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Cancer That Affects 1 of Every 7 Men

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Cancer That Affects 1 of Every 7 Men

August 15
19:38 2017

The most common type of cancer to affect both men and women is skin cancer. The second most common type of cancer that affects men will hit about 1 of every 7 men in the United States and about 60% of those cases will be diagnosed in men 60-years and older. The average of being diagnosed with this form of male only cancer is 66-years of age.

What is it?

It’s prostate cancer. Depending upon the source one goes to, it is estimated that about 161,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year. In 2009, the number of new cases of prostate cancer was about 193,000. Evidently, progress has been made in reducing the risks of developing prostate cancer.

It is estimated that around 3 million men in the United States has prostate cancer, at least have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Generally, prostate cancer is a slow developing cancer and can take years to progress. However, it can also grow quickly in some cases.

How deadly is it?

Among cancer deaths for men, lung cancer is first, colorectal cancer is second and prostate is the third leading cause of cancer deaths of men. About 1 of every 39 men in the United States will die from prostate cancer.

What is the survivability rate?

According to the American Cancer Society, about 26,730 men will die of prostate cancer this year. Compared to 161,360 new cases being diagnosed, about 16.5% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will likely die from the disease. Don’t be too alarmed because that means that 83.5% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will likely survive their cancer.

What is the prostate?

It is a gland about the size of a walnut found only in men. It is located just under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate. The function of the prostate is to produce semen during ejaculation. The semen is the fluid that helps transport and protect the sperm cells. During ejaculation, sperm are released from the testicles. They travel through a thin duct called the vas deferens, which travels upward, over the bladder and empties into the urethra just above the prostate. As the sperm reach the area of the urethra that passes through the prostate, the prostate squeezes out the semen which then transports the sperm out of the penis.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

For many men, there are no symptoms until the cancer progresses to a later stage. If there are symptoms, they include:

  • Urinary problems – difficulty urinating, including a weak stream due to partial blockage of the urethra. Sometimes urinating can be painful or burning. Sometimes the prostate has enlarged to the point of blocking off the urethra, making urinating impossible.
  • Blood – prostate cancer can cause a bloody discharge seen in the urine or in the semen.
  • Pain – in addition to painful urination, prostate cancer can also cause pain in the upper legs, lower spine, pelvis and hip area.
  • Painful sex – ejaculation during sex can be painful.

What are the different types of prostate cancer?

The vast majority of cases of prostate cancer (99%) develop in the prostate gland cells. This is referred to as adenocarcinoma.

What are the risk factors?

  • Ethnicity – for reasons not fully understood, black American men have a 60% greater risk of developing prostate cancer than white Americans or Hispanic men.
  • Age – under the age of 40, prostate cancer may only occur in 1 out of every 10,000 men. However, by 60, the rate increases to 1 out of every 15 men. I recall seeing some reports that claim that about 1 of every 3 men over the age of 80 will have some form of prostate cancer.
  • Genetics – if your father, brother, uncle grandfather or other blood relatives have had prostate cancer, you are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer than if there is no family history. This has been linked to a fewer specific genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2).
  • Diet – eating lots of saturated fats increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Weight – the more overweight or obese a man is, the greater his chances of developing prostate cancer are.
  • Testosterone levels – higher levels of testosterone results in growth of the prostate gland which increases risk of developing cancer. Men who use testosterone therapy have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • PIN – prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia increases risk of developing of prostate cancer. This is a condition where the prostate cells look abnormal under microscopic examination. About 50% of men over the age of 50 have PIN.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

Since many men don’t have any physical symptoms until the later stages of prostate cancer, how is it detected earlier? The most common test to detect the early stages of prostate cancer is the PSA test which is often done in conjunction with a DRE. PSA is prostate-specific antigen and it’s found in the blood, meaning that a simple blood test can check the level of PSA. DRE is a digital rectum exam and often done if the PSA levels come back high. Although the PSA test is the most test run, it is not infallible and can miss some cancers.

Other methods of diagnosis include a biopsy, bone scan, CT scan, genetics test, NRI, PET scan or a prostascint scan.

What are the treatment options?

Since prostate cancer affects so many men, there is a lot of research being conducted all the time and new treatment options are regularly coming out. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Surgery – this is removing as much of the cancer as possible, but it’s not always possible to get it all with surgery.
  • Radiation – three basic types of radiation therapy are being used to treat prostate cancer. They are CRT – conformal radiation therapy; IMRT – intensity modulated radiation therapy and proton beam radiation.
  • Hormone – some newer treatments may include the use of various hormones
  • Chemotherapy – like treating many cancers, a number of drugs can be used to fight prostate cancer, but most also have side effects to watch for.
  • Immunotherapy – using various methods to boost the body’s immune system.

Additionally, many doctors also instruct men with prostate cancer to modify their diets and lifestyles. Some of the food and drinks recommended by some doctors and nutritionists include: green tea, broccoli, turmeric, flaxseed, soy, pomegranate juice. I’ve seen some reports that suggest saw palmetto supplements may also help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. With the addition of the above items to the diet, they also recommend cutting back on meat, fish, eggs and most dairy products.

If you have a family history of prostate cancer, have difficulty urinating, blood in urine of semen or pains in the pelvic area, see your doctor. Otherwise, have a regular PSA blood test and talk to your doctor. If found early, the odds on your side to survive prostate cancer.

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