According to the American Cancer Society, about 217,730 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Another 32,050 men are expected to die from prostate cancer in 2010. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men.
Prostate cancer refers to carcinoma of the prostate gland. The prostate is about the size of a walnut, and it is an integral part of the male reproductive system. This gland secretes and stores an alkaline fluid that makes up about 25-30% of the semen. This alkaline fluid is what prolongs the life of the spermatozoa once secreted. The prostate gland wraps around the urethra, which conducts the urine out of the bladder. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer experience difficulties with urination as the gland swells up, thus constricting the urethra.
Considering the prevalence of this cancer in the male population, each man should take time to familiarize himself with the signs and symptoms of this disease and how it is diagnosed. Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Urinary hesitation
- Urinary dribbling
- Urinary retention
- Pain with urination
- Pain with ejaculation
- Lower back pain
- Pain with bowel movements
- Urinary leakage
- Bloody urine
- Weight loss
If you happen to experience some or all of the above symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor about the possibility of prostate cancer. You should ask your physician to explain to you the various diagnostic tests, which could help make an early diagnosis. These include:
- PCA test – Prostate-Specific Antigen blood test is designed to examine the level of a substance produced by the prostate gland (i.e., the antigen). An elevated PCA level could be indicative of prostate cancer.
- AMACR - α-Methylacyl Coenzyme A Racemase (AMACR) is a protein, which tends to be more expressed in patients with prostate cancer.
- Urine analysis
- Prostate fluid testing
- Prostate biopsy
Sure, many men will avoid getting ongoing healthcare and avoid going to their doctors regularly – until it’s too late. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, do yourself a favor and contact your doctor for an appointment.