Prostate cancer symptoms
While most men today are diagnosed with prostate cancer through exams and screenings before their symptoms begin, it is important to become familiar with the possible signs of the disease. This is especially important for unscreened or younger men.
Here are the symptoms you need to watch out for to find out if you have prostate cancer:
- Urinary problems
- Blood in semen
- Pain in the back, hips, or ribs
- Loss of bladder control
- Erectile dysfunction
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
However, these symptoms may also be a precursor to other conditions such as prostate enlargement and inflammation of the prostate. Because prostate cancer can often spread to the bone, it can cause severe pain in the lower back, hips, or legs. For this reason, it is of great importance to consult a specialist physician in case of possible symptoms, and more importantly, not to neglect regular check-ups.
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
The gold standard for diagnosing prostate cancer is a prostate biopsy, which collects small samples of prostate tissue and detects abnormal cells under a microscope. The fusion biopsy method, one of the most modern diagnostic tools in today's urology, is used in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
A MR/TRUS fusion biopsy combines a specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan with a trans-rectal ultrasound image to help urologists precisely target the area of the prostate that needs to be biopsied. This approach allows our doctors to precisely sample the area of the prostate of concern for cancer.
MR-TRUS fusion biopsy helps target tumors that need treatment, reducing the number of repeat biopsies and allowing for earlier diagnosis and treatment.
What are the causes of prostate cancer?
The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown. However, as a result of various studies, some risk factors for this type of cancer have been identified. Prostate cancer, in its most general form, develops as a result of abnormal changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell. DNA is the chemical structure that makes up the genes in our cells. Our genes control how our cells work, so changes in DNA can affect how cells work and divide.
Certain genes that help cells grow, divide, and survive are called oncogenes. Genes that normally keep cell growth under control, repair errors in DNA, or make cells die at the right time are called tumor suppressor genes. Mutations in some oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are risk factors for prostate cancer.
Other risk factors for prostate cancer can be listed as advanced age, black race, family history of prostate or breast cancer, high male hormone levels, excessive consumption of foods rich in animal protein and fat content, obesity, and sedentary life.
Prostate cancer may require an earlier screening study in the presence of certain conditions that may indicate a genetic predisposition. Individuals with a first-degree relative with prostate cancer have a 2-fold increased risk of developing this disease. Especially in the history of prostate cancer in siblings, the increase in risk is more pronounced.
There is an increase in risk between diet and prostate cancer, especially in people who eat western-style. Excessive consumption of milk and dairy products, a diet rich in saturated fat foods, high calcium intake, low vitamin D levels, and excessive consumption of red meat and processed meat products are among the dietary characteristics considered effective in the development of prostate cancer.
Advanced age is another risk factor for prostate cancer. Care should be taken as this disease occurs more frequently, especially after the age of 50.
Obese individuals may have a predisposition to prostate cancer. A healthy body weight is considered one of the most important conditions for prostate cancer, as the disease may follow a more aggressive course and relapses may occur after treatment.
Prostate cancer treatment
Treatment approaches may differ according to the stage and degree of the disease. Treatment methods can be applied alone, together, sequentially, or alternatively, depending on the patient's condition or disease level. In some patients, active surveillance without treatment may be offered as an option.
After the necessary diagnostic examinations, most patients are treated with one of the following methods:
- Surgical treatment (Da Vinci robotic radical prostatectomy, open radical prostatectomy)
- Radiation therapy (radiotherapy, brachytherapy)
- Focal therapy (HIFU, cryotherapy)
- Drug therapy (hormone therapy, chemotherapy).
What is good for the prostate?
Consuming foods that are good for the prostate may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Foods containing vitamin E, zinc, and selenium are especially good for the prostate. In addition to nutrition, factors such as regular physical activity and having a healthy body weight may also benefit the prevention of prostate cancer.
Among the foods that are beneficial for prostate health;
- Garlic, eggs, and seafood containing selenium
- Zinc-rich nuts, milk, and legumes
- Fruits and vegetables containing lycopene, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and rose hips
- Including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Selenium and zinc are among the minerals considered important for prostate health. Regular intake of the mineral selenium has been associated with a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer, especially in tobacco users. Zinc, on the other hand, is considered important because of its effects on DNA repair and, therefore, on the cell cycle. Zinc is also a mineral found at high levels in prostate tissue.
Lycopene is a substance with antioxidant properties that can slow down cell division by showing an inhibitory effect on cell damage.
Broccoli is a food that can reduce the risk of cancer development with the help of complex substances in its content. Sulforaphane in broccoli is a nutrient that can have a protective effect against this ailment by eliminating those that tend to become cancerous in prostate cells.
Green tea is a product that has been consumed by people for thousands of years due to its many properties that positively affect normal body functions. Various chemicals in green tea can provide protective properties by showing effects on many issues such as growth, cell death, and hormone interaction in the development of prostate cancer.
Beans, lentils, and other legumes are phytonutrients with chemical content called phytoestrogens. Legumes, which are thought to have a protective effect against prostate cancer with their regular consumption, are important because of their hormonal regulation and antioxidant effects.
Fish rich in polyunsaturated fatty acid chains should be an indispensable part of nutrition programs, especially since they are rich in essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. Because these fatty acids cannot be produced by the body and must be taken from outside, While a Western diet contains high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, it is considered insufficient in terms of omega-3 levels. In order to maintain a balance between these two fatty acid levels, the consumption of fish grown in cold waters is recommended.
Do prostate diseases cause infertility?
In cases of enlargement or cancer of the prostate, it can be thought that the changes that occur in the tissue will affect the reproductive ability of men by blocking the semen channels passing through the prostate or by changing the semen content. However, the relationship between prostate and infertility is not much questioned since these diseases are generally seen in men over 50 years of age, whose demands for having children are left behind. When necessary, patients can be examined with tests such as sperm analysis.
What Consequences Will Prostate Cancer Cause If Left Untreated?
If prostate cancer is not treated, the cancer will spread beyond the prostate. As a result, cancer cells that spread first to surrounding organs and then to distant organs will have fatal results.