Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What are Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that attacks a man’s prostate, which is a small gland shaped like a walnut. This gland is responsible for producing seminal fluid, which is used to transport and support sperm.
Although any man can develop prostate cancer, there are certain risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood of developing the disease. Men over the age of 50, for example, are at a substantially greater risk of developing prostate cancer. African-American men are also more susceptible, as are men with high levels of testosterone. This is because testosterone stimulates prostate gland growth. Therefore, men who have undergone testosterone therapy or who suffer from hypergonadism are at a greater risk for prostate cancer.
Men with high-fat diets or those who are obese also increase their chances of developing prostate cancer. Similarly, those with a family history of prostate cancer at an increased risk. Some studies have shown that men who have had a vasectomy are also more likely to get prostate cancer, but this has yet to be proven.
There are many signs and symptoms of prostate cancer that all men should watch for, particularly those in the high risk categories. These symptoms include an urgent need to urinate, as well as difficulty with starting urination. A man with prostate cancer may also experience a dull pain in the lower pelvic region, hips, back, or upper thighs.
A weak or dribbling urine flow, or a flow that breaks up intermittently, is also a sign of prostate cancer. Some men may also frequently urinate at night or feel as if their bladder is never really empty. In addition, they may feel pain while urinating or notice blood in the urine.
In some cases, a man with prostate cancer may experience painful ejaculation. He may also experience unexplained weight loss or bone pain that does not seem to subside. In some cases, a man with prostate cancer will not have any symptoms at all. For this reason, prostate cancer is often not detected until it has spread to other areas of the body. When diagnosed early, however, prostate cancer is almost always curable.

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