PROSTATE CANCER AND PROSTATE HEALTH

The prostate is a small gland about the size of a walnut that sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra is a narrow tube that runs the length of the penis and carries both semen and urine out of the body. This tube runs directly through the prostate. The seminal vesicles are two glands that secrete the semen and sits just above the prostate. The nerve which controls erection runs along the sides of the prostate and is attached to it. Because of the connections prostate cancer and any enlargement of the prostate can affect urinary flow, bowel and sexual functioning.

BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA (BPH )

Most men, if they live long enough will develop enlargement of the prostate and the risk of this occurring increases every year after age forty. BPH causes a ring of tissue growth around the urethra and this affects urinary flow, causes prostitutes, and affects sexual function. Men who are experiencing BPH will have urgency and frequency of urination, often getting up to urinate 3 or more times each night to urinate. The urine stream is sometimes weak. This is due to the restriction caused by the enlargement and pressure on the bladder.

Having the diagnosis of BPH does not mean there is also prostate cancer but treatment may be necessary to relieve the symptoms it may cause.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED)

What is erectile dysfunction?

ED is when a man has difficulty getting an erection and maintaining it long enough for sexual performance. It is caused when not enough blood flows through the penis. ED is a medical condition, the degree and severity varies among men. Some men are not able to get an erection at all. Others can get one, but it is not hard enough for sex. Others get an erection but lose it before or during sex.

PROSTATE CANCER

Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races and Hispanic origin populations.

Prostate cancer occurs in 1 out of 6 men in their life time. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate changes and create small cancer tumors that grows uncontrollably.

Prostate cancer is the 2nd cause of cancer death among men. (The first cause is lung cancer). It is estimated that there are more than 2 million American men living with prostate cancer. One new case occurs every 2.7 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 7 minutes.

Prostate cancer rate is highest among African American men. This cancer is a silent disease and early detection is the key to a cure. In most cases prostate cancer is a relatively slow growing cancer. This means it takes a number of years for the disease to become large enough to be detectable, and even longer to spread beyond the prostate. This is good news; however, some men can experience a rapid and aggressive form of prostate cancer.

It is difficult to know which prostate cancer will grow slow or which will grow rapidly. A man is 35% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a woman to diagnose with breast cancer.

When prostate cancer is detected early it can be 90% curable due to the various treatments available today.

The general male population should start prostate cancer screening with their Doctor from age 40 to 50 years of age. African American men should start even earlier than the general population due to the high rate of incidence in their population.

PSA & DRE SCREENING

Screening for prostate cancer can be performed quickly and easily by a Physician using two test: prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE)

PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and released in small amounts into the bloodstream. When there is problem with the prostate the PSA is released. The PSA blood test measures t he levels which is usually fewer than 4ml and considered “normal” results between 4ml and 10ml are “intermediate”. Results above 10ng/ml are considered “high” and may indicate cancer is present.

The PSA level can be elevated due to BPH or prostatitis (infection), and some men with prostate cancer can have “low” levels of PSA. This is why; both the PSA levels and the DRE are used to detect the presence of the disease.

A DRE is done by a physician feeling the prostate with his finger through the rectum examining the prostate for texture, size, and shape to detect disease.

Having a prostate cancer screening is a personal decision and a man should discuss with his physician what is right for him... A man over 40 should speak to his Doctor at the time of annual physical and take a=2 0proactive, prostate health approach based on his lifestyle and family history.

NUTRITION AND PROSTATE HEALTH

A diet to promote prostate health includes fiber- rich meals, fruits and vegetables daily, soy protein (tofu), lentil, beans. Low fat meals, Tomato-based meals, fish, and poultry trimmed of fat to name a few.

As a Nurse Practitioner in the Health Care Industry I use this platform to encourage prostate health among men because I am aware of the devastating results that may occur when prostate cancer is not detected early

 

THIS INFORMATION IS BRIEF AND GENERAL AND SHOULD NOT BE THE ONLY SOURCE OF YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT THE TOPIC. TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE MAKING A HEALTH CARE DECISION. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SPEAK TO YOUR BUDDY ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS. THERE IS A FOUNDATION THAT PROVIDES EXPERT ADVICE ON THE TOPIC SO ALL MEN ARE ENCOURAGED TO SEEK ADVICE FROM SUCH ORGANIZATION.