The prostate gland is located underneath your bladder and front of the rectum. The urethra, a tube that carries urine from your bladder passes through the middle of the prostate gland.
Therefore any changes in the size of your prostate may affect the flow of urine. The urethra also carries semen out of the body.
What is prostate cancer?
The cells in our body all have a specific job to do. Normal cells divide in an orderly way and die when they are worn out or damaged and new cells take their place. Cancer is when the cells start to grow in an uncontrolled way. These cells keep on growing and manufacturing new cells just like themselves.
Prostate cancer is when abnormal cells start to grow in the prostate. These cells grow more quickly than normal cells, and grow in an uncontrolled way. They crowd out the normal cells. In short, they are rogue cells.
Usually, prostate cancer cells grow more slowly than other cancers, but this is not always the case.
Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. These cancers develop from the gland cells (the cells that make the prostate fluid that is added to the semen). Other types of prostate cancer include sarcomas, small cell carcinoma, neuroendocrine tumors and transitional cell carcinomas, but these are very rare.
Prostate cancer is usually found in older men, and rarely affects men under the age of 50.
What are the early signs of prostate cancer?
Usually, prostate cancer symptoms do not appear in the early stages of the disease. The symptoms of prostate cancer may be different for each man and any one of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions.
Because the urethra passes through the middle of the prostate gland, prostate cancer may first be evidenced by a variety of urinary difficulties including:
- Burning or pain when peeing
- Difficulty urinating, or trouble starting and stopping
- More frequent urges to pee at night
- Loss of bladder control
- Decreased flow
- Blood in urine
Other symptoms of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer may spread (metastasize) to nearby tissues or bones. If the cancer spreads to the spine, it may press on the spinal nerves. Other prostate cancer symptoms include:
- Blood in semen
- Difficulty getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Painful ejaculation
- Swelling in legs or pelvic area
- Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet
- Bone pain that doesn't go away, or leads to fractures
Who is at risk of developing prostate cancer?
The biggest risk factor is age. Prostate cancer is usually found in men over the age of 50, and the risk factor increases, the older that you get. Many older men are unaware that they have prostate cancer because it can be very slow growing.
Genetics can also play a role. If you have a father or brother who has suffered with prostate cancer, then your risk factor increases.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Most prostate cancers are first found during screening with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or a digital rectal exam (DRE). These are the two initial tests for prostate cancer and it is important to have both tests, as neither test on its own can give an accurate indication of cancer.
If cancer is suspected based on results of screening tests or symptoms, tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. The actual diagnosis of prostate cancer can only be made with a prostate biopsy.
Once you have been examined by your doctor, he or she may suggest a blood test and refer you to a specialist urologist. The urologist may suggest that you have a biopsy of the prostate tissue. The sample of prostate tissue is then looked at under a microscope where the pathologist is looking for cancer cells. Results are usually ready within 10 days and if the test finds prostate cancer cells, a grade (Gleason score) will be given. Your doctor will discuss this with you. The Gleason score is a tool for predicting how fast-growing the cancer is.
What are prostate cancer stages?
All cancers are ‘staged’. The term ‘stage’ is used to describe the size of the cancer and whether it is contained within the prostate gland, or whether it has spread beyond the prostate gland.
When the cancer is found only in the prostate gland, this is called localised prostate cancer or early prostate cancer. For the majority of men, the cancer grows slowly and is not aggressive. In others, the type of cancer grows more quickly and spreads to other parts of the body and is called advanced prostate cancer.
What is the prognosis for prostate cancer?
Generally speaking, prostate cancer has a very high rate of survival. In fact it is one of the highest out of all types of cancer. Because it is usually very slow moving, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer will ultimately pass away from an unrelated cause.
What are the causes of prostate cancer?
Just like other types of cancer, prostate cancer may have multiple causes. Most experts though agree that mutations in your genetic material play a significant role, leading to the growth of cancerous cells. These mutations can cause cells within the prostate to start growing in an uncontrolled and abnormal way. These cells keep on growing and dividing until a tumour develops. With an aggressive prostate cancer, these cells may leave the original tumour site and spread to other parts of your body.
How can I improve my prostate health?
The experts agree that there are a number of things that you can do to improve the health of your prostate gland:
- Eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables (particularly tomatoes)
- Avoid alcohol (or keep consumption to a low level)
- Avoid smoking
- Ensure that you exercise - walking 10,000 steps daily is an easily achievable goal
You may also want to consider taking a prostate health supplement such as Prostate PowerFlow.
Prostate PowerFlow’s formulation works to support prostate health and contains the following four key active ingredients:
- Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is a herb. The ripe fruit of the plant are used to make medicine. According to many studies it is effective in decreasing the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Tomato derived lycopene supports a healthy prostate. Lycopene has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. It can help stop the enlargement of the prostate and help this condition from progressing to prostate cancer.
Selenium acts as an antioxidant protection.
Prostate PowerFlow provides up to 50% of the selenium RDA daily for men for prostate health NZ (RDA varies in different countries).
Zinc is necessary for your body to manufacture testosterone. Testosterone is the key male hormone for potency and fertility. Low zinc levels may contribute to low sperm count and low libido.
To support your prostate health, it is suggested that you take two capsules of PowerFlow daily; one in the morning and one in the evening with food.
Prostate PowerFlow is 100% natural and is free of unpleasant side effects. It is manufactured in New Zealand to the highest standards with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
Prostate PowerFlow is recommended for long term use to support prostate health and has helped thousands of men since it was launched over a decade ago.