Are you a man aged forty five or above? Do you experince difficulty or suffer intense pain while urinating? Do you experience problems during sexual intercourse or suffer from erectile dysfunction? If so, you may be suffering from prostate cancer.
The prostate is a walnut sized gland in the male reproductive system which helps to produce seminal fluid. In normal, healthy adult males, the prostate will be about three inches in length and will weigh around twenty grams. The prostate is located just below the urinary tract and in front of the rectum.
Prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer which affects the prostate gland. The chances of developing prostate cancer are higher in men who are over the age of fifty. Although prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer, it should be treated in the initial stages, as otherwise the cancer cells can metastasize and affect the bones and even the lymph nodes.
Older men especially those over the age of fifty are more likely to develop prostate cancer. In the United States there has been a spurt in the number of older men who have been diagnosed with this cancer. In fact, nearly two million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every single year.
Causes of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is relatively rare in men who are younger than 45 years of age. So, age is definitely a factor which increases the chances of a man developing this type of cancer. Besides age, race and underlying health problems are some of the other causative agents behind this mostly asymptomatic cancer.
As mentioned earlier, advancing age is one of the primary causes of prostate cancer. The chances of younger men, especially those below the age of forty developing prostate cancer is negligible. Typically, men who are older than 65 years of age are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Race or Ethnicity
Another factor which determines a man’s chances of developing or suffering from prostate cancer is his race. Men of African American descent are twice as likely to suffer from this type of cancer as compared to Hispanic or Asian American men. However, researchers have still not been able to determine the correlation between race and prostate cancer.
The chances of an adult man developing prostate cancer are increased manifold if one of his close male relatives including his father or brother has suffered or is suffering from this deadly disease.
Men who eat a high calorie diet are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer than those who eat a healthy, balanced and high fiber diet. Eating a lot of red meat can also increase an individuals chances of developing prostate cancer later on in life.
High Hormone Levels
Men who have a higher level of the hormone IGF- 1 have a higher incidence of developing prostate cancer. An increase in the levels of the hormone testosterone can also increase a man’s risk of suffering from prostate cancer.
Men who have undergone vasectomy procedure before the age of thirty five have a higher risk of suffering from prostate cancer.
Excessive exposure to pesticides and other chemical agents can also increase a person’s risk of developing prostate cancer. The specific chemical agents that can increase your chances of developing prostate cancer are methyl bromide and cadmium.
Lack of exercise, chain smoking, frequent inflammation or infection of the prostate, are some of the other factors which can cause prostate cancer.