Overview

The prostate gland is a small gland shaped like a walnut. It secretes the seminal fluid which nourishes and carries the sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common type of cancer. It usually develops slowly and causes no symptoms in the early stage.

Causes

When the DNA of the prostate gland cells mutate, the cells divide rapidly and continues to live while the healthy cells die. This is how prostate cancer develops. As the cancer cells grow, it will form into a tumor which may damage the nearby tissues. Later on, if left untreated, the cancer cells will spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).

Risk factors

The cause of prostate cancer is unclear. Common risk factors are:

  • Old age (more than 50 years old)
  • Ethnicity (black men)
  • Having a family member (e.g., parent, sibling or child) diagnosed with prostate cancer pose a higher risk to acquire the disease as well. Furthermore, if your family has a strong occurrence of breast cancer or even a genetic history risk of breast cancer such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, your risk of acquiring prostate cancer is high.
  • Being overweight

Symptoms

Early stage prostate cancer may not show any signs and symptoms but if the condition has become advanced, it may manifest the following:

  • Difficulty in urination
  • Weak urine flow
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Blood in the semen
  • Problem in having erection
  • Bone pain
  • Unintentional weight loss

If these symptoms persist, consult the doctor.