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May 11, 2008

Prostate Cancer - Did You Know Most Men Have It In Some Stage?

The prostate gland is a small gland that surrounds the urethra, and lies between the pubic bone and rectum, just below the bladder. The prostate gland is responsible for the production of fluid that is secreted with sperm to form semen.

Prostate cancer is a disease that develops in the prostate when the cells of the prostate mutate. It develops when these mutated cells start to multiple out of control. Like other cancers, prostate cancer cells can metastasize (spread) into other parts of the body. It is not uncommon for it to spread to the pelvic bone and surrounding lymph nodes.

When prostate cancer is detected early on, it almost always shows no signs or symptoms. Advanced stages shares symptoms with another prostate disease called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BHP is a condition in which the prostate becomes enlarged and urination becomes hard or even impossible. The symptoms shared between prostate cancer and prostate enlargement are difficulty urinating, erectile dysfunction, painful urination and ejaculation, weak stream and frequent urination. Men over the age of 40 are more likely to develop some form of prostate disease. The most common for of prostate disease is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This condition is present in about half of men age 50 and up. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, however, is not an indication or precursor to prostate cancer.

It can be detected by a physical examination called a digital rectal exam (DRE) or by a blood test. The digital rectal exam is an exam in which the doctor places a gloved (and lubricated) finger inside the rectum. The prostate is then inspected for any lumps or abnormalities. A blood test, for what is called the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is another screening test for this cancer. Prostate-Specific Antigens are higher in men with this form of cancer. The blood test for PSA is a good indicator of prostate cancer and other prostate diseases. When it is indicated in these tests, a biopsy is then performed. During a biopsy, a piece of the prostate is removed and examined under a microscope. In severe cases of prostate cancer, X-rays may be taken to determine whether or not the cancer has spread.

The rates of men affected by cancer of the prostate differ widely across the globe. Although the number of men afflicted with it is different around the world, this condition is more common in Europe and the United States. It is least common among Asian men and most common among men of African decent.

It is very interesting to point out that although Asian men have the least number of prostate cancer incidence, migration to the United States increases the incidence rate. Likewise, African American males have a fairly high incidence of this disease, yet West Africans have very low rates of it. The most prevalent incidence of it is among African-Caribbean men, specifically Jamaican men. Men of African decent also have the highest mortality rates of those with this cancer. The current cause of it is unknown, however it is widely speculated that possible causes may be linked to genetics, dietary and socioeconomic factors.

Because it is mostly diagnosed in older men, most sufferers of prostate cancer die from other illnesses. In older patients with it, the patient may refuse cancer treatments. The reason for this is that there is a strong concern over age and quality of life. Cancer treatment in an older man with a diminished life expectancy can severely damage his quality of life. In any case, there is no known prevention of it. Early detection is the best way to prevent cancer of the prostate from progressing.

For more great info on the prostate gland visit http://www.prostatecancertruths.com a website offering tips, advice and resources on topics such as prostate cancer diet plans, prostate cancer diagnostic tests and understanding treatments for prostate cancer plus so much more.

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