Men aged 65 years and older account for about two-thirds of all prostate cancer cases. However, as you get older, the disease becomes less aggressive, especially at about age 70.
If you are older than 45 and have a high risk of prostate cancer due to a family history of the disease or other factors, or if you are older than 50 and worried about prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screenings.
What is prostate cancer?
Cancer is a disease that starts in cells, which are the basic components of all body tissue and organs, including the prostate. Normally, cells proliferate, grow, and die on a regular basis. When something goes wrong with this process, the cells do not die as expected and instead develop into a tumor. Tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Prostate cancer has the potential to spread to the bone, other organs, and lymphatic system. Prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is known as metastatic prostate cancer. If prostate cancer spreads metastasizes to the bone, the cells in the bone are prostate cancer cells, not bone cancer cells.
Who is at a risk for prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer affects roughly 13% of American men at some point in their lives, with 2%-3% of cases leading to death. Risk factors for prostate cancer include the following:
- Age: As men age, their risk of prostate cancer increases considerably.
- Prostate cancer risk begins to increase sharply after 55 years and peaks at 70 to 74 years, declining slightly thereafter.
- About 60% of prostate cancer is diagnosed in men older than 65 years. That is why it is important to talk with your doctor about prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer as you enter middle age.
- However, there are cases of prostate cancer in men in their 20s and 30s, some of which have been very aggressive.
- Family history: Your risk of prostate cancer is higher if you have a close relative, such as a brother or father, who had prostate cancer.
- Some inherited genes can make you more likely to develop prostate cancer. These inherited genes are rare, however, and only a small percentage of prostate tumors are caused by them.
- In men with the BRCA gene mutation, the risk of prostate cancer is higher. Breast cancer and ovarian cancer are also caused by these genes.
- Lynch syndrome is a rare genetic condition that increases the risk of prostate cancer and other types of cancer in men. This syndrome is caused by a mutation in one of the genes that corrects DNA errors, such as MSH2 and MLH1 genes.
- Ethnicity: Prostate cancer is more common in African American men than Caucasian men. It is least common in Asian men.
- Obesity: Men who are obese may have a higher risk of prostate cancer, although studies have reported mixed results. In obese men, cancer is more likely to be aggressive and more likely to return after initial treatment.
- Chemical exposure: Prostate cancer risk and severity can be increased by chemical and defoliant exposure.
- Prostate cancer is more common in Vietnam and Korean War veterans who were exposed to defoliants such as Agent Orange.
- Men who have been in the military are roughly two times as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who have never served.
- Farmers and other men who work with a huge amount of pesticides are at a high risk of prostate cancer.
- Those who are frequently exposed to metal cadmium such as welders, battery manufacturers, and rubber workers are abnormally vulnerable to prostate cancer.
- There is evidence that firemen are also at increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Hormone levels: Hormone levels could play a role in the development of prostate cancer.
- The hormone insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is produced by human bodies. It controls the regular growth and death of cells.
- According to several studies, having a high level of IGF-1 in the body increases the risk of prostate cancer.
- Smoking: Male smokers have been shown to have a higher amount of circulating androsterone and testosterone, which could increase prostate cancer risk or contribute to cancer development.
- Diet: Diet and lifestyle may affect the risk of prostate cancer. Your risk may be higher if you eat a diet high in calories, animal fats, and refined sugar, and not enough fruits and vegetables. Lack of exercise is also linked to poor outcomes.
What are the survival rates for prostate cancer?
Because prostate cancer tends to grow slowly, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer die from something other than the disease.
Early detection is key to better outcomes. The 5-year survival rate for localized cancer that hasn’t spread outside of the prostate is 97%-98%. When the cancer has spread outside of the gland, the 5-year survival rate is about 33%.
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How Do You Know What Stage Your Prostate Cancer Is?Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland. Your doctor can tell what stage prostate cancer is in by performing a digital rectal exam, PSA test, and imaging.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer.
- Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and diet.
- Prostate cancer is diagnosed by a digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and prostate biopsy.
- Symptoms may include
- frequent need to urinate,
- incontinence, pain,
- blood in the urine,
- fatigue, and more.
- Prognosis and treatment depend on cancer staging.
- Watchful waiting,
- cryotherapy, and
- other management strategies are available.
- Research and clinical trials strive to find new and better treatments for prostate cancer.
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Prostate Cancer Staging and Survival Rates
The prognosis for prostate cancer, as with any cancer, depends on how advanced the cancer has become, according to established stage designations. The patient's PSA score at diagnosis, as well as their Gleason score (the grading system used to determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer) determines the prognosis and final stage designation. Prostate cancer has a high survival rate in general, but your chances depend on the stage of the cancer.
tamsulosinTamsulosin is a drug prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, enlarged prostate). The most common adverse effects of tamsulosin are anemia (decreased red blood cells), decreased white blood cells, nausea, vomiting, abnormal taste, increased triglycerides, and weakness. Other side effects include low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, headache, abdominal pain, weight loss, muscle pain, abnormal ejaculation, upper respiratory tract infections, and rash.
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What Are the Five Stages of Prostate Cancer?The Gleason grading system grades prostate cancer from 1 to 5. According to cells’ appearances under a microscope, this system grades the most common (primary) and second most common (secondary) patterns of cells in a tissue sample collected via biopsy.
What Are the Main Causes of Prostate Cancer?The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known. Studies have revealed that prostate cancer occurs when the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or genetic material of a normal prostate cell undergoes a sudden and abnormal change called a mutation.
What Are the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer?All men are at risk of prostate cancer; however, some men are at more risk than others. Apart from being male, current risk factors for prostate cancer include the following.
What Happens in the Final Stages of Prostate Cancer?Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland. In the final stages of prostate cancer you may feel grief, get closer with family and friends, and have faith in a power greater than yourself.
When Should You Screen for Prostate Cancer?Screening for prostate cancer helps detecta tumor early, enabling timely treatment and prevention of any complications. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the decision to get screened should be made by men in consultation with their doctor. The doctor needs to counsel the men about the uncertainties involved in the screening process, the risks and potential benefits of getting screened for prostate cancer.