Sunday, July 13, 2014

How to prevent prostate cancer 
Prostate cancer is the scourge of men. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death in that group and one in six men will have it sooner or later. In America alone, over 30,000 people die of the disease yearly.

In prostate cancer, malignant or cancer cells form in the prostate. This is a walnut-sized gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder (the organ that stores urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). The prostate surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder) and produces flui­d that is a part of semen.

In old age, the prostate may get bigger -- a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
This blocks the flow of urine from the bladder and causes sexual problems. While BPH is not cancer, its symptoms are similar to prostate cancer. These include trouble urinating, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, pelvic area discomfort and bone pain. However, there may be no signs or symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer.

The good news is that over 2 million men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today, thanks to pro­per screening. Screening is used to detect prostate cancer before there are any symptoms. If done early, it can identify the disease and decrease a person’s chance of dying from prostate cancer. The two screening procedures for prostate cancer are the digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

In DRE, the rectum is examined. This is done by a doctor or nurse who inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or anything unusual. A PSA test, on the other hand, is a test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. The latter refers to a substance made by the prostate that is found in increased amounts in the blood of men with prostate cancer. By using these two tests, doctors can accurately determine men who will get prostate cancer and begin early treatment.