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Causes and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease which only affects men. Cancer begins to grow in the prostate – a gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate is so called because of its position – it is at the base of the bladder. The exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

– Prostate cancer is caused by changes in the DNA of a prostate cancer cell. DNA makes up our genes, which control how cells behave.
– Prostate cancer may also be linked to higher levels of certain hormones. High levels of male hormones (androgens) may play a part in prostate cancer risk in some men.
– The risk (predisposing) factors for prostate cancer include advancing age, genetics (heredity), hormonal influences, and such environmental factors as toxins, chemicals, and industrial products.
– It develops in the outer part of the gland as distinct from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which develops in the centre of the gland. Therefore, it is possible to get prostatic cancer even after one has had a prostatectomy for BPH.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Levels of a substance called prostate specific antigen (PSA) is often high in men with prostate cancer. However, PSA can also be high with other prostate conditions. Since the PSA test became common, most prostate cancers are found before they cause symptoms. In the later stages, prostate cancer can spread locally into the surrounding tissue or the nearby lymph nodes, called the pelvic nodes. The cancer then can spread even farther (metastasize) to other areas of the body. Symptoms of prostate cancer may include :

– A need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
– Difficulty in starting urination or inability to urinate.
– Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
– Painful or burning urination.
– Difficulty in having an erection.
– Pain during ejaculation.
– Blood in the urine or semen.
– Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or thighs.
– Pain with bowel movement.
– Unintentional weight loss.
– Lethargy.
It is advised to consult a doctor immediately if you have experienced any of the above symptoms. Men aged 50 and above have the chances of developing prostate cancer.

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