The prostate is a small gland that is designed to produce seminal fluid for the transportation and nourishment of sperm.
As with nearly all other areas of the body, it’s possible for cancer to develop in the prostate, which can be very difficult to detect while still in its early stages. The main type of prostate cancer is an adenocarcinoma. This is among the more common cancers that men can suffer from, which is why regular screenings for prostate cancer are highly recommended. This is usually a very slow cancer, which means that it will likely remain in the prostate without spreading for quite some time.
However, it’s also possible that you could suffer from a fast-spreading tumor, which is why early treatment is essential. The best way to discover that you might be affected by prostate cancer is by learning more about the symptoms and causes of this cancer.
Risk Factors and Causes of Prostate Cancer
It’s not exactly clear why cancer develops in the prostate gland. The cancer starts when abnormal cells develop and multiply rapidly, which causes the healthy cells in the prostate to die. A person’s risk of developing prostate cancer will increase as they get older. It’s also more likely for obese individuals to suffer from a particularly aggressive form of this cancer for reasons that aren’t currently understood. If the men within your family have a history of suffering from prostate cancer, you will be more likely to develop it as well.
Potential Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
In the early stages of prostate cancer, the symptoms can be very difficult to detect, which is problematic since this is the best time to receive treatment. If your prostate cancer has developed to a more advanced stage, some of the symptoms that could affect you include bone pain, difficulties with urinating, erectile dysfunction, blood in your semen, and general discomfort in the pelvic area. You should see a doctor if you notice any of these signs and symptoms.
Prostate Cancer Stages
There are four primary stages of prostate cancer that indicate the severity of the cancer as well as how much the cancer has spread. During the first stage, the cancer won’t have spread to surrounding lymph nodes and will be contained in the prostate. The second stage can oftentimes be detected by a digital rectal exam. During this stage, the tumor is located in more than 50 percent of the prostate. However, the tumor will still be contained in the prostate. When the cancer progresses to the third stage, it’s possible that it has begun to spread outside of the prostate and into surrounding tissues. The fourth and most severe stage or prostate cancer is marked by the spread of the cancer to lymph nodes, bones, and even organs.
How This Cancer Is Diagnosed
If you go to a prostate cancer screening, the two main tests that you could be provided with include a digital rectal exam and an antigen test that’s focused solely on the prostate. In the event that one of these tests identifies an abnormality, additional examinations will be administered by a doctor to provide a full diagnosis. These examinations include an MRI fusion, an ultrasound, and a prostate biopsy.