Information on Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer

cancer de prostata

Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube which empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid which makes up part of the semen.

According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer affecting men in the United States. An estimated 223,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. More than seventy percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year are over the age of 65. African American men have a higher risk of the disease than Caucasian men.

In Central America and the Caribbean, prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in men. The incidence and mortality rates for prostate cancer vary among countries. The higher mortality rate and incidence of prostate cancer occur in the Caribbean, highlighting Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

The lower mortality rates for this cancer occur in the United States and Canada, despite its high incidence rates.

There are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer while it is still in the early stages, making the PSA test a critical screening tool. The optimal time for prostate cancer treatment is before symptoms appear. In more advanced stages, symptoms may include difficult or frequent urination, blood in the urine or bone pain.

Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of early prostate cancer. When the prostate has begins to swell due to tumor and the spreading of cancer, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent or uncontrollable urine.
  • Complications when trying to start or stop urination stream.
  • Leaking of urine during bodily contractions.
  • Painful/burning sensation during urination and/or ejaculation.
  • Blood in urine and/or semen.
  • Swelling of lower body extremities.
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs.

The growth of the cancer in the prostate creates a blockage, which can then lead to symptoms such as these. The cancer alone does not cause these symptoms. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms call your doctor to further discuss them.

Regular testing and screening can identify prostate cancer in its earlier stages. Identifying prostate cancer early allow for early treatment which result in less side effects, with treatment a better prognosis, and greater odds of being cured.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Prostate cancer is rare for men under the age of 40, and most cases occur in men over the age of 65.

Prostate cancer

AGE

In theory, all men are at risk for developing prostate cancer. However, the older you are the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is very rare in men under the age of 40 (where the rate of prostate cancer is only 1 in 10,000) however, the rate of men diagnosed with prostate cancer rapidly increases up to 1 in 38 for men ages 40 to 59 and even higher to 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69. Statistically speaking, men over the age of 65 represent over 65% of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, this does not completely eliminate men in their 30s or even younger from being at risk for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer

RACE/ETHNICITY

African-American and Caribbean men of African ancestry are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to Asian-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Caucasian men. In fact, African-American men are about 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime than compared to Hispanic/Latino or Caucasian men. At the same time, African-American and Caribbean men of African ancestry are also twice as likely to die of prostate cancer. The logic for these racial and ethnic differences is not yet clear.

Prostate cancer

FAMILY HISTORY/GENETICS

Like with many diseases, prostate cancer can run in some families. A man with a brother or father who has or has had prostate cancer is more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer versus a man with no family history of prostate cancer. If three or more family members have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the risk of developing prostate cancer increases even further. If you are a man who has multiple family members who are or have been affected by prostate cancer, you should begin screening at the age of 40 as current studies show 5-10% of prostate cancer cases are heredity in form.

Prostate cancer

GENÉTICA / HISTORIA FAMILIAR

Al igual que con muchas enfermedades, el cáncer de próstata puede evidenciarse en algunas familias. Un hombre con un hermano o padre que tiene o ha tenido cáncer de próstata tiene más del doble de probabilidad de desarrollar cáncer de próstata en comparación con un hombre sin antecedentes familiares de cáncer de próstata. Si tres o más miembros de la familia han sido diagnosticados con cáncer de próstata, el riesgo de desarrollar cáncer de próstata aumenta aún más. Si usted es un hombre que tiene varios miembros de la familia que son o han sido afectados por el cáncer de próstata, usted debe comenzar a examinarse a la edad de 40 ya que los estudios actuales muestran un 5-10% de los casos de cáncer de próstata son por herencia.

Prostate cancer

DIET

Several diet-related factors have been studied over the years to better understand its role in affecting the risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who eat rice, vegetables, and soybean products have shown to be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer whereas men who tend to eat a significant amount of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.

However, these men also tend to eat lower amounts of fruits and vegetables so doctors and scientists have not made conclusive findings as to which of these factors are truly responsible for raising the risk of prostate cancer.

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