Like any cancer, prostate cancer can be tackled head on with early diagnosis and action. By knowing what can cause it and what the symptoms are, treatment can be carried out before the cancer spreads.
There is no exact cause determined yet in regards to prostate cancer, but research has shown that a number of factors can increase an individual's chance of developing it. Here are the most common:
- As you get older, prostate cancer risk increases, with most cases being men who are aged over 50
- For some reason, the cancer is more common among men who are of African or African-Caribbean descent, while it tends to be rare among Asian and South American men
- Past studies have suggested a link between obesity and prostate cancer. Beyond this, diets that are calcium-rich have been associated with the condition, while selenium in brazilian nuts and lycopene in tomatoes have proven in the past to lower cancer rates.
- Men who exercise have also been in the lower risk category
- Those who have a close male relative, such as a father, brother or uncle, who has had prostate cancer, or a close female relative who developed breast cancer, have had an increased chance of prostate cancer.
The problem with prostate cancer is that there are no symptoms until the cancer has grown so large that it starts placing pressure on the urethra, meaning your usual urine patterns will be disrupted. This means that you may need to urinate more frequently, especially at night, or contrastingly find it difficult in starting to urinate. If you have a weak flow, are straining to get the urine out or are constantly feeling that your bladder has not emptied, these may all be pointing to prostate cancer.
It is important to note that while you should not ignore these symptoms, it definitely does not mean that you have cancer. Naturally, men's prostates will get larger as they get older, known as prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia, so it could simply be this.
Other factors that may point to cancer is if it has spread, so you may see your appetite diminishing, bone and back pain, weight loss for no reason and pain in the testicles.
If any of these symptoms are occurring, it is vital that you seek medical advice as soon as possible. In a lot of cases, it is not prostate cancer, but it is the peace of mind you will achieve by visiting your GP that will be best.
By acting fast on cancer, you can prevent it from spreading and becoming potentially dangerous. Older men should be keeping an eye on their urination patterns and if anything changes drastically and quickly, they should do their research online and then consult with a professional.