Diagnosis often comes before prostate cancer symptoms are detected

Prostate cancer symptoms stem from a malignant tumor growth within the prostate gland. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, although some studies have shown a relationship between high dietary fat intake and increased testosterone levels.

When testosterone levels are lowered either by surgical removal of the testicles (castration, orchiectomy) or by medication, prostate cancer can regress. There is no known association with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over 75 years old. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.

Men at higher risk include black men older than 60, farmers, tire workers, painters, and men exposed to cadmium. The lowest incidence occurs in Japanese men and vegetarians.

Prostate cancers are classified or staged based on their aggressiveness and how different they are from the surrounding prostate tissue.

Prostate cancer symptoms

With the advent of PSA testing, most prostate cancers are now found before they cause symptoms. Additionally, while most of the prostate cancer symptoms listed below can be associated with a malignant condition, they are more likely to be associated with non-cancerous conditions.

  • Urinary hesitancy (delayed or slowed start of urinary stream)
  • Urinary dribbling, especially immediately after urinating
  • Urinary retention
  • Pain with urination
  • Pain with ejaculation
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain with bowel movement

Additional prostate cancer symptoms that may occur :

  • Excessive urination at night
  • Incontinence
  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy

Prevention of prostate cancer symptoms

No preventive medical measures are known to reduce the risk of developping prostate cancer symptoms. Adopting a vegetarian, low-fat diet, one that mimics the traditional Japanese diet or a daily intake of health supplements may lower the risks.

Early identification (as opposed to prevention) is now possible by yearly screening of men over 40 or 50 years old through digital rectal examination (DRE) and PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test.

There is a debate however as to whether PSA testing should be done in all men. There are several potential downsides to PSA testing. The first is that elevated PSAs do not always mean a patient has prostate cancer. The second is that physicians may be detecting and treating some very early stage prostate cancers that would never have caused the patient any harm. The decision about whether to pursue a PSA should be based on a discussion between patient and physician.

Our personal approach to prevent the development of prostate cancer symptoms


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