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The Prostate

The Prostate
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Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

      Cancer of the prostate is the most prevalent type of cancer afflicting North American men. The average age at which prostate cancer is diagnosed is 72. Twenty five percent of men exhibit some cancerous cells in the prostate by age 50. This average jumps to fifty percent by age 80. Prostate cancer ranks number two for cancer deaths of North American men. Unlike most other cancers, a relatively small percentage of men with prostate cancer die from it. Thirty percent of North American men will develop prostate cancer, yet only three percent will die from it.

Early diagnosis of prostate cancer is crucial for successful treatment. When the cancer is confined to the prostate, and has not spread to other areas of the body, the chances of successfully treating the cancer are very good. As well, early detection and early treatment result in far fewer side effects, such as bladder control problems and impotence. Prostate cancer often does not cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages, making it's detection difficult.

Symptoms that do occur can be as follows:

- Difficulty urinating
- Pain while urinating
- Lower pelvic area pain
- Weak urine flow
- Dribbling post urination
- Frequent need to urinate at night
- Lower back pain
- Painful ejaculation
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss

The factors that can put a man at risk for developing prostate cancer include:

1) Age - the risk of prostate cancer increases with age

2) Ethnicity - Black men appear to have a greater tendency to develop prostate cancer that other ethnic groups, whereas Asian men have the lowest rate of prostate cancers. The rates of prostate cancer in Hispanic men are lower than for Caucasian men. How ethnicity increases the risk for developing prostate cancer is unknown.

3) Diet - It is widely believed that high fat diets contribute to the risk of developing prostate cancer.

4) Family History - If your father or brothers have prostate cancer, you're at greater risk than those with no family history of the disease.

Minimizing your risks for developing prostate cancer require maintaining a healthful diet, regular exercise and regular visits to the doctor.

The Digital Urology Channel offers information about the prostate and prostate gland diseases and conditions. The Prostate Cancer Coalition website is an excellent resource for those managing the disease.

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