Male fertility relies on the ability to inseminate sperm during sex, and your prostate, a walnut-shaped organ that lies under your bladder and surrounds your urethra, is an important part of how that happens. When you orgasm, you release a whitish ejaculate that contains sperm. The sperm comes from your testicles, but the seminal fluid that carries them comes from your prostate. This testosterone-fueled gland boosts sexual capability, helps to regulate urinary flow, and filters out toxins to protect your sperm.
A few common conditions affect how your prostate functions. They include prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). Both are often irritating but not dangerous. Prostate cancer can be harmful and potentially fatal and is the second most common type of cancer in men. If you’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, you are likely experiencing a lot of anxiety and have a lot of questions, such as how it can be treated. Let’s try to help you better understand the condition by examining what this cancer is, its causes and symptoms, and what your treatment options are.
If you live in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, or South Florida area and you’re trying to cope with a prostate cancer diagnosis, Drs. Craig Herman and Steven Kester and their medical staff at the Urology Center of Florida can help.
Prostate cancer basics
Cancer cells are abnormal cells that grow out of control and can develop in just about any part of the body. Adenocarcinomas are the most common form of cancer cell that develops in the prostate, accounting for nearly all cases. Other types of prostate cancer include small cell carcinomas, neuroendocrine tumors, transitional cell carcinomas, and sarcomas. Some types of prostate cancer grow more quickly than others.
Research indicates that this illness starts out as one of two types of precancerous condition: prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) or proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA). High grade, one type of PIN, is linked to getting cancer, and PIA sometimes leads to it.
Causes and symptoms
The exact cause of prostate cancer is still unclear. Not all precancerous cells grow into cancer. Factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer include family history, genetic changes (BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations), age, and ethnicity, with it being more common among Black men. A poor diet, such as one with high fat content, can also increase risk. Obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and prostate inflammation also can play a part in getting prostate cancer.
You may not always experience symptoms, but when you do expect to have difficulty urinating, frequent urges to urinate (often at night), weak streams of urine, blood in the urine (hematuria), painful ejaculation, and hip, back or pelvic pain.
Your treatment will depend on how far along the cancer has progressed, and can include a range of specialists including urologists and radiation and medical oncologists. If your cancer is moving slowly and is in the early stages, active surveillance and watchful waiting are common methods.
If things worsen, there are surgical treatments (open radical prostatectomy, robotic radical prostatectomy), radiation treatments, laser treatments and other therapies that might be used to treat the cancer. While preventing prostate cancer isn’t possible, you can reduce your risk of it by getting regular screenings, keeping a healthy weight, focusing on a nutritious diet, and stopping smoking.
Prostate cancer can seem scary at first diagnosis, but it can be treated, and we can help. To get treated for prostate cancer or other problems affecting your urinary tract, call or message the team at the Urology Center of Florida today.