Prostate cancer is one of the most frequent types of cancer in senior men, and it is becoming a very important cause of morbidity (disease) and mortality in most countries. Despite the scientific efforts to prevent and provide early treatment of this disease, many cases are diagnosed in a late-stage of the disease. Regardless of your age, it is essential to have a deep understanding of prostate cancer if you are a man, and even though there are confusing terms and complex medical situations that make prostate cancer more challenging, we will provide in this article an easy-to-follow and comprehensive explanation to the most relevant aspects of this disease.
As you have probably learned, the human prostate is a gland located below the urinary bladder in men. It surrounds the urethra and releases substances that contribute to the volume of sperm during ejaculation. Thus, it is an organ of the reproductive system in men, and prostatic cancer is similar in structure than other forms of cancer in glandular tissue.
However, there are many aspects to discuss about prostate cancer and the medical management of this disease. In this article, we are going to cover the causes and symptoms of prostate cancer, how doctors screen for, diagnose and treat this ailment, what you need to know about prostate cancer and testosterone, and natural recommendations to prevent and treat this prevalent type of cancer.
1Causes of prostate cancer
Similar to other types of cancer, prostate cancer is a multifactorial disease, which means that there are many different causes working along to increase the risk. Thus, instead of talking about direct causes, which are unknown and relative in every patient, we can list the most important risk factors as follows:
• Older age:
60% of the total number of prostate cancer cases come from senior men, usually older than 65 years old. This is because the prostate starts to change over time, and as we get older it is more likely that prostate cells begin to divide and thrive, causing diseases and uncomfortable symptoms in the long run. This typically causes benign prostatic hyperplasia, but may also result in prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer usually runs in families, and patients who have a family history of this disease are at a higher risk. According to studies, there are specific genes associated with a higher predisposition to prostate cancer. For example, a PNASEL mutation and the BRCA2 gene are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Still, genetic predisposition is only expressed when some environmental conditions are met.
• African American race:
A genetic predisposition is relevant, which is further proven because African Americans are by far more likely to have prostate cancer than Caucasians, White people, and Asians. It is estimated that African American men have 1.6 higher risk of developing prostate cancer and 2.4 higher risk of dying from prostate cancer compared to White Americans. This difference is not apparently due to genetics because many other factors contribute as well, such as dietary choices, the quality of medical attention, the costs of treatment for prostate cancer, among others.
• Poor dietary choices:
Cancer needs inflammation to survive and thrive, and this is not only true for prostate cancer. Thus, following an anti-inflammatory diet is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, and poor dietary choices may have a significant environmental role in modulating the immune response and favoring prostate cancer in susceptible patients.