This is a guest post provided to you by The Neat Things in Life.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common non-skin cancers in America. It is estimated that more than 2 million men are living with prostate cancer. In fact, men are 35% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a small gland the size of a walnut. It is located under the bladder just in front of the rectum. The urethra runs directly through the prostate on its way to carrying semen and urine out of the body through the penis. Just above the prostate are the seminal vesicles that secrete most of the semen. Next to the prostate are nerves that control erectile functioning. Although the prostate isn’t essential to life, it is important for reproduction. The prostate produces a variety of substances like fructose, zinc, and citrate that loosen the sperm and give them energy to make the journey to the egg during fertilization.
Due to the location of the prostate, cancer and treatment strategies can easily disrupt urinary, bowel, and sexual functioning. Because prostate cancer affects so many men, there are many great organizations, like the Prostate Cancer Foundation, that are actively researching to help improve diagnosis and treatment for the future.
Prostate Cancer and How to Treat It
Cancer is when cells abnormally and uncontrollably grow, creating tumors. Cancer can frequently spread to other parts of the body making it even more difficult to get rid of. Prostate cancer is usually slow-growing and can take several years to be large enough for detection. There are some rapidly growing cancers, but these are rarer. With the large percentage of men that experience prostate cancer, it’s important to detect it early.
Most men should consider being screened for prostate cancer in their early 40’s. Some men with strong family histories of prostate cancer should consider earlier screening. Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Symptoms may include frequent urination, difficulty urinating, painful urination, difficult or painful ejaculation, blood in the urine or semen, or pain in the pelvic region.
Treatments for prostate cancer include prostatectomy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and other emerging treatment options. Organizations like the Prostate Cancer Foundation are actively seeking new treatment options to help the millions of men that suffer from prostate cancer to recover and live full, happy lives.