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What is Prostate Cancer, and why should you care?

A topic rarely discussed among men, is prostate cancer.

The question remains: Why do people see it as a taboo topic?

The unsaid are the hardest to deal with. Men are strong individuals - protectors, friends, sons, fathers, grandfathers, or uncles - capable of achieving anything.

The stigma surrounding a diagnosis like prostate cancer can shatter a man's self-image. Often, they think that if a man is ill, they are weak, but this is untrue. As with any human being, getting sick is inevitable, whether it is because of a cold or disease, no man goes through life unscathed.

Prostate cancer’s origin is in the prostate. The Prostate is a walnut-shaped gland located beneath a man’s bladder. It is known that the cells in the prostate’s DNA change, and these changes, alter cell division at a more rapid pace, so a tumor forms, and prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body if undetected and untreated.

The number of cases diagnosed increases with age. One in every 456 men under the age of 50 could be diagnosed with this disease, the number drastically changes when men hit the age of 50 to 59, where 1 in 54 could be diagnosed, and then again from 60 to 69, where 1 in 19 men could be diagnosed.

Symptoms to be wary of includes difficulty urinating, weak or interrupted flow of urine, urinating often especially at night, blood in the urine or semen, and pain in the back, hips, and chest. If you notice these symptoms, it is wise to contact a healthcare professional for medical advice and what steps to follow next.

While it is not entirely sure what causes prostate cancer, there are preventative measures that could help to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Here are some general tips that could help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer:

1. Regular check up's - Men over 50 should contact their practitioner to discuss screening for prostate cancer, and those with a family history or other risk factors may need to start screening earlier.

2. Maintain a healthy weight - Obesity can increase the risk of prostate cancer, in other words maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.

3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet - Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

4. Limiting your alcohol intake - Heavy alcohol consumption can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

5. Quit smoking - Smoking is not only a risk factor for various other types of cancers, but it can also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

6. Manage stress levels - Chronic stress can weaken the immune system which can contribute to the development of prostate cancer.

7. Talk to your doctor about medication that may reduce the risk - Certain medications, could help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer in men.

Early diagnosis and treatment save lives.

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