Movember Men’s Health: Prostate Cancer in a Nutshell
Reviewed by: Toma J. Timothy, MD
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in men, situated directly below the bladder. It plays an important role in producing and transporting seminal fluid.
Globally, prostate cancer is reported to be the second most common cancer in men (after lung cancer), with more than 1.4 million men being diagnosed annually.
Prostate Cancer in Canada – 1 in 9
In Canada however, it is the most common cancer among men. In fact (according to cancer.ca), 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and 1,900 cases will be identified in 2021 alone.
So, what causes this dreaded disease?
While it’s not clear what causes prostate cancer it’s believed that the key lies in changes in a person’s genetic code or DNA.
Two important genes may play a role in the development of prostate cancer. Genes that help grown cells divide and stay alive, are called Oncogenes. Genes that keep all cell growth under control, repair any mistakes in our DNA or trigger cellular death at the right time, are called Tumor Suppressor Cells. If either gene type changes (or mutates), it can result in cells growing out of control e.g., cancer
Spot the Signs
Early detection is the key, so consult a qualified physician if you have any of these 5 common early warning signs of prostate cancer:
- Pain and/or burning sensation when urinating or ejaculating
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Trouble starting urination or stopping once in progress
- Sudden erectile dysfunction
- Blood in either urine or semen
Other signs may be weak urine flow and unexplained deep pain in the groin area when sitting down or weight loss, without even trying.
It’s important to note that most of these symptoms are not unique to prostate cancer and may indicate a less serious condition that is not life threatening.
Prostate cancer detected early, when it’s still confined to the prostate gland, has the best chance for successful treatment.
So, talk to your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that concern you and about how to spot prostate cancer early. www.themd.ca
(ca.movember.com), (acsjournals.onlinelibrary), (Kentri.org), (Mayoclinic.org)