What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a cancerous tumour that grows in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland below the bladder in men that produces semen. Most prostate cancers grow slowly but there are aggressive cases, and the cancer can spread to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes. It is the 3rd most common cancer for men in Singapore. It is found mainly in older men above 50 years old. Those with a family history of prostate cancer are at a slightly higher risk.
What are the symptoms?
Early prostate cancer usually has no symptoms. In later stages of the disease, the tumour grows and narrows the urethra (urine passage) and spreads to other organs. This usually results in the following symptoms:
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Frequent urination (especially at night)
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
- Painful ejaculation
It is important to note that the symptoms mentioned are nonspecific and may also be caused by non-cancerous conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis.
How can it be diagnosed?
There are several ways to diagnose prostate cancer, with the most common being the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test. It tests the level of PSA – a protein produced by the cells in the prostate gland – in the blood. The higher the level, the more likely cancer is present, although other factors may cause an elevated PSA reading as well.
What are your treatment options?
Depending on the stage of the cancer, symptoms, age, and general health of the individual, treatment options vary. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or surgery are some of the options available.
How can you reduce the risk of prostate cancer?
- Reduce your intake of meat. Food high in animal fat has been linked to increasing the risk of prostate cancer.
- Exercise. A healthy lifestyle goes a long way to prevent prostate and other cancers.
- Control your libido. Research has found that men who begin having sex at an early age, or those who have a history of sexually transmitted diseases or multiple sexual partners also face an increased risk of prostate cancer.
If you experience any of the above symptoms and wish to be screened or seek expert medical advice, call our friendly medical concierge at +65 6679 7867 or email us at email@example.com and we will be on hand to assist you.