Prostate Cancer At A Glance
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There is an ever-increasing awareness in the study and understanding of one of the most well-known, man-killing diseases in the modern era – prostate cancer. Though efforts have been made to pinpoint the underlying cause of prostate cancer, the true origin of this disease has yet to be determined. Because the overwhelming belief is that it cannot happen to ‘me,’ most men fail to get routine check-ups and, thus, become victims of their own denial. With each passing year, the risk of cancer increases in both men and women, and the longer the wait, the higher the stakes.
Origin and Development
Prostate cancer is exactly what the title implies: a cancerous tumor that forms within the prostate gland. This gland is located just below the bladder and near the rectum. Hormone levels within men directly-affect the size and operation of the prostate gland. If these levels are consistently low, the gland will be unable to mature and may possibly lead to urinary complications. As men enter into adulthood, their prostate ultimately stops growing, but in cases involving older men, the gland may continue to enlarge in size and, thus, increase the risk for further complications. Like other forms of cancer, this disease can be either malignant or benign. In most cases, the tumor itself can be surgically-removed, but this does not necessarily indicate a cancer-free outcome. There is always the possibility that the tumor could return somewhere down the road. Once the cancer spreads, the body often becomes a lifelong host.
Causes of prostate cancer have been identified to coincide with the following: (1) age; (2) heredity; (3) ethnicity; (4) diabetes; and (5) obesity.
Men over the age of 50 are more susceptible to falling victim to this disease. In most cases, prostate cancer develops in men age 70-and-above. Like age, heredity is heavily factored into the cancer-equation. Studies have revealed that a family with a history of breast cancer in women may also lead to prostate cancer for men. This is believed to be related to faulty genes passed down during pregnancy. Another factor, which is often overlooked, is one’s ethnicity.
Comparing ethnical backgrounds, prostate cancer appears to be more common in black men. Though research has been conducted to identify said reasoning, the only concurring belief, which appears to be unexplainable, is that it may be due to a combination of both heredity and the environment. Finally, diabetes and obesity, which are often a one-two punch, are a staggering link to this disease. This is often due to low-blood flow throughout the body, which allows the cancerous cells to spread without possible retaliation on the part of one’s immune system.
Two of the most notable effects of prostate cancer usually circle around the issue of pain and nausea. Surgery, which is meant to ease the discomfort by removing the cancerous tumor, often leads to lingering pain over the course of a few weeks. An increased dosage of medicine is greatly encouraged to combat the physical toll surgery takes on one’s body, and psychiatry is often advised for the emotional damages. Compared to a flu-like illness, prostate cancer can also cause extreme nausea and diarrhea. As the cancer spreads throughout the body, it kills cells that are meant to fight off disease and this ultimately breaks down the immune system’s barriers in the process. The person becomes vulnerable to attack and the body goes into panic mode.
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