September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re dedicating this blog post to shedding some light on how prostate cancer develops. Most men are understandably concerned about their prostate health, and it’s important to have a basic understanding of how prostate cancer grows and progresses in order to make informed decisions about screenings and treatment options. In this post, we’ll discuss what the prostate gland is, common conditions that can affect the prostate gland, and how to determine if its cancer. We’ll also take a look at how prostate cancer starts and how it can progress over time.
The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped organ that’s located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland produces seminal fluid, which helps to nourish and transport sperm. The prostate also helps to control urination and ejaculation. Common conditions that can affect the prostate include prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate), and prostate cancer. Both prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia are usually non-cancerous conditions that can be effectively treated.
Prostate cancer usually starts in the cells that line the inside of the prostate gland. These cells are called glandular cells. Over time, these abnormal cells can grow and form tumors. The tumors can then spread to other parts of the body, including the bones and lymph nodes. However, prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that is usually diagnosed before it has a chance to spread.
There are several different stages of prostate cancer, depending on how far the cancer has spread.
- Stage 1: the cancer is slow-growing and confined to no more than half of the prostate. Tumors cannot be felt, PSA levels are low, and the cancer cells look like healthy cells.
- Stage 2: the cancer is only in the prostate. PSA levels are medium or low, and there may or may not be a tumor large enough to be felt.
- Stage 3: the cancer is growing or is high grade. PSA levels are high and the tumor is growing. There is a greater risk of the cancer spreading.
- Stage 4: the cancer has spread to other areas of the body such as regional lymph nodes, distant lymph nodes, or the bones.
If you’re concerned about your risk for prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about getting a PSA test. This test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. A high PSA level can be an indicator of prostate cancer. Your doctor may also recommend a digital rectal exam, which involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormal growths. If you have any symptoms of prostate cancer, such as difficulty urinating or blood in the urine, be sure to see your doctor right away.
In this blog post, we discussed the stages of prostate cancer. We began by talking about what the prostate is and what it does. We then went on to define prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer. After that, we took a look at how cancer starts in the prostate gland and how it can progress over time. Finally, we ended with a few thoughts on how to screen for prostate cancer and what to do if you have symptoms. Prostate cancer is a serious disease, but it can be treated successfully if it’s caught early. With September being Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, there’s no better time to learn about how prostate cancer develops and what you can do to protect your prostate