What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. The prostate is a gland found only in males and makes some of the fluid that is part of semen. While relatively rare in men under 45 years of age, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in males.
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Causes of Prostate cancer aren’t fully known but have been linked to age, genetics, race, diet, and lifestyle. Prostate Cancer is typically a disease of men 60 and older, however, the trend seems to be younger patients being diagnosed. Regular screening starting in your 40s is vital because there are no symptoms of early-stage Prostate Cancer.
Symptoms only show when it has spread to other areas or otherwise becomes more severe. Prostate cancer that’s more advanced causes symptoms similar to BPH such as:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Erectile dysfunction
Other indicators specific to cancer include:
- Blood in the semen
- Bone pain
- Sudden unexplainable weight loss
There are many different treatments that men who have prostate cancer may undergo. Some of which can lead to ED.
Active surveillance follows the patient by utilizing frequent lab tests and biopsies to monitor their cancer.
Radical prostatectomy is a procedure that removes the entire prostate. Candidates for this treatment must be healthy enough to undergo major surgery. Having a radical prostatectomy can damage the nerves responsible for your erectile function.
Sometimes done in combination with hormone therapy, radiation works by attacking the cells in the prostate in the hopes of eliminating cancer. Radiation can sometimes cause sexual side effects such as ED and ejaculation issues.
The hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer centers around stopping or reducing testosterone production. Testosterone is thought to make the tumor grow and reducing levels helps to starve out the prostate cancer. Testosterone is responsible for sex drive and is needed to obtain and maintain an erection. Some providers allow the use of testosterone products while being treated for prostate cancer but it must be strictly supervised.
How menMD can help
Depending on the stage or severity of your prostate cancer, your physician may prescribe a variety of treatment options to alleviate some of the side effects or symptoms. menMD will always be available to answer questions, discuss treatment options, and process prescription orders.
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