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What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a tiny reproductive gland that is unique to males. It produces prostatic fluid – a component of semen–and it sits between the bladder and the rectum.
The prostate usually enlarges with age–a phenomenon known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is completely normal. However, the prostate cells grow at an abnormally high rate with prostate cancer. It’s typically diagnosed in men over the age of 50.
Although there are many kinds of prostate cancer, adenocarcinoma is the most common type. Some are confined within the prostate and are harmless, while others are more aggressive and can spread to different parts of the body.
HOW COMMON IS PROSTATE CANCER?
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men of African descent and tends to present at a much more advanced stage in this population. This makes treatment less effective, and prognosis (the likelihood of survival) poor.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men globally.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, a leading not-for-profit research organization, there were an estimated 1.3 million new cases of prostate cancer worldwide in 2018.
Data from 2018 for the African-Caribbean regions with select countries highlighted:
RISK FACTORS FOR PROSTATE CANCER
We have yet to determine the cause of prostate cancer. However, some risk factors have been identified:
- Older age
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
- Black/Hispanic ethnicity
- A family history of (prostate) cancer
“Black Men of African Ancestry are two times more likely to die from prostate cancer as compared to white men. Why these men are more affected is not yet clear; however, race/ethnicity seems to play a role.”
SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER
Symptoms usually occur in the later stages of prostate cancer and may include:
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Inability to pass urine
- Bloody urine
- Fatigue from blood loss (anemia)
If you or someone you know is concerned about prostate cancer or experiencing related symptoms, consult with a doctor to help you make an informed health decision.
Help to spread awareness in your local community.
Let’s take back control and beat prostate cancer!