Prostate-Cancer The best defense against prostate cancer is knowledge. Understanding the how and why of this illness can help men develop healthy lifestyles that will help them decrease their chances of developing the cancer. It can also help them make intelligent decisions about regular screening. The prostate is a small gland that is part of the reproductive system. It surrounds the urethra, which carries the urine out of the body. Prostate cancer causes the majority of deaths in men over seventy years of age. There are groups of men who are more likely to develop this cancer. The groups with the highest risk include African- American men over the age of 60 and men who have a family history of prostate cancer, particularly if a father or brother has had it. Other groups that have a greater risk are men who were exposed to Agent Orange, those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol or consume more fats in their diet. Interestingly, it is less common for vegetarians. The fact that prostate cancer is very slow growing is good news. However, regular screenings are crucial. As symptoms do not present themselves until the disease has progressed to a later stage, there is no way of finding and treating it without a medical screening. As a general rule, men who fall into the greater risk categories should probably begin screening between the ages of 40 and 45. Although there is no set in stone guideline, other men should probably begin their screenings at about age 50. A biopsy is the most definitive way to be sure if prostate cancer is present. The need for a biopsy can be indicated through a high PSA level or a rectal exam. PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It is a measure of the protein produced by the prostate. If the level is high, there is a greater chance of prostate cancer. If, during a routine rectal exam, a doctor feels that the prostate is enlarged, or has a hard or uneven surface, a biopsy is a natural course of action. An enlarged prostate is a common occurrence for older men, and it can also lead to a higher PSA. The biopsy can give men in these circumstances peace of mind. If cancer is revealed through a biopsy, its severity can be measured with the Gleason Grade. There may be multiple grades of cancer present in one biopsy sample. The Gleason score is composed of the sum of the two highest numbers. On a scale of one to ten, the higher numbers indicate a more severe case with a likelihood that the cancer has spread. At that point, a CT scan or bone scan may be needed to see how far it has spread. Treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy to lower levels of testosterone. Unfortunate side effects include changes in sexual performance and desire and urine control difficulties. Although prostate cancer can be deadly and affects a great many men, there are measures a man can take to decrease his chances like adopting a healthy eating regimen that includes high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids and low fat foods. That and regular screenings beginning at the age their doctor recommends can help a man live a long and healthy life. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: