Prostate Cancer: Meaning, Location, Symptoms and Treatments

The prostate is a small gland shaped like a walnut present in men only. It is a gland that envelopes around the urethra of a male as it exits from the bladder just before the rectum. It is a major part of the male reproductive system.

The function of the prostate is that it helps in the making of fluid in the semen which helps in the carriage of sperm from the testicles just as ejaculation occurs. In other words, the prostate produces fluid which serves as a medium of transport in which sperm cells can swim through and be carried from the testicles into the erect penis during ejaculation.

Normally, the prostate gland usually starts out small in size but as a man grows older, it grows larger. This means that as a man grows, the prostate gland grows alongside with him. This is a normal aging process in the life of a man.

Remember we said as the man grows, the prostate gland grows with him but also remember that the prostate gland surrounds the urethra. Once it grows so big, it will begin to push and press against the urethra causing difficulty to pass out urine.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men that can go on without being detected for sometimes a long period of time. Usually, the cancer grows little by little and mostly it stays only within the prostate gland where it doesn’t cause problems hence the reason why it can go undetected for a long time.

The problem begins when the cancer begins to grow out of the prostate gland and when it becomes so aggressive and it moves so rapidly through the cells of the body. Prostate cancer starts immediately the cells in the prostate begins to divide and enlarges.

If a person has for example a single cancerous cell in the prostate gland, the problem begins when due to the fact that the prostate grows as a man grows and for growth to occur, there has to be division of cells hence this cancerous cell as well will grow and divide as well increasing in both size and number.

These cancerous cells usually grow faster and more rapidly than the normal prostate gland cells hence competing and eventually stuffing out the normal cells hereby they kill other normal cells by competing for space and due to the fact that they grow more rapidly than the other normal cells, the normal cells can’t keep up with their growth rate hence they will die off and become replaced with the cancerous cells growing rapidly hereby causing prostate cancer.

When these normal cells die, the abnormal cells will take up their space accumulating and therefore a cancerous tumor. This cancerous tumor can hereby begin to spread to surrounding regions which contain blood, lymph nodes, tissues, bones and also organs.

When these cancerous tumors begin to attack the lymph node, they can travel very far alongside lymph through the lymphatic system. Since lymph nodes are present in almost all parts of the body, once the cancer enters the lymph node, it can basically spread to everywhere in the body.
Prostate CancerYou may be wondering what then are the symptoms of prostate cancer? Remember we said that if the cancer doesn’t go out of the prostate gland, it doesn’t cause any problems and might not even cause any problems as it is still at the early stages but when it goes into the late stages, and it begins to progress outside the prostate and begins to spread across to other parts of the body, then several symptoms begin to show up and these includes

  1. Frequent and sometimes painful urination: When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, it will press against the urethra making it difficult and painful to pass urine. And because the prostate is closely associated with the bladder, once it enlarges, it will also press against the bladder causing the frequent expulsion of urine or the frequent feeling to always want to pass out urine.
  2. Finding it difficult to urinate: Apart from the fact that the prostate helps in the creation of seminal fluids, it also helps and enhances the passage of urine. Once the cancerous cells I.e. the abnormal cells begin to grow, it will hamper this function making it very difficult to pass out urine.

You will simply be feeling so pressed but when you get to the rest room to pass out urine, little or no urine will come out. Or you may even start to pass out urine, then you realize that as you continue the process, it becomes quite an uphill but very painful task to pass out urine.

  1. One could likely see the presence of blood in urine or semen during ejaculation.
  2. Erectile dysfunction too can be a symptom of this disease. When the prostate gland starts to produce abnormal cells, the production of seminal fluid will be hampered due to the reduced production of seminal fluids therefore causing erectile dysfunction.
  3. One may also experience severe lower back pain as well as abdominal pain in the lower region. If the cancer has spread to other parts like the bone, the person may experience severe hip pain and severe pelvic discomfort.

There are some certain risk factors that can place you in harm’s way of prostate cancer and they include:

  1. Age: A person’s age can be a high-risk factor of him getting prostate cancer. As a person advances in age, the tendency and risks of him getting prostate cancer increases because as he grows, there is always constant division of body cells in response to the growth hormone produced by the body.

Once there is an appearance of any cancerous cell, there will also be growth of this abnormal cancerous cells. This therefore causes the risk of getting prostate cancer higher in older men than in other young men.

  1. Genetics: Due to a person’s family history and genetic history, a person can be at high risk of developing prostate cancer. If there were male(s) Gavin prostate cancer in one’s family background, the person is at risk of getting or developing prostate cancer.
  2. Obesity or excess body weight: when a person has excess body fat or is considered to be obese, there is a tendency that they will begin to develop prostate cancer.

There are some facts that should be known about prostate cancer and they include

  1. Prostate cancer is not infective or contagious.
  2. Prostate cancer affects those men about 40 or 45 and it is rarely seen in children.
  3. A person’s race can make the person highly prone to prostate cancer.
  4. When the prostate cancer is in its early stages and it is detected, treatment is very possible and quite very effective. When you catch the disease in its early stages, then it gives at least the man the best chance at living longer.

When you know you fall into the list of risk factor discussed earlier, please do carry out a proper and detailed test.

  1. Smoking and the consumption of red meat or steak can increase the chances of the person getting prostate cancer.

Most times, the person diagnosed is encouraged and advised to live a healthy life and maintain a healthy diet which should mostly be plant based. The person has to avoid fatty, sugary and as well avoid eating animal products frequently.

Smoking in Tobacco and marijuana can hamper your prostrate healthy living for those not diagnosed and for all who are diagnosed, you are encouraged to discuss your diet with your doctors.

Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker