Prostate Cancer Awareness Week was initiated in 1989 as a way to educate the male population on the importance of early detection and raise funding for important research endeavors. With Prostate Cancer Awareness Week spanning from September 18th to the 24th, there’s no better time to reflect on some of the important lessons.
What is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder, in front of the rectum. While the prostate contains a variety of cells, nearly all prostate cancers originate from the glandular cells, forming a tumor known as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among American men next to skin cancer; in fact, the American Cancer Society states that nearly 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2011 alone.
Causes and Risk Factors
Prostate cancer is caused by DNA mutations of normal prostate cells, often linked to the HPC1, or Hereditary Prostate Cancer Gene 1. Some of the most common risk factors for developing prostate cancer include:
- Increasing age.
- Ethnicity—prostate cancer is more common among North Americans and Northwestern Europeans.
- Family history of cancer.
- Diets high in red meat and high-fat dairy products.
- Infection and inflammation of the prostate, or prostatitis.
Signs and Symptoms
Prostate cancer typically doesn't cause ANY symptoms until advanced stages. That's why early detection is crucial to increasing cure and survival rates. The common symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Difficulty urinating or decreased force of urine stream.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
- Pelvic discomfort.
- Bone pain.
- Swelling in the legs.
Preventative screenings are crucial for diagnosing prostate cancer in its early stages. The two most commonly used screening methods include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA testing, or testing to examine for levels of prostate-specific antigens in the blood. Patients may also undergo a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) to measure the prostate gland and help interpret PSA levels.
Here at ProPartnersMD, our doctors provide the best health assessments and men’s physical exams to help identify prostate cancer in the early stages. For more information on our services, give our men’s health clinic a call at (877) 342-7709 today.
The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical advice. You should contact your doctor to obtain advice with respect to any particular medical issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create a doctor-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the medical office or any individual doctor or physician.