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Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. The cancer usually grows slowly and in the early stages is limited to the prostate gland, in which case it does not cause serious damage. However, while some types of cancer grow slowly and may require little or no treatment, other types of cancer are invasive and can spread quickly.
Early detection of prostate cancer - that is, when it is still confined to the prostate gland - has a better chance of successful treatment.
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It is not yet known what causes prostate cancer.
Doctors have concluded that cancer starts when some prostate cells become abnormal. When mutations in DNA occur, abnormal cells cause cells to grow and divide faster than normal cells. Abnormal cells continue to live when other cells die. Abnormally accumulated cells form a tumor that can grow and invade surrounding tissues. Some abnormal cells can also break down and spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).
Age: The risk of developing this cancer increases with age.
Race: For reasons that have not yet been determined, black men are at higher risk of developing this cancer than men of other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or more advanced.
Family history: If there are men in your family who have prostate cancer, your risk may increase. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or have a family history of breast cancer, you are more likely to develop this cancer.
Obesity: Obese men with this cancer may develop an advanced disease that is more difficult to treat.
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Cancer that spreads (metastasizes). The cancer can spread to nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to the bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause bone pain and fractures. When prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it may still respond to treatment and be controllable, but it is unlikely to improve completely.
urinary incontinence. Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Treatment for incontinence depends on the type of cancer you have, its severity, and the likelihood that it will improve over time. Treatment options may include medication, catheters, and surgery.
Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by this cancer or its treatment, including surgery, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. Medication or vacuum devices that help achieve an erection, as well as surgery, are available to treat erectile dysfunction.
Choose a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Avoid high-fat foods and focus on choosing fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients that can help your health. Whether you can prevent prostate cancer through diet has not yet been conclusively proven. But having a healthy diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health.
Choose healthy foods instead of supplements. No studies have shown that supplements play a role in reducing the risk of developing this cancer. Instead, choose foods that are high in vitamins and minerals so you can maintain a healthy level of vitamins in your body.
Exercise most days of the week. Exercise improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight, and improves your mood. Some evidence suggests that men who do not exercise have higher PSA levels, while men who exercise may have a lower risk of developing cancer. Try to exercise most days of the week. If you have just started exercising, start slowly and gradually increase your duration.
Have a balanced weight. If your current weight is balanced, try to maintain it with exercise most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, exercise more and reduce the number of calories you consume daily. Get help from your doctor in developing a healthy weight loss program.
Talk to your doctor about increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Men at high risk for this cancer may consider medications or other treatments to reduce their risk. Some studies suggest that taking 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, including finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart), may reduce the overall risk of prostate cancer. These drugs are used to control prostate enlargement and hair loss in men.
However, there is some evidence that men who take these drugs may be at risk for more serious types of cancer (malignant prostate cancer). If you are concerned about the risk of developing this cancer, consult your doctor.
It is controversial to test healthy and asymptomatic men for prostate cancer. Medical organizations do not agree on the issue of screening and whether it has benefits or not.
Some medical organizations recommend that men be screened for this cancer around the age of 50 or sooner for men who are at risk for prostate cancer.
Talk to your doctor about your specific condition and the benefits and risks of screening. Together you can decide if prostate screening is right for you.
Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). During DRE, your doctor gloves a finger soaked in lubricant into your rectum to examine the prostate adjacent to the rectum. If your doctor finds abnormalities in the tissue, shape, or size of the gland, you may need more tests.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. A blood sample is taken from a vein in your hand and analyzed for PSA (a substance that is naturally produced by the prostate gland). It is normal to have a small amount of PSA in the bloodstream. However, if the level is found to be higher than normal, it may indicate infection, inflammation, enlargement or prostate cancer.
PSA testing with DRE only helps detect early-stage prostate cancer. Hence, the debate over prostate screening continues.
As soon as you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor will try to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. If your doctor suspects that your cancer has spread beyond the prostate, he or she may recommend one or more of the following imaging tests:
Computed tomography or CT scan
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Positron emission tomography scan or PET scan
Not everyone should take every test. Your doctor will help you determine which tests are best for your particular case.
Your doctor will use the information in these tests to determine the stage of the cancer. Stages of prostate cancer are indicated by Roman numerals I to IV (one to four). The lowest stage indicates that the cancer is limited to the prostate only. In stage 4, the cancer grows beyond the prostate and may spread to other parts of the body.
The cancer staging system is still evolving, and as doctors progress in diagnosing and treating cancer, it becomes more complex. Your doctor will help you determine the right cancer treatment and choose the right treatment for you.
Iran has very reasonable costs for medical services and cosmetic surgery. In general, hospitalization and surgery costs in Iran are very reasonable and low.
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