Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers that develops in men, but it generally doesn’t occur until later on in life. Guys who have some form of prostatitis over their lifetime, or a swelling of the prostate for any reason that may or may not cause pain, tend to have a higher risk of developing a cancer of the prostate. All older guys should have routine checks done to see if they may have early stage cancer. It can often be symptomless and that can mean not catching the disease in time to treat it appropriately.
Here are 5 interesting facts you’re going to want to know.
1. It can be inherited.
About 10% of the total cases of prostate cancer that will be diagnosed in the next year will have a genetic component to them. It’s the same gene, the BRCA2, that can also cause breast cancer in women.
2. It’s easier to diagnose today.
Thanks to new testing techniques, such as a test that is called the PCA3, prostate cancer is easier to detect in its early stages. This test helps to detect proteins that only cancer cells produce when prostate cancer is present. It’s got about an 80% accuracy rate and is usually followed with a biopsy for confirmation.
3. It grows incredibly slowly.
There are multiple post-mortem exams of men who were well into their 80’s and even 90’s that showed they had cancer in their prostate. The cells were so slow growing, however, that they were present for 25 years or more and didn’t cause any symptoms at all. These guys were able to live fulfilling lives without treatment and died from other causes.
4. It’s a lycopene kind of day.
Foods that are high in lycopene are known to help lower the risks of prostate cancer development. Some of the best foods with lycopene are tomatoes or products derived from them. Daily exercise to maintain a healthy weight also has some effect on lowering the risks of prostate cancer.
5. There are several treatment options available.
Many of the treatments for prostate cancer have minimal or no side effects. Removing the prostate can effectively solve the problem, but freezing or heat treatments can also destroy the glands. Radiotherapy might also be used. The survival rates are similar and thanks to modern medical techniques, most serious side effects have become a thing of the past.
6. It’s the most common type of male cancer.
The reason why prostate cancer awareness is so emphasized is because it is the most common type of cancer in men. Those who have a family history of prostate cancer already have a naturally higher risk and having an STD or STI over the course of a lifetime also seems to increase the risks as well.
Thousands of men die every year from prostate cancer. Get checked this year, do self-checks at home if you can’t get into the doctor, and make regular check-ups a habit. In doing so, this cancer can be detected early and effectively treated.