Prostate cancer is a condition in which malignant or cancer cells form uncontrolled in the tissues of the prostate. It usually starts within glandular cells and further expands. This particular condition is called adenocarcinoma.
Prostate cancer is an important health issue you need to be informed about. It is the second most common cancer in men, the most widespread one being lung cancer. One in seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
It is also the third most common cancer in Singaporean men. The most widespread cancers in Singapore being colorectal and lung cancer. In between 2009 to 2013, approximately 3,500 Singaporean men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The earlier stages of prostate cancer are often deceiving because they do not cause any symptoms. But advanced prostate cancers usually do cause symptoms and if you experience any of the following you should visit a doctor as soon as possible:
1. Urinating problems (urinating frequently; painful urination; difficulty starting and maintaining a flow of urine)
2. Urinating blood
3. Hips, spine or rib pains
4. Numbness or weakness the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control
You need not worry immediately about cancer if you encounter these symptoms. It is quite likely that you might experience some of them due to another, more mild and treatable disease. For instance, urinating problems are more frequently caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than cancer. This is why it is advisable that you visit your doctor as soon as you identify either one of these issues.
Since the reason why prostate cancer develops is still unknown, there are a few factors that can help establish whether a person is exposed to prostate cancer or not. For example, a high-fat diet may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Thus it is recommended that you maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and try to maintain a healthy body weight.
As mentioned earlier, it is wise to visit the doctor regularly in case you experience any of the symptoms stated above. Prostate cancer is rather common, but it is not as dangerous as it sounds. You might be asking yourself how we can add “cancer” and “not dangerous” in the same sentence, but the fact is that there are many prostate cancer cases that are not life threatening.
Your doctor’s duty is to establish whether prostate cancer is life threatening to you and to explain what the advantages and disadvantages are. Some cancers never extend and do not endanger patients, but applying treatment has its fair share of consequences such as erectile dysfunction urinary incontinence.
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