Prostate Cancer Essay

968 words - 4 pages

The prostate, a gland found only in men, is part of the reproductive system. It is a gland that produces the semen, the fluid that contains sperm. It is about the size of a walnut and lies just beneath the urinary bladder (Niendorf, 2006, p.1068). Prostate cancer is a disease in which the cells of the prostate become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably, forming tumors (Niendorf, 2006, p.1068). It is a malignancy of one of the major male sex glands (Cherath, 2002, p.2730). It is a slow-growing disease but it can be very aggressive in younger patients. Second only to skin cancer, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2000 at least 180,400 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed (Cherath, 2002, p.2730). Cancerous cells within the prostate itself are generally not deadly on their own. However, as the tumor grows, some of the cells break off and spread to other parts of the body through the lymph or the blood, a process known as metastasis (Cherath, 2002, p.2730). One in six men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It affects African-American men twice as often as white men and the mortality rate among African-Americans is also two times higher. African-Americans have the highest rate of prostate cancer of any world population group (Cherath, 2002, p.2730). The average age at diagnosis of prostate cancer is around 72. In fact, 80% of prostate cancer cases occur in men over the age of 65. As men grow older, the likelihood of getting prosphate cancer increases (Niendorf, 2006, p.1068). There is some evidence to suggest that a diet high in fat increases the risk of prostate cancer. Studies also suggest that nutrients such as soy isoflavones, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin D and carotenoids (including lycopene, the red color agent in tomatoes and beets) maydecrease prostate cancer risk. Vasectomy may be linked to increased prostate cancer rates as well. Workers in industries, such as welding, with exposure to the metal cadmium appear to have a higher than average risk of prostate cancer (Niendorf, 2006, p.1068). Smoking may contribute to the disease. Also, genes play a role in developing prostate cancer. An estimated 5–10% of prostate cancer is due to a hereditary cause (Niendorf, 2006, p.1069).
There is no clear and exact symptom of this disease, but it is diagnosed when an individual goes in a routine screening examination. It is indicated when the tumor is larger and the cancer has spread to the tissues around the nearby area. Interrupted flow of the urine, frequent urination especially at night, difficulty starting urination, inability to urinate, the pain and burning sensation while urinating, blood in the urine, persistent bone pain in the lower back, hips or thigh, and difficulty have or keeping an erection (Niendorf, 2006, p.1069).
Prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread, your...

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