell in our body is a set of instructions called genes. These are passed down from our parents. Genes control how the body grows, works and what it looks like. If something goes wrong with one or more genes , it can sometimes cause cancer.
Is prostate cancer hereditary?
If people in your family have prostate cancer or breast cancer, it might increase your own risk of getting prostate cancer. This is because you may have inherited the same faulty genes.
My father had prostate cancer. What are my risks?
- You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it, compared to a man who has no relatives with prostate cancer.
- Your chance of getting prostate cancer may be even greater if your father or brother was under 60 when he was diagnosed, or if you have more than one close relative with prostate cancer.
- Your risk of getting prostate cancer may also be higher if your mother or sister has had breast cancer.
Do you have a family history of prostate cancer?
If you’re over 45 and your father or brother has had prostate cancer, you may want to talk to your GP. Our Specialist Nurses can also help you understand your hereditary risk of prostate cancer.
Cancer Lethality Set Early
The study looked for changes in cancer aggressiveness in men diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1982 to 2004. All of the men had their prostates removed after diagnosis, and biopsy samples were taken from the glands. The Harvard team reexamined the samples and graded them using a tool called the Gleason score, which assigns a number from 2 to 10 based on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope. High-scoring or high-grade cancers tend to be the most lethal.
Over the study period, fewer and fewer men were diagnosed with advanced, late-stage prostate cancers that had spread beyond the prostate gland. This reflected the growing use of prostate-specific antigen testing to diagnose prostate cancers earlier and earlier. In contrast, the proportion of high-grade cancers, as measured by the Gleason score, remained relatively stable rather than gradually becoming more aggressive. Previous studies have seen a similar pattern.
Its a very interesting study that confirms what previous studies have found, says Dr. Marc B. Garnick, a prostate cancer specialist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who was not involved in the study. There may be rare exceptions, but in the vast majority the cancer is born with a particular Gleason score.
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Why Destigmatizing Prostate Cancer Is Important
Bringing down barriers can encourage more people to do preventive screening, get treatment, and even build awareness about prostate cancer, particularly within marginalized communities at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Recognizing the stigma surrounding prostate cancer is the first step. Finding ways to overcome it is next in line. Keeping an open line of communication is necessary for fighting back against the unfair stigma.
Of course, this isnt to say you need to speak openly about your diagnosis with every person in your life.
But the more you talk about your experience whether with trusted family and friends or others whove been diagnosed with prostate cancer the less chance the stigma will persist.
Half Of Men Over 60 Have Prostate Cancer But Most Die Of Other Causes
A new study looking at the prevalence of prostate cancer in men over 60 years of age found that just about 50 percent of men have the cancer. This statistic isn’t as distrubing as it sounds most prostate cancers never develop into a harmful form of the disease and a large proportion of men will pass away from other causes without their prostate cancer progressing and becoming invasive.
The current study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined 320 men from Russia and Japan who had died at the age of 60 or older between 2010 and 2011. None of the men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer before their death. Men from Russia were used for the survey because they have similar fat intakes and sun exposures compared to North American men. Japanese men were examined because the incidence of prostate cancer is lower in the male population of Japan, most likely resulting in different diet compared to Caucasian North American men.
How often men should be tested for prostate cancer is a topic of debate among healthcare professionals. After all, the bottom line is that most American men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough. But many of them never experience any ill effects from the cancer, and typically die of natural causes having nothing to do with the prostate. And in fact, many doctors believe that prostate cancer is over-treated because not all men progress to a dangerous form of the disease.
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How Is Prostate Cancer Treated
Your treatment will depend on what kind of cancer cells you have, how far they have spread, your age and general health, and your preferences. At HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, we approach cancer treatment by understanding the impact it has both physically and mentally. So, you and your doctor may decide to manage your cancer with active surveillance or to treat it with surgery or radiation.
If youre over age 80 or have other serious health problems, like heart disease, you may choose not to have treatments to cure your cancer. Instead, you can just have treatments to manage your symptoms. This is called watchful waiting.
If youve already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, choosing treatment for prostate cancer can be confusing. Both urologists and oncologists have the specialty training and expertise to treat prostate cancer. They can work with you develop a treatment plan thats right for you.
Questions about your prostate cancer treatment options?
Risk Factors You Cant Control
Age: The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. One in 10,000 men younger than 40 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but one in 15 men in their 60s will be diagnosed with the disease.
Family history: Being born with a gene mutation is one of the unavoidable risks of prostate cancer. Two of them include the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. BRCA and other inherited mutations, including HOXB13 and DNA mismatch repair genes, may explain why prostate cancer runs in families. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer may double a mans risk, especially if that relative was diagnosed before age 55.
Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia :
Race: Studies show that African-American men are about 70 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime than Caucasian or Hispanic men.
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Should I Get Prostate Cancer Screening
You may have wondered why there is no nationwide prostate cancer screening program in Australia . Thats because experts do not recommend routine prostate cancer screening if youre aged between 50 and 69, healthy, and dont have a family history of prostate cancer.
There are several reasons for this:
- A high PSA level can be a result of something other than cancer.
- Experts dont fully agree on what is a normal or abnormal PSA level.
- Most men with a slightly raised PSA level have a biopsy that confirms no cancer.
- Many prostate cancers are low risk, slow growing, and are unlikely to cause harm if left untreated.
- Testing and treating low risk, slow growing cancers may cause more harm than good.
You should speak to your doctor if you have a family history or ongoing symptoms of prostate cancer, such as difficulty passing urine. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision about whether prostate cancer screening is suitable for you.
Screening For The Early Detection Of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer could be found early if you undergo a screening. Screening is a way to test for signs of cancer before symptoms even develop. If the results show any abnormalities, you might need a biopsy to determine if you have cancer. Some medical organizations find these tests controversial, especially if they are performed on healthy individuals who havent shown symptoms of the disease. No one knows if the benefits outweigh any possible risks. You should discuss this with your doctor so they can review your medical history, risk factors, and other information to determine if you should undergo screenings.
The two main screening tests include:
Prostate-specific antigen blood test PSA is a protein made in the prostate gland for semen. It can also be found in the blood. As your PSA level rises, the chance that you have prostate cancer also increases. There isnt a specific level that indicates whether theres cancer. Some doctors will decide additional testing is necessary if theres a PSA of 2.5 or 3, while others will recommend it if the level is 4 or higher.
Digital rectal exam A doctor will lubricate a glove and insert one finger into the rectum to feel for hard areas or bumps on the prostate that could indicate cancer. A rectal exam is not as effective as a PSA test but might detect prostate cancer if someone has a normal PSA level.
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What Is The Outlook
Although some cases of prostate cancer are aggressive, most are not. Most men diagnosed with this disease can expect a good outlook and many years of life ahead of them. The earlier your cancer is diagnosed, the better your outlook. Diagnosing and treating prostate cancer early can improve your chance of finding curative treatment. Even men who are diagnosed in later stages can benefit greatly from treatment. These benefits include reducing or eliminating symptoms, slowing further growth of the cancer, and prolonging life by many years.
Black Men And Prostate Cancer
What does the research say?
- According to a study published in Cancer Reports, African Americans have higher rates of prostate cancer and are more likely to die from the disease than other groups in the United States.
- A separate study published in JAMA found that though African American men face a greater risk of prostate cancer progression, the increased risk does not translate to an increased risk of death.
- Urological surgeon Professor Frank Chinegwundoh revealed that
- Black men in the UK are 2-3 times more likely to develop prostate cancer,
- The death rate is twice as high
- Black men in the UK are more likely to develop prostate cancer at a younger age
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Prostate Cancer What Is It
To get checked for prostate cancer please consult with your GP.
The human body is made up of billions of tiny building blocks called cells. Sometimes, cells reproduce in an uncontrolled way and grow into a lump, or tumour. There are two kinds of tumours: noncancerous and cancerous . Benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body and are not life threatening .
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These cells have the potential to continue to multiply, and possibly spread beyond the prostate. Doctors do not know what causes prostate cancer. What they do know however, is that the growth of cancer cells in the prostate is stimulated by male hormones, especially testosterone. Most prostate cancer growth is influenced by testosterone but the speed at which prostate cancer grows varies from man to man. In some men the cancer grows very slowly , in others growth is more rapid .
Men are more likely to develop prostate cancer as they get older. It is also more common in men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer, and in families who carry certain genes such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Anyone with a prostate can get prostate cancer including transgender women, male-assigned non-binary people or intersex people.
Men With Prostate Cancer May Experience Unintended And Significant Weight Loss There Are Five Reasons Why This Can Happen
The first reason is rather obvious: anxiety and/or depression over the illness. Both anxiety and depression suppress appetite.
Another well-known explanation is the sick feeling that chemotherapy often causes. The drugs can also alter the patients perception of how foods taste.
But there are less obvious reasons why prostate cancer can cause a man to lose weight even if he doesnt have any pre-existing excess body fat.