How to Detect Prostate Cancer In Older Adults
What is Prostate?
The prostate is located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate’s most significant capacity is the creation of a liquid that, along with sperm cells from the gonads and liquids from different organs, makes up semen.
Statistics have shown that more than 47,500 men suffer from prostate cancer yearly in the world.
- Prostate cancer is disease that happens in the prostate. It causes pains and discomfort to the patient especially when passing out urine or during ejaculation.
- Statistics have shown that the risks of suffering from prostate cancer is higher in African Older-adults than the whites or Asians.
- Prostate cancer can be treatable if diagnosed early.
- Pain passing out urine and during ejaculation: Prostate is an organ that surrounds the Urethra and this may cause pains during passing out urine, the prostrate is also a reproductive organ that helps in the production of sperm and once the prostrate is cancerous, the patient begins to experience pains during ejaculation.
- Unnecessary urge to urinate: The prostrate cancer can affect the urethra causing the feeling of an urge to urinate frequently.
- Difficult to get and keep erections: Once the prostrate has been affected by cancer, there is a high tendency that the patient won’t be able to keep or get erections for a longer period of time.
- Weakened bladder: The cancer that affects the prostrate, causes urinary dysfunction. The bladder is the organ that helps to hold urine temporarily before discharge, with the presence of the prostate cancer the bladder gets weakened and won’t be able to hold urine again for a longer period.
- Pains in the organs surrounding the prostate: If the cancer is not detected early, there is a high tendency it can spread to other organs surrounding the prostrate such as the rectum, urethra, bladder, penis and the seminal vesicles, and cause pain.
- Low production of sperm: The prostrate helps in the production of seminal fluids such as sperm but a cancerous prostrate can not produce enough fluid during ejaculation. This can also cause infertility in men because large quantity of sperm is needed during ejaculation.
Causes of prostate cancer in older-adults
Prostate cancer like other types of cancers, is caused by an uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate, this growth can be caused by so many factors and when this growth is not diagnosed on time and treated with any of the medical procedures it can lead to having a cancerous prostrate.
Some of the risk factors that contribute to this disease are mainly:
- Age: It have been statistically proven, that half of the population of men above the age of 50 years have a high chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Race: Prostrate cancer has a very high impact on the blacks such as Africans or African-Americans. Research have shown that blacks suffer more from prostate cancer than the Caucasians and this can be due to genetics and environmental factors.
- Family background: Having family members who have or have had prostate cancers, is an indicator that there is a risk of other male family members being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Obesity: Research have shown that obese men tends to suffer more from recurrent prostrate cancer even after receiving medical treatments because not having a balanced weight tends to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Life styles that can increase the risk of prostate cancer
- Smoking: Males who habitually smoke have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Eating Habits: Eating foods that are rich in heterocyclic amines can cause prostate cancer, heterocyclic amines are carcinogenic in nature. These are found mainly in red meats.
- Unprotected sex or having many sexual partners: can cause sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea cause prostatitis and if prostatitis is left untreated for a long time can cause prostate cancer.
Stages of prostate cancer and treatment of prostate cancer:
As with most cancers, there are 4 main stages. Stage one being at the beginning and stage four being the end stage of cancer. In this article we include a stage zero which is called the pre-cancer stage.
Stage 0: At this stage, the cancer cells are forming.
Cancer cells tend to form slowly at the beginning, at this early stage, the individual has no serious medical issue.
If an early detection is done at this stage, there has to be active monitoring. Tests such as prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, digital rectal exam (DRE), prostate biopsies and imaging tests.
Stage 1: The cancer affects the prostate, treatment can be carried out in this stage if it is diagnosed early because the cancer has only affected the prostate and has not spread to other organs of the body.
Radiation treatment: undergoing radiation treatment at the early stage of the prostate cancer, tends to kill the cancerous cells before they spread to other parts of the body.
Observation: After the patient must have undergone radiation treatment, there is a need for the patient to be watched closely to see if the cancer cells will resurface and if it resurfaces, then external beam radiation could be considered with or without androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
Stage 2-3: At this stage, cancer is not only found at the prostrate glands but in other tissues and nearby organs are affected.
Surgery, Monitoring of the prostate specific antigen (PSA), Radiation therapy, Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
Stage 4: The cancer spreads further affecting bones. Most health care providers at this stage switch to management of symptoms to increase the patient’s quality of life.
Surgery, Androgen deprivation therapy could be administered with drugs such as abiraterone or apalutamide. External beam radiation could also be considered.
Prevention of prostrate cancer
Prostrate cancer affects older-adults more than adolescents. An individual could lower the risks of having prostate cancer by:
Paying attention to what they eat: Avoid the intakes of foods rich in heterocyclic amines such as red meats. Eating a balanced diet. Increase in intake of vegetables, fruits, and white meat. Staying away from overly processed foods. Eating as close to nature as possible.
Exercise: Keeping fit and active. A sedentary life has little or no benefits. Exercise helps to get the heart rate up and burn fat. Taking walks, stretching and physiotherapy can be helpful.
Weight management: Closely related with the first two points, maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). An expansion in work out, combined with a better eating regimen, can assist you get to appropriate BMI levels.
Healthy Sexual habits: Not having multiple sexual partners.
Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of an individual contracting a number of illnesses, quitting smoking may help with reducing the risks.
Decrease pressure: Stress may adversely influence your immune system which is continually battling disease cells. An increase in stress may increase the risk of general un-wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are prostate cancers difficult to detect early in Older Adults?
Most people report late to hospital with prostate cancer because the symptoms are not easily noticeable initially and can be mistaken for other illness. However, medically it is possible to detect prostate cancer as well as treat it.
Can I detect prostate cancer without any tests?
Tests are needed to confirm prostate cancer diagnosis. That notwithstanding, some symptoms like pain during urination and ejaculation strong pointers to the need for further investigation to be carried out.
How often do I need a prostate exam?
People younger than 40 years old rarely develop prostate cancer.
Men who are 40 years and above are required to carry out prostate specific antigen exam depending on how high their risk for prostate cancer.
Once they start testing, they may do a prostate test once in every two years if the PSA value is low and yearly if the PSA value is high.
Is there a vaccine against prostate cancer?
There is a vaccine against prostate cancer, Sipuleucel-T (Provenge). However, this vaccine has not been proven to be very effective or useful.
Early detection and diagnosis of prostrate cancer helps to treat and stop the growth or spreading of the cancer cells to other cells. If you have an extremely high risk of prostate cancer, taking steps to reduce or eliminate the risk is advised.
Even if you are below 50 years old and you have any of the symptoms of prostate cancer, we advise you consult your doctor who will based on your symptoms and his/her experience recommend further tests and treatment plan.
Self-medication and local-remedying are one of the causes of late diagnosis and treatment and accounts for a lot of deaths.
Suggested further reading: visit cancer.net