prostate cancer

What is Prostate cancer?

diagram of the prostateThe prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). It produces fluid that makes up a part of semen. Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the prostate, it is called prostate cancer.

Risk factors for prostate cancer

AgeThe older a man is, the greater his risk for getting prostate cancer.
Family HistoryCertain genes that you inherited from your parents may affect your prostate cancer risk. A man with a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself.
RaceProstate cancer is more common in African or Caribbean men.
Being overweight
Eating a low-fibre diet or high fat diet


Different people have different symptoms and some have no symptoms at all.
Some symptoms of prostate cancer are:

  • Difficulty starting urination.
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
  • Frequent urination, especially at night.
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
  • Painful ejaculation.

If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.

How is prostate cancer detected?

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE):
    • A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test:
    • Measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate.
    • The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer.
    • The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.
  • Trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS)
  • Biopsy


There is no proven cancer prevention strategy, however, leading a healthy lifestyle may lower your risk:

  • Choose a low fat diet
  • Choose fats that come from plants instead of animals
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat more fish
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise most days of the week

Prostate cancer statistics

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