Prostate Cancer – Possible symptoms
Although it is relatively common, in most cases prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer. Most prostate cancers arise in the rear portion of the prostate gland; the rest originate near the urethra. Prostate cancers double in mass every six years, on average.
The disease often causes no symptoms at all until it reaches an advanced stage and/or spreads outside the gland. Or it could be one or more of the following: Pain or a burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, a decrease in the size and force of urine flow, an inability to urinate, blood in the urine, and continuing lower back, pelvic or suprapublic discomfort. However, these symptoms most often are caused not by cancer but by benign enlargement or inflammation of the prostate. That’s why professional evaluation and diagnosis is so necessary.
The rate of prostate cancer in the U.S. is rising. In part, this is due to the aging of our population. Just a generation ago, the life expectancy for white men was sixty-five years; today, it is close to eighty years. However, the rate of prostate cancer is rapidly rising in all men, even those under fifty. This is significant because, in general, the younger a man is when he is diagnosed with prostate cancer, the worse his prognosis. The increase in prostate cancer among younger men points to the role of diet and exposure to environmental toxins in the development of the disease.
African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer, while Asian-American have the lowest. Men with a family history of prostate cancer also run a higher risk of developing the disease. The incidence is higher among married men that it is among unmarried men. Also at increased risk are men who have had recurring prostate infections, those with a history of venereal disease, and those who have taken testosterone. Researchers have also found a link between a high-fat diet and prostate cancer.
This may be due to the fact that heavy fat consumption raises testosterone levels, which could then stimulate growth of the prostate, including any cancer cells it may be harboring. Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals increases risk as well. Some experts believe that vasectomy may increase a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer. And, while it isn’t conclusive, some medical professionals are recommending to have the vasectomy reversed.
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