Prostate cancer remains to be the most common form of cancer in males worldwide. According to the Department of Health (DOH), prostate cancer affects about 19.3% out of 100,000 Filipino men.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the result of an abnormal growth of cells in a man’s prostate gland that’s located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate is an essential part of the male reproductive system that produces fluids that protects the sperm cells in semen. It’s about the size of a walnut in younger men but can grow much larger as men age. Prostate cancer is said to be slow-growing and affects mostly older men.
Prostate cancer typically develops slower than most types of cancers and patients may not even experience any obvious symptoms unless the cancer is in the advanced stages. Those with prostate cancer may experience an increased urge to urinate or weaker urine flow. However, there may also be other factors which can cause these symptoms like having an enlarged prostate, so it’s better to consult with a medical professional first to get a proper diagnosis.
Who are at Risk?
Six out of ten cases of prostate cancer are found in men aged 65 and over since the risk levels significantly rise you grow older.
Other factors which may put you at risk include:
- Genetics – if you have close relatives who had prostate cancer.
- Ethnicity – African males are more at risk compared their white, Hispanic, and Asian counterparts.
- Improper use of medicines – those who take dietary supplements which contain high doses of vitamin E over long periods of time.
- Unhealthy lifestyle – bad eating habits may potentially increase your risk levels. Obese men also have higher chances of developing advanced forms of prostate cancer.
Your doctor may perform several tests if he/she suspects that you may have prostate cancer. Some examinations may include:
- Digital rectal exam
- Blood tests
- Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
Medical experts do not recommend routine screenings for those who have no apparent symptoms. This is because the negative effects of testing procedures and treatment options may outweigh the potential benefits. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends making an informed decision with your doctor before getting tested for prostate cancer so you can discuss the possible risks of all screening procedures.