Prostate Cancer refers to cancer that develops in the glandular cells of the prostate. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located in front of the rectum underneath the bladder. The prostate is only found in men. It contains gland cells that produce fluid which protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen.
There are several cell types in the prostate, however, over 99 percent of Prostate Cancers develop from the glandular cells in the prostate.
Early Prostate Cancer may produce no symptoms. As the disease progresses, the following symptoms may be present:
If you suffer from these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have Prostate Cancer. In many men the prostate gets larger with age due to a non-cancerous condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Always consult your Doctor for diagnosis and advice. In no way is this information intended to replace the advice of a medical practitioner.
Prostate Cancer screening tests include: digital rectal exam (a Doctor examines the prostate via the rectum to check for hard or lumpy areas) and a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This involves taking a blood sample and measuring the levels of PSA in the blood. These levels may rise if the person has Prostate Cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia or infection in the prostate. The American Cancer Society recommends that Doctors offer men over 50 years of age the option to be tested for early detection of Prostate Cancer. The Society also recommends that men at high risk (family history/race) should begin testing at age 45.
If you have symptoms or test results that suggest you may have Prostate Cancer, your Doctor will recommend further examinations and tests (such as a digital rectal exam, a urine test and a blood test to check for PSA). Your Doctor may order further procedures such as a transrectal ultrasonography (where the probe is inserted into the rectum to produce pictures of the prostate area) or a cystoscopy (a procedure which involves looking into the urethra and bladder through a thin, lighted tube). If these tests suggest Prostate Cancer, a biopsy will be performed, where a sample of tissue is taken from the prostate to be analysed.
If Prostate Cancer is diagnosed, treatment will depend on the stage of the disease (e.g. is the cancer contained within the prostate or has it spread to other parts of the body) and the grade of the tumour (how abnormal the cells look and how likely they are to grow or spread). Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy and/or hormonal therapy or "watchful waiting", where the man's health is closely monitored and treatment is begun if symptoms occur or worsen.
The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) is a long-term, large-scale study of the influence of diet on cancer in humans. The EPIC results recommend that people lose weight if overweight or obese and have a diet that is:
Evidence suggests that natural substances found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage may lower overall cancer risk. Research now shows that eating one or more portions of broccoli every week has the potential to reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer, and the risk of localised cancer becoming more aggressive.
Always consult your Doctor before taking any dietary supplements for advice on any possible side effects or drug interactions. This is particularly important during cancer therapy, as many chemotherapy drugs act by blocking the effects of certain vitamins.
Ask your Pharmacist for advice.