“I have got prostate cancer, and I have to keep monitoring that. It’s no problem, it’s under control and I’m very cool about it, but other people are dying from it.”
– Ian McKellen, 79 years old award-winning English actor
There are many cancers that have failed to get the attention they deserve. Prostate cancer is one of them. It is shocking the sheer number of misinformation floating around about this dangerous disease.
In this article, we are going to be talking about prostate cancer, its symptoms and the ways we can battle the risks for this disease. 1 in 7 men around the world is at risk of developing prostate cancer. This is a battle that only the right information can help with.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate gland is an often ignored, but highly essential part of the human body. It is the reproductive gland that produces semen. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer found in men. It grows slowly and is initially confined to the gland, where it may not cause serious harm.
There are two types of prostate cancer. One type of prostate cancer grows slowly and does not need any treatment but the other type can spread quickly. The rapidly spreading variant of prostate cancer needs immediate treatment.
Men in Tanzania, Beware of Prostate Cancer!
Prostate cancer is most common among the African male. You may not understand the signs of prostate cancer when you are young. Its symptoms are best identified once you are matured (once you are 18 or older). The signs of prostate cancer differ from patient to patient. The rise in the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood is the most common sign of recurrent prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
In most cases, prostate cancer symptoms do not appear in the early stages of the disease. The signs of prostate cancer may differ from one man to another.
Early Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer:
- Burning sensation during urination
- A painful feeling when you are about to urinate
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Loss of bladder control
- Reduced urinary flow
- Blood in urine
Other Signs of Prostate Cancer:
- Blood in semen
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Swelling in legs or pelvic area
- Pain in the hip, legs or feet
Signs of Metastatic Prostate Cancer:
- Erectile dysfunction or painful ejaculation
- Swelling in the legs or pelvic area
- Pain in hip, legs or feet
- Bone pain
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. These are:
- Your age:
The risk of developing prostate cancer steadily increases with age. Men generally develop prostate cancer around the age of 60. It is rare to develop prostate cancer before the age of 40.
- Ethnic group:
Prostate cancer is more common among African men than any other communities in the world. This shows there is a strong genetic correlation to this disease.
- Family history:
Did any of the male members (like your father or brother) develop prostate cancer before 60 years of age? If yes, then you are likely to develop prostate cancer. You might also have the chance of developing it if a female member in your family has breast cancer.
How to Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer?
There’s no hard and fast rule for preventing prostate cancer. However, research has proved that a healthy diet and physical exercise can lessen the risk.
Here are some important suggestions on how you can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- Choose a Healthy Diet
Avoid high-fat foods (including processed vegetable oil and trans-fats), alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, and wholegrain proteins. Do not rely on supplements. Studies have shown that daily intake of vitamin and mineral-enriched foods helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- Exercise throughout the Week
To lessen the risk of prostate cancer, it’s better if you can commit to at least one hour of daily exercise. It helps maintain your weight and improve your mood by releasing mood elevating endorphins. Studies have shown that men who don’t exercise, have higher PSA levels, whereas those who do regular exercise, have a lower risk of prostate cancer. If you’re new, start slow and increase your time each day.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you have normal weight, work hard to maintain it throughout the week. It would be better if you can reduce the number of calories you eat a bit each day. Change from a carb heavy diet to a protein heavy meal if you are exercising. Get as much fiber as you can in your diet and establish a good workout schedule.
- Talk to Your Doctor
If you have a high risk of prostate cancer, you may need proper guidance and treatment to reduce it. Studies have shown that certain drugs can be used to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
When Can You Take Precaution?
If you are a driver or a pilot and sit for long hours in a particular place, you can feel increased pressure from automobile vibrations and it can lead to a higher risk. You can also have the chance of higher risk if you are a bicyclist. You should go for a check-up in the following condition:
- When prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland, it should be detected. Early detection has a better chance of successful treatment.
- If you have any signs of prostate cancer, do not delay. Consult your doctor immediately.
- Once your doctor says yes, it’s mandatory for you to go for the digital rectal examsand prostate-specific androgen (PSA) tests.
- Once you turn 50, talk to your doctor for the test and then make a decision.
- If you have one or more risks associated with prostate cancer, ask your doctor whether you have to go for the earlier routine screening.
Prostate Cancer in Tanzania:
According to the latest WHO data published in 2017, Tanzania is ranked No. 20 in the world. Deaths due to prostate cancer reached 3309, which is 0.89% of total deaths.
Regency Medical Centre is well-known for advanced imaging technology. Our highly trained doctors will identify the problem and help you fight the disease in a better way. To know more, visit RMC and talk to a doctor today.