Prostrate cancer is the progression and growth of cancer in the prostrate gland. The prostrate exists only in men and it is a gland found in the male reproductive system. It is where most of the semen that carries the sperm is produced. The gland is about the size of a walnut and is positioned below the bladder, in front of the rectum and envelops the upper part of the urethra. It weighs about an ounce. Urethra is a tube where urine is carried from the bladder. The prostrate growth are either benign, (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign growths are hardly a danger to life and while malignant can be a serious life threat to the patient.
The disease is found to be uncommon before the age of 50 and experts suppose that most elderly men are succeptible to it. It is a rare occurance for prostrate cancer to develop in men that are younger than 40 years of age. In 2015, The American Cancer Society foresees over 200,000 new reports of prostrate cancer diagnoses. Approximately 28,000 patients die from the disease. It is confirmed that African American men are more prone to contract prostrate cancer and has the most number of reported death cases. Prostrate cancer is the most prevailing cancer in America, next to skin cancer. However, prostrate cancer is known to be more rare in other parts of the world such as Asia, Africa and Latin America. Prostrate cancer happens when several of the prostrate cells lose their ability to control growth and division. The healthy cells stop functioning. The rate of the cancer growing depends; some grow slowly and some grow correspondinly fast. The separation of the prostrate cancer cells from the tumor is how the cancer can spread. They reach other body parts by traveling though blood and lymph vessels. Upon spreading, cancer cells may connect to other tissues and new tumors that might damage those tissues are formed.
In most cases, for the prostrate cancer to become large enough to be detectable, it takes several years. It will take longer than that for the cancer to spread past the prostrate. Doctors and health professionals do not know what is the cause of prostrate cancer. Apart from race and age, some other factors that can be considered are family history and diet that is high in processed meat, red meat or insufficency from certain kinds of vegetables. A biopsy is used to diagnose prostrate cancer followed by medical imaging to detect if the cancer has escalated to other parts of the body. If the cancer has only started in the prostrate gland in its early stages, treatment options are available with positive chances for survival. However, it is not curable if the cancer has spread further such as the bones, lungs and lymph nodes. Though it can be monitored for a lot of years.
Over time with technology, groundbreaking research and treatments existing, patients with prostrate cancer that has become pervasive can live up to 5 years or more. Watchful waiting and active surveilance can be ways to securely monitor prostrate cancer cases if it is in the early stages of cancer. There are other treatments that comprises of surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or chemotherapy. There is the risk of side effects from each of the treatments such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Hence, men who are diagnosed with prostrate cancer may delay undergoing certain treatments unless it is in the advanced stages as the side effects can affect their lives and lives of their family members significantly.