The Dangers of Prostate Cancer to Men

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States (other than skin cancer). The prostate is a male sex gland. It produces a thick fluid that forms part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder. The prostate needs male hormones to function.

The main male hormone is testosterone, which is made mainly by the testicles. Some male hormones are produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands. The doctor develops a treatment plan to fit each patient’s needs. Most men who hear these words will learn that they have a relatively early stage of prostate cancer. Men with early prostate cancer must choose among a wide range of different treatment options. Men with more advanced prostate cancer have a different set of options. There is no disease in which it is more important for a patient to be well informed.

Treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage of the disease and the grade of the tumor (how fast the cells are likely to grow or spread to other organs). Other important factors in planning treatment are the man’s age and general health and his feelings about the treatments and their possible side effects. The causes of prostate cancer are not yet understood. Researchers are looking at factors that may increase the risk of this disease. The more they can learn about these risk factors, the better the chance of finding ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer. The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. It is clear that the chances of developing prostate cancer increase in men over 50. C

lose relatives of men who have had prostate cancer are also more likely to be affected. Ethnic origin appears to play a part: black men seem to be at highest risk, and men of Far Eastern descent the lowest. Prostate cancer, in its early stages, may not cause any symptoms. But as it progresses, symptoms often appear.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
�· A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
�· Difficulty starting urination
�· Inability to urinate
�· Weak or interrupted flow of urine (dribbling)
�· Painful or burning urination
�· Painful ejaculation
�· Blood in urine or semen
�· Frequent pain or stiffness in the back, hips, or upper thighs

Certain drugs, vitamins and minerals may reduce your risk of prostate cancer, a strategy known as chemoprevention. Current research does not support the routine use of any drug or nutritional supplement to prevent prostate cancer.

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