What Is Prostrate Cancer?

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

Sometimes misspelled as Prostate cancer, it is one of more than 100 diseases that affect human beings, characterized by excessive, uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, which invade and destroy other tissues. Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland, a chestnut shaped male organ located next to the bladder and surrounding the urethra, which produces the prostate fluid that makes up most of the liquid part of semen discharged from the penis at orgasm.

Prostate cancer is the ninth most common form of cancer in the world, the most common non skin cancer in the United States and Canada, and responsible for the second highest number of cancer deaths amongst American men. More than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and close to thirty thousand men die from the disease within the same time span.

The rate of incidence or occurrence of prostate cancer varies by race and geographic region. For instance, the adenocarcinoma is more common in the United States than is most other countries of the world, with the lowest incidences in Asia, Africa and South America. However it turns out African American men are more likely to develop the cancer than people of any other racial group in North America.

The actual cause of prostate cancer is unclear, but the risk factors that appear to contribute to the occurrence of the disease are age, race, genetics, diet, lifestyle medications, and a number of other factors that may vary. The disease occurs more in men over 65 than in men under 45; it appears to be more common amongst certain races than in others; and a blood relative having been diagnosed with the disease once typically doubles the risk of a man being diagnosed with the disease as well.

Certain foods have been implicated as causal factors in the incidence of prostate cancer, such as red meat, high fat, and processed foods. Certain other foods, such as vegetables, vitamins, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, have been found conversely to aid in lowering the risk of the disease. Some medications likewise lower disease risk, e.g., anti-inflammatory drugs; while certain infections increase risk. And generally exercise, especially aerobic exercise, aids in maintaining overall health.

There are no symptoms in early stage prostate cancer, but as the disease progresses, indicators such as painful urination, increased urination at night, blood in urine, and blood in semen may appear. Advanced stages of the disease, when it is no longer curable would likely include a lot of bone pain all over the body, and perhaps incontinence.

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