Prostate cancer belongs to the most typically diagnosed kinds of cancer for men. Statistics says that approximately one man out of eight sooner or later encounters this dreadful condition. Fortunately, this particular cancer type in some cases can be cured. Timely diagnosis and adequate complex treatment are crucial for the positive outcome.
Risk Factors that One Should Know
A risk factor for any disease is not similar to the cause of this disease. It is just a condition or a state that makes the possibility of facing this disease one day higher. Some risk factors (lifestyle, addictions, nutrition) can be managed by a person’s will. Other ones, such as genetic disposition or age, don’t depend on us.
The most obvious risk factors of men’s prostate cancer comprise the following aspects:
- Age. It is a frequent cause and the one we can’t influence on. Almost 80 percent of cases occur in senior men after 65 years old. The older a patient is, the higher the risk is.
- Location. Residents of big cities are more likely to be diagnosed it one day; while for countrymen the risk is lower.
- Race. Yes, it matters. Black men are in the risk group, unlike white or Asian men. Also they are more vulnerable to severe forms of cancer with mortal outcome.
- Genetics or family history. Scientists proved that certain genes responsible for the prostate cancer development are inherited. It doesn’t mean that if your dad had prostate cancer, you’ll have it also, but the risk of facing it will be higher.
- Body weight and diet. Though there is no proof that unhealthy nutrition causes prostate cancer, it is obvious for scientists that overweight and obesity have a negative effect on the disease outcome. Also numerous studies show that nutrition habits influence the risk prostate cancer. A diet containing many animal fats (meat and milk) boosts the likehood of developing cancer, while consuming vegetables and fruit makes the risk lower.
- Lifestyle. Though lack of motion itself won’t cause cancer, sedentary lifestyle, especially combined with overweight, incorrect nutrition and poor ecology can lead to the pessimistic disease outcome and provoke its severe, aggressive forms.
Myths about Prostate Cancer
There are strange myths associated to prostate cancer. Thus, some time ago it was believed that too high sexual activity of a man can increase for him the cancer risk.
But will being oversexed lead to men having prostate cancer? No, it is not true. On the contrary, more frequent ejaculations strengthen men’s health, in particular, minimize the risk of cancer development.
Another myth was associated with non-cancerous prostate disorders, such as BPH or ordinary prostatitis. Now it is proved that both conditions aren’t associated with the enlarged the risk of cancer.
Contrary to the popular belief, alcohol also is not a risk factor for that type of cancer.
Ways of prostate cancer prevention
- It is always better to prevent something than to deal with its consequences. Though it is not often possible particularly with prostate cancer, men from the risk group can at least try to lower down the risk of its developing.
- At the mundane level prevention measures can include revising of dietary habits as well as lifestyle in general. Consuming food rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, increasing the share of plant food and decreasing the amount of animal food, regular physical activity, regular sex and timely medical examination can reduce the likehood of cancer developing.
- At more serious level prevention of cancer can include androgen deprivation therapy and medication treatment. When a male organism stops producing testosterone, the risk is almost zero. As for medications, most commonly used are 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Both methods are applied only if the benefits from their use overweight the risks.
How to treat prostate cancer
As a rule of thumb states, prostate cancer is cured completely in some cases, especially at early stages. If cancer hasn’t spread outside the affected organ (prostate gland), then local therapy is applied. It includes not just surgery, but radiation therapy and focal therapy also. The specific method is chosen based on the details of every particular case.
If it is too late to conduct local therapy, or cancer has already got further to other parts of the body, the next methods of treatment are applied:
- androgen deprivation therapy – suppressing of testosterone production;
- chemotherapy – use of strong medications for eliminating cancer cells;
- immunotherapy – mobilization of the body’s own resources for fighting cancer with the help of certain drugs;
- combined methods, for example, ADT plus chemotherapy.
If prostate cancer was diagnosed very early, and doctors estimated that treatment will cause more disturbance than the disease itself, the patient is sometimes offered active surveillance – regular monitoring of the process without medical interference until the symptoms get worse.
Finally, very old men or men having other serious or mortal diseases, whose life expectancy is no more than a couple of years, can be offered watchful waiting instead of active therapy. It supposes relieving symptoms and postponing the outcome.
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