What Is Prostate Cancer

Prostrate cancer is a type of cancer that can happen when the healthy cells of the prostate mutate and grow uncontrollably. This unusual growth of the cells leads to tumor formation that can be malignant or benign. A malignant type of prostate cancer can cause the selling of the prostate and it affects the organs that surround the prostate and other parts of the body. Whereas a benign tumor causes the growth of the prostate, it does not affect other organs. This type of cancer happens only in males, as females do not have a prostate.     

What is the prostate?  

The prostate is a muscular gland that is a part of the male reproductive system. It is the size of a walnut and is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The gland functions as a switch between urination and ejaculation. It produces fluids that contain sperm, and this fluid contributes to semen formation. Besides the prostate, other glands also produce some fluids that mix together to form semen.   

With age, the prostate also grows and develops in size. Its size may not cause any problem unless there is a tumor formation happening inside it, which leads to its sudden and abnormal growth. When cells of the gland start developing unusually within the prostate it can lead to cancerous growth.      

How does prostate cancer happen?

The cells inside the prostate may grow and develop abnormally and form a tumor. This tumor can be malignant or benign. A malignant tumor is a cancerous growth, and it affects all the surrounding organs such as seminal vesicles, bladder, rectum, and others. Even if one gets this cancerous tumor removed with surgical procedures, chances are, it may show up again. Malignant types of cancer can have life-threatening consequences because it spreads to other body parts.   

Symptoms of prostate cancer

In the early stages of prostate cancer, individuals having an abnormal development in their prostate may not even be aware of it. The tumor does not produce any indications during the initial stages. It is only known when the person starts facing some difficulties or experiences some symptoms that include:

  • Pain

The tumor can cause pain in the muscles, organs, bones, and other parts of the body. The pain can be felt even while walking or even moving. If it affects the bones, this might lead to their weakening. In some cases, cancer can also spread to the spine which causes lower back pain. Besides, there is also the possibility of nerve damage, which can lead to neuropathic pain leading to a stabling, burning, or shooting sensation.

  • Difficulty while urinating

Since the prostate is located just between the urethra and the penile, it can give rise to difficulties while urinating. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the prostate, which in turn transfers it to the penile duct. The growth of the tumor exerts pressure on the urethra and causes discomfort, as a result, the individual may have trouble passing urine.    

  • Burning Sensation While Urinating

As the swollen prostate presses against the urethra and bladder, some men might feel a burning sensation while passing urine. This sensation might cause some pain, which can make the individual stop in between while they are urinating and hold their urination and try to continue passing it again.

  • Frequent urge to Urinate during nighttime

The abnormal size of the prostate can keep you up at night by making you urinate frequently. The abnormal growth of the prostate presses the nearby organs including the bladder urethra, and tubes or ducts that hold and carry seminal fluids or urine. It hinders the flow of urine from the urethra to the penile. Some urine might leak from the duct, but the flow mostly gets blocked due to the size of a swollen prostate.  

  • Blood in Urine or Semen

If there are traces of blood in the seminal fluids and urine then this can be a strong indication of prostate cancer. When the prostate grows and puts pressure on the other organs, it irritates the nearby organs and affects their function. This friction due to the pressing of organs can cause blood to appear in your urine or semen. Besides, blood can also appear due to other reasons like injuries, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • Erectile dysfunction

Individuals facing difficulties with erections and ejaculation may have a swollen prostate. This gives rise to sexual problems.   

Is prostate cancer life-threatening?

All tumorous growth cannot be cancerous. Those tumors that are malignant or cancerous can be life-threatening, as they spread to other parts of the body and affect their function.

Causes of prostate cancer

  • Family history – Prostrate cancer can be linked to genetics. If any male member of your family has it, then your chances of developing it are quite high.
  • Age – As men become older, their risk of developing prostate cancer increases.
  • Ethnicity – African American men are at higher risk of getting prostate cancer.
  • Weight – Being overweight increases your possibility of prostate cancer. This is why it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight.    

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