For most of us, nothing is scarier than the big C – cancer, and since cancer is such a prevalent disease these days, there is good reason to be afraid. Regardless of where you live or the type of lifestyle you have, getting cancer is always a very real possibility. Although there are many different types of cancer, most women fear breast or uterine cancer the most, while most men fear prostate cancer. Although there have been many advances made in medical research when it comes to cancer, this doesn’t mean there can’t be improvements. The good news, of course, is that each year we make new strides towards eliminating cancer, but many average citizens are unaware of this. Below are just a few of the lesser known facts about prostate cancer, which is the third most common cancer in men from Singapore.
What is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a walnut-sized item located just below the urinary bladder. It is most common for men over the age of 50 to get prostate cancer, and when the cancer occurs it can easily spread to other systems in the body, most notably the lymphatic system and the lungs. One of the most heartbreaking things about this type of cancer is that there are often no symptoms, so it is difficult to diagnose. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that is administered to determine whether or not a man has prostate cancer, and doctors like to see this number very low. If it is high, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cancer is present, but it does means that further testing should be done.
How is Prostate Cancer Treated?
Most prostate cancer treatment in Singapore centres around one of two areas – cancer that hasn’t spread, and is found only in the prostate itself, and cancer that has spread to other systems in the body. Treatment options include radiation therapy, surgery, and in very advanced cases, hormone therapy may also be used. The latter treatment involves injecting hormones, every three months, which are intended to block the production of testosterone. Each of these methods produces different results on different patients, and quite naturally, it is extremely important for both patient and doctor to work closely together to determine the best plan of action for the cancer sufferer. A good oncologist will be able to view the patient’s medical records, and come up with the best treatment for him.
Can Prostate Cancer be Avoided?
Although cancer cannot be completely avoided, there are things a man can do to reduce his risk of getting prostate cancer. Like many other cancers, diet plays a factor in who will or will not get prostate cancer. Actions that increase the likelihood of getting this type of cancer include diets that are high in fat and smoking cigarettes. Diets low in animal fat – and, of course, non-smokers – have much lower rates of prostate cancer than those who do the opposite. Researching prostate cancer, and making sure that you stay healthy, are two good ways to reduce the risks of getting this potentially deadly cancer.