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The Simple Guide to Prostate Cancer

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In honor of Men’s Health Month, we put together a Prostate Health Guide to help you understand the potential threats it can have on the male body. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the second leading killer of men, behind lung cancer. Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die from it.

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About the Prostate

The prostate is part of the male sex organs and is a small gland that surrounds the urethra. Until the age of about 40, the prostate does not change, but over time the prostate continues to enlarge with no intent on stopping causing urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and other complications. About half of the male population does not experience issues with the prostate. However, the other half will develop enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, or prostatitis.

What is Enlarged Prostate or BPH?

BPH, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia in medical terms, is a non-cancerous disorder in which an enlarged prostate causes certain symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • The need to push to get urine flowing
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder
  • Leaking after urination
  • Weak urine stream

 Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer

There are four factors that increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. These factors include, age, family history, race, and diet.

  • Age: Prostate cancer is most common in men ages 55-65.
  • Family History: Chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer doubles if someone in your family has had it.
  • Race: African Americans have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, double that of White males.
  • Diet: Diets low in fiber and high in fat and red meat increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.

What is Prostatitis?

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate that may be caused by an infection. There are three types: bacterial prostatitis, nonbacterial prostatitis, and prostatodynia.

  • Bacterial prostatitis is simply a bacterial infection of the prostate and can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Nonbacterial prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate, which may be caused by a reaction to substances in the urine. It is more common among men who have asthma or allergies. However, it is difficult for medical professionals to state with certainty what causes this inflammation.
  • Prostatodynia is also an enlargement of the prostate, but like the nonbacterial version it is difficult to pinpoint the cause of this discomfort. It could possibly be caused by a muscle spasm, or other rather miscellaneous causes.

What Women Can Do

If your partner is 40 or older, encourage him to get a prostate-specific alignment (PSA) blood test, or a digital rectal exam (DRE). Prostate cancer can be detected through these tests and can be treatable if caught early on.

In the early stages, prostate cancer does not cause symptoms. However, as the disease develops the symptoms increase. Contact your doctor immediately if your partner experiences the following:

  • Hip or back pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Blood in the urine.

Others symptoms will become apparent as the disease develops. Women, educate yourselves on prostate cancer. It may just save your partner’s life!

Treatment options

BPHhealthy older guy

  1. Watchful waiting.
  2. Medications- Cardura, Flomax, Hytrin, Uroxatral.
  3. Surgery-
  4. Heat therapy

Prostate Cancer:

  1. Complete surgical removal of the prostate.
  2. Radiation therapy.
  3. Hormone therapy.
  4. Cryosurgery- involves freezing the prostate gland to destroy cancer cells.
  5. Active surveillance- monitoring the cancer (recommended for those who believe their cancer is developing slowly and will likely not spread.

Now that you have more information and a better understanding of the prostate, support the men in your life by spreading the word and sharing our knowledge. Increasing awareness can enable those with BPH to limit health risks and take notice before the disease develops further. For more information, visit the Men’s Health Month website. From all of us at Anderson Thornton, stay healthy!

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Author: hrmanbenefits

Anderson Thornton Consultants is a full-service insurance brokerage and employee benefits management firm based in Tampa, Florida, servicing businesses all over the United States.

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