HealthcareProstate Cancer: The Symptoms, Risks, And Stages

Typically, the men diagnosed with prostate cancer are seniors over the age of 65, with the disease being slow progressing. It’s been shown that many pass with other ailments while living with prostate cancer.

The prostate cancer prognostic testing and early detection increases the survival rate considerably. Each prostate cancer case is individual, with many variables affecting life expectancy, including general health, age, and the body’s response to treatment.

Chances for an effective treatment are improved the earlier the diagnosis is obtained. According to the American Cancer Society, consulting with your medical provider about the benefits of screening should begin at roughly age 40.

  • High risk – age 40: Those deemed a high risk at age 40 include men who have more than one immediate family member with a prostate cancer diagnosis when young. This would be a brother or father relation.
  • High risk – age 45: Those deemed a high risk at age 45 will either be a black American or have one immediate family member with a diagnosis when young.
  • High risk – age 50: All men are deemed high risk at age 50.

There’s no definitive way to prevent prostate cancer since its development is based on factors that can’t be controlled, including family history, race, and age. You can always reduce the risk by following guidelines from the American Cancer Society, including:

  1. Indulging in a nutritious meal plan that limits or avoids processed foods, including processed and red meats.
  2. Some studies have linked dairy, particularly milk, to a higher risk..
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.

The Risks Associated with Prostate Cancer

Among the common types of cancers diagnosed, this one is fourth on the list worldwide and second in men in the US, following skin cancer. The prediction is that roughly “1 out 8 men in their lifetime will receive a positive diagnosis.”

The prognosis for most US men is good, with the cancer being not only treatable but survivable. A few variables, like the stage when the cancer is diagnosed, general health, and age will determine the effectiveness of treatment. Overall, this type of cancer has about the highest survival rates compared to other forms.

It’s suggested that “millions of men with a the disease diagnosed in their lifetime are living to this day. Here are factors that can increase the risk of developing the disease.

  • Obesity: This risk factor is related to higher-grade, dangerous tumors. Oxford Population Health studied obesity and this disease and found that “each BMI- body mass index increase of roughly five points raised the fatality rate for prostate cancer by 10 percent.”
  • Family history: An immediate family member like a brother or father diagnosed with the disease will increase your risk more so than if you have a grandfather who was ill with the cancer.
  • Race: Black Americans are more likely to develop the cancer than their Caucasian counterparts and are far more likely to have a fatal result based on reasons that are unclear.
  • Age: Men 65+ make up roughly “60 percent” of those with a a diagnosis, per the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The cancer tends to be slow growing, meaning it could start at a younger age and just not show up in the testing.

A medical provider should be seen if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms associated with the disease:

  • Loss of bladder control/numbness in the feet or leg
  • Difficulty urinating. This can include frequent urination, weak/disrupted flow, or difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Pain in the spine, hips, or ribs
  • Burning/pain with urination
  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Blood in semen or urine

These signs/symptoms can be related to advanced disease. In some cases, they can be associated with noncancerous prostate growth. There are typically no symptoms in the early stage, which makes screening much more critical, particularly for those in the high-risk category.

Learn about genetic testing for prostate cancer at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/genetic-testing-for-prostate-cancer-role-tests-and-more#testing.

Four stages of the condition designate how advanced the disease has become, its size in the prostate, and how it has spread.

  • Stage 1: In this early stage, it’s unlikely the cancer will be revealed in a standard screening or that the patient will be able to feel the tumor.
  • Stage 2: The tumor will still be small at this stage but will have grown. There will be no spreading at this point, and the testing could or may not pick up the disease.
  • Stage 3: The tumor is growing with high PSA levels. There is the potential for spreading into “connecting tissues, seminal vesicles, or the rectum and bladder.”
  • Stage 4: At this stage, the disease is advanced or metastasized, spreading to other body parts like the nearby lymph nodes, the bones, the bladder, and the liver.

Testing for the disease could lead to early diagnosis and an effective treatment plan, leading to a greater chance of survival. Click here for details on genetic testing for prostate cancer.

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