Prostate Cancer Early Detection, Risks, Prevention, and Treatment Insights
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Many prostate cancers grow slowly and are confined to the prostate gland, where they may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.
Prostate cancer that’s detected early, has the best chance for successful treatment.
When should I seek medical help?
You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:
- Difficulty peeing.
- Peeing frequently (incontinence).
- Pain when you pee or have intercourse.
- Blood in your pee or semen.
- Loss of hunger
- Loss of weight
- Bone pain
- Pain in the lower back, upper thigh or hips
- Emotional stress
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
The most common risk factors include:
Age. Your risk increases as you get older. You’re more likely to get diagnosed if you’re over 50. About 60% of prostate cancers occur in people older than 65.
Family history of prostate cancer. You’re two to three times more likely to get prostate cancer if a close family member has it.
Genetics. You’re at greater risk if you have Lynch syndrome or if you inherited mutated (changed) genes associated with increased breast cancer risk (BRCA1 and BRCA2).
Some studies have identified other prostate cancer risk factors, but the evidence is mixed. Other potential risk factors include:
Having a BMI > 30 (having obesity).
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You’re also at greater risk of prostate cancer at the age 45.
How can I prevent prostate cancer?
Preventing prostate cancer isn’t possible. Still, taking these steps may reduce your risk:
- Get regular prostate screenings. Ask your healthcare provider how often you should get screened based on your risk factors. Talk to your doctor about the increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your provider what a healthy weight means for you.
- Exercise regularly. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, or a little more than 20 minutes daily.
- Eat a nutritious diet. There’s no one diet to prevent cancer, but good eating habits can improve your overall health. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid red meats and processed foods.
- Quit smoking. Avoid tobacco products. If you smoke, work with your provider on a smoking cessation program to kick the habit.
Is prostate cancer curable?
Yes, if it’s caught early. In some cases, cancer grows so slowly that you may not need treatment right away. Treatment can often eliminate prostate cancers that haven’t spread beyond the prostate gland.
What are the treatment options?
- If the cancer is confirmed to the prostate gland, surgical removal of the prostate gland provides the best possible cure.
- If the cancer has spread beyond the prostate into the nearby areas, Radiotherapy can still cure it.
- If the cancer has spread to distant sites like Bone, Lungs, Lymph nodes, you will require hormonal control in the form of Injectable therapy or surgical removal of testes. Though it doesn’t properly cure, it will control the diseases to provide you a healthy lifestyle.