Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that is specific to the prostate gland in the male genitalia. It is a health condition that is of a great concern to every man.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. It makes most of the semen that carries sperm. The walnut-sized gland is located beneath the bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.
Prostate cancer is a major health concern for American men. The disease is rare before age 50, and experts believe that most elderly men have traces of it.
The American Cancer Society predicts that 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed in 2015. An estimated 27,640 men will die of it. African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer and have the highest death rate. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. In other parts of the world — notably Asia, Africa, and Latin America — prostate cancer is rare.
It is not clear what causes prostate cancer but there are risk factors involved. It is like any other cancer which mutates the DNA and causes abnormal growth in normal cells in the prostate.
Risk factors are life circumstances that increase your odds of having prostate cancer. For instance, having a family history of the disease is a risk factor.
One of the most telling risk factors for prostate cancer is age. The Prostate Cancer Foundation notes that just one in 10,000 men under the age of 40 will develop prostate cancer. That number jumps to one in 14 for men between the ages of 60 and 69. The majority of cases are diagnosed in men over 65.
Although the reasons are not fully understood, race is another risk factor for prostate cancer.
There are three methods of treatment when it comes to prostate cancer. There is surgery, radiation and implantation.
Surgery: radical prostatectomy
Surgery may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that is contained inside the prostate and who are otherwise fit and healthy.
External beam radiotherapy
External beam radiotherapy uses high energy X-ray beams to treat prostate cancer. This page is for men who are thinking of having this treatment to treat their prostate cancer.
Permanent seed brachytherapy
Permanent seed brachytherapy involves implanting tiny radioactive seeds into your prostate gland. This is also called low dose rate brachytherapy. Radiation from the seeds destroys cancer cells in the prostate. You may have this treatment on its own or together with external beam radiotherapy or hormone therapy.