Prostrate Cancer

The prostate is a gland about the size and shape of a walnut and is part of the male reproductive system. It produces seminal fluid that assists in moving sperm during ejaculation. It lies in the pelvic area right in front of the rectum and surrounds the beginning of the urinary tube.

Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common non-skin cancer. One in every six men get PC. If you have family members who have prostate cancer, it is important for you to go for screening. Overweight men and men over 65 are more prone to PC.

Early warning signs of prostate trouble:

  • Difficulty passing urine

  • A slow stream of urine often with dribbling at the conclusion

  • Inability to stop or start the flow of urine

  • The frequent need to urine – especially during the night

  • Swelling in legs

  • Discomfort in the pelvic area

Men aged 40 and older should go for the screening test at least once a year to detect signs of possible prostate cancer. As screening can detect prostate cancer in its early stages, treatment will be more effective and there is a better chance of recovery. Although most of the enlargements of the prostate are benign, screening is essential.

Once a doctor suspects PC, he will take a biopsy. During a biopsy a needle is inserted into the prostate and a small sample of tissue is taken.

If PC is confirmed, the biopsy will show one of the following:

  • Localised PC means the cancer is confined in the prostate.

  • Locally Advanced PC means the cancer is confined in the prostate, but has begun escaping into the immediate surrounding tissue.

  • Metastatic Disease means the PC is growing outside the prostate and its immediate environs and possibly the lymph nodes and into more distant organs.

Here are ways to keep healthy:

  • Choose a healthy low-fat diet. Avoid animal fats (butter, lard) and rather use animal fats such as canola oil.

  • Eat fish for healthy omega-3.

  • Give up alcohol or drink no more than 2 standard portions of alcohol per day.

  • Eat at least 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables daily.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.

  • Exercise regularly.

If you are male and over 40, talk to your doctor and go for a screening. Look after yourself.

www.prostatecancerfoundation.co.za

www.uronsa.co.za

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