Prostate cancer is a neoplasia (abnormal growth of some cells, the basic units which form the body's tissues and organs) that originates in the prostate cells and has the ability to spread to other organs. It is exclusive of the male gender, principally those over 65 years of age.
Prostate cancer, the same as a great number of malignant tumors, does not cause the patient a perceptible alteration in its initial phases. Prostate tumors develop slowly and normally the symptoms do not appear until more advanced stages of the illness.
The symptoms that can become apparent in prostate cancer are the following:
- Urgent need to urinate and an increase in the frequency of need, during the day and during night time (nocturia).
- Dysuria: burning pain while urinating.
- Difficulty in starting to urinate (hesitancy) and weak flow or intermittent flow, straining or taking a long time while urinating
- Sensation or feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully or post-urination dripping
Some general symptoms that appear in more advanced phases of the illness include loss of appetite or weight, localized bone pain, anemia, swelling in the lower limbs and in the more advanced stages, renal insufficiency.
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to get tested by a doctor immediately. These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you definitely have prostate cancer. It is more likely that they are caused by something else, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (also known as BPH or prostate enlargement).
The risk of developing prostate cancer is fundamentally related to age, race, family history and the genetic predisposition of each individual. These factors are considered non-modifiable and currently, there are no measures that can be taken in prevention of prostate cancer. However, other factors such as masculine sexual hormones (testosterone, principally) or a diet rich in fatty foods, can also influence the development of this type of cancer. Keeping this in mind, it is important to have more frequently check-ups to diagnose the illness earlier.
Gene or region studied