Prostate cancer is considered one of the most common types of cancer among men in Singapore. Fortunately, this is also one of the most successfully treated cancers with the right diagnosis and treatment programs. Prostate cancer usually starts at the prostate gland, hence the name, however, it can also spread or grow depending on the type of cancer.

Let’s get to know more about the disease and what can be done if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Like most types of cancer, prostate cancer can be asymptomatic, however, there will be obvious symptoms once the disease has progressed. These include difficulty urinating, changes in the force of the urine, pain or discomfort around the pelvic area, erectile dysfunction, and blood in the semen.

Unfortunately, doctors cannot point out the cause of prostate cancer, although there are risk factors that will increase a person’s chances of contracting it. If the male has other family members who have had prostate cancer or any type of cancer (including breast cancer), he will also be at risk of the illness. The severity of the prostate cancer will also vary among individuals.

How is Prostate Cancer Prevented and Diagnosed?
Some doctors do not agree on the methods of prostate cancer screening, so you should ask your family doctor about the options available for you. Although the type of cancer which only stays in the prostate gland cannot do significant damage, there are types of prostate cancer that are aggressive. If not treated, it can cause urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and metastases or the spread of cancer to other organs.

There is no formula to preventing prostate cancer like most types of cancer, but you can practice a healthier lifestyle if you are at risk of developing the condition because of your family history. Maintain a healthy weight by eating nutritious food, avoiding tobacco or cigarettes, regulate your consumption of alcoholic beverages, and exercising regularly. Some men are also advised to take medications that will lower the risk of prostate cancer, such as taking dutasteride or a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. However, there are studies that contradict the effectivity of the drugs, so talk to your doctor about your options.

How is Prostate Cancer Treated?
If you are at risk of prostate cancer, you should book an appointment with a specialist, such as a urologist or an oncologist for a checkup. The type of treatment that will be recommended to the individual will vary depending on the stage of cancer, grade of cancer or severity, age, other health conditions that are still being treated, the chances of recovery, and the side-effects of the treatments.

Depending on the diagnosis, prostate cancer can be treated in different combinations of the following: surgery, cryotherapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, bone-directed treatment, and vaccine treatment. It’s important to talk to the doctor about these different options as well as other complementary methods not listed here.

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