The prostate is a gland located below a male’s bladder. Its main function is to secrete prostatic fluid, which makes up a large portion of seminal fluid. The prostate is also responsible for propelling sperm during sexual intercourse.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Doctors find that cases of prostate cancer are increasing around the world. Some of the factors which might increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer include:
- Age – The older a man is, the greater the chance of prostate cancer. Most cases of prostate cancer are found in men 50 years and older.
- Family History – Having a father or brother who has had prostate cancer.
- Region – Prostate cancer is more common in North America and Europe (especially northwestern Europe); it is less common in Asia.
- Diet – Diets that are high in fat and long-term or regular red meat consumption.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer in its early stages is usually not accompanied by any noticeable symptoms. As the cancer grows, however, it begins to put more pressure on the urethra, and will then begin to cause a variety of symptoms especially affecting the lower urinary tract. For example, more frequent urination (especially at night); pain or burning sensation while urinating; urinary retention (an inability to fully empty the bladder); difficulty in starting, maintaining, or stopping the urine stream; straining to urinate, etc. If left untreated, patients will have greater difficulty and more frequent urination, to the point that they may urinate blood.