Prostate cancer is an odd disease – it is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in men but 99% of those with the disease do not die. It occurs almost exclusively in men over 50 but can develop over any time. But what really is it? Prostate cancer is the buildup of cells in the prostate area which leads to pressure placed upon the urethra. This can be detected by frequent urination, starting and stopping, as well as difficult urination – though about 65% of men with prostate cancer show no symptoms. People can go through their whole lives without knowing they have prostate cancer – since it rarely metastases, it is hard to detect if specific attention is not paid to prostate health. Causes are mostly undetermined – age, obesity, and genetics are three major players but everything from diet to chemicals like Agent Orange can influence your odds of getting the disease. What complicates matters is the testing process – it is complicated, involved, and outside of a literal biopsy (cutting off pieces of the prostate itself) impossible to be 100% accurate. Current treatments also often ride a sketchy ground, requiring serious sacrifice. For example, Androgen Deprivation Therapy, or ADT, effectively destroys prostate cancer but has the negative kickback of destroying sexual function. Other methods are invasive and costly. Due to this, research on prostate cancer is very important – there’s much to do to learn how to fight this disease. Help spread awareness and fund the fight against prostate cancer with these light blue wristbands!
Written by Michele Wheat