November is the month of prostate cancer awareness, hence the craze of #NoNutNovember…and oohh so you know, it’s not only for men to know about prostate cancer, but women too because these men are our fathers, husbands, sons and uncles.
Prostate is a walnut sized shaped gland found in males, hence no nut November. It secretes seminal fluid that helps nourish the sperms and also help in the mobility of the sperms.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of tumors in males. There are risk factors associated to it such as increasing age, family history of prostate cancer and breast cancer, race common among blacks and obesity.
Commonly it will present with symptoms such as pain in the perineum and pain in the scrotum. Sometimes late symptoms such as bone pain.
Then later presents with urinary symptoms such as incomplete bladder emptying, incontinence, dribbling, weak stream, straining and hesitancy like one is struggling to push out urine from the urethral opening, one keeps waking up at night a lot to pee, and frequent visits to the washroom to pee.
How is it diagnosed?
The doctor will listen to your history and do his/her digital rectal exam, prostate specific antigen test, abdominal ultrasound and tissue biopsy for histology. Imaging tests to check on spread of the tumor include PET scan, CT scan, MRI and bone scan.
Modalities of treatment are several from prostatectomy, orchidectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal ablation therapy, external beam radiation and use of anti-fungal.
A European study recommends that once a man gets to fifty years of age he should have his prostate checked every four years. This includes a digital rectal exam, trans-rectal ultrasound and prostate specific antigen.
So as we #NoNutNovember lets have the prostates checked this month.