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Conditions: Prostate Cancer

Causes - Prostate Cancer

Although we don’t yet know exactly what causes prostate cancer, we do know that the male hormone, testosterone, stimulates prostate cells to grow. Scientists have also identified a few risk factors for prostate cancer—most notably age, genetics, race, and lifestyle. The average age of diagnosis is age 70 years, with most cases found in men over age 55 years. Your risk of prostate cancer doubles if you have one close relative (such as a brother or father) with the disease, and your risk increases 5-fold if you have 2 close relatives. Race also can affect your risk: prostate cancer is more common in African American men than white, Asian, or American Indian men. While you cannot change your age, heritage or family history to lower your risk, there is one thing you can do: you can change your diet. Researchers believe that obesity and a diet high in fat increases your risk of prostate cancer.

 

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer

Men who have very early prostate cancer likely will have no complaints, and the only suspicion of cancer is from an elevated PSA (prostate
specific antigen) and or abnormal digital rectal exam of the prostate. Symptoms like needing to urinate more frequently, weak or interrupted stream, and difficulty starting your stream are more typical of BPH than cancer of the prostate. 
 
In advanced cases of prostate cancer patients may have:
• Difficulty urinating
• Pain when ejaculating
• Blood in your urine or semen
• Weight loss or loss of appetite
• Pelvic pain
• Pain or stiffness in their lower
back, hips, and/or upper thighs.
 
If you notice these symptoms, you shouldn’t panic and assume you have cancer, but you should contact your doctor.

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