The prostate, the male reproductive organ that surrounds the urethra from the bladder, produces and stores about 30% of semen, and plays an important role in enhancing sperm activity and fertility. When there is a problem with the normal function of the prostate, and inflammation occurs, it can lead to the occurrence of related diseases such as prostatitis and prostatic hyperplasia. Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor in which cells in the prostate have abnormally divided and grown.
The main cause of prostate cancer is not clearly known. It is presumed that this occurs when the function of the gene that suppresses the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells is reduced and the gene that promotes degeneration into cancer cells is activated. It is known that increasing age, family history, and eating habits of excessive consumption of meat and high-fat foods containing a lot of animal fat promote the degeneration of normal cells into cancer cells and increase the risk of disease. In addition, long-term exposure to harmful substances such as pesticides, radioactive substances, and metallic dust has a significant impact on the occurrence.
In the past, prostate cancer was more common in the elderly. However, in recent years, it is reported that the age at which prostate cancer occurs is gradually decreasing due to environmental factors such as westernized eating habits, and the number is increasing every year. Now, let’s take a look at the main symptoms, treatment, and prevention of prostate cancer one by one.
Main symptoms of prostate cancer
Because the prostate surrounds the urethra, various symptoms appear as the urethra is compressed by the proliferation of prostate cancer. Since the growth rate is slow, most of the symptoms are asymptomatic in the early stages, and as the cancer progresses to a certain extent, various urination-related disorders occur. Symptoms such as difficulty urinating, a thin stream of urine, and a feeling of remaining urine after urinating are among these symptoms of dysuria. In addition, various symptoms such as frequency of urination abnormally increase, nocturia with increased frequency of urination at night, urgency to urinate, and discomfort in the lower abdomen are also accompanied.
Most of these early symptoms of prostate cancer do not appear, so it is not easy to recognize. When the aforementioned subjective symptoms appear, it is said that most of the cases of prostate cancer are advanced. If early detection is missed by delaying treatment in this way, prostate cancer progresses further and the bladder outlet is blocked, leading to acute urinary symptoms in which urine cannot be discharged. Blood in the urine may also be excreted.
In addition, when a tumor metastasizes to bones, lungs, or lymph nodes, it causes very severe pain, and at the same time, symptoms such as weakness, loss of sensation, difficulty walking, and breathing difficulties appear. will also grow. Prostate cancer is known to be over 90% curable if detected at an early stage. In particular, since it is known that the incidence rate of prostate cancer is 8 times higher than that of people without a family history of prostate cancer, it is very important to have regular check-ups from the age of 40.
Prostate cancer treatment and prevention
1. Diagnosis and treatment
In order to diagnose prostate cancer, tests such as a rectal finger test and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test are performed. In addition, multiple tests such as transrectal ultrasound, CT, MRI, and biopsy may be additionally performed to check the extent and status of prostate cancer metastasis. In addition, depending on the diagnosis result through various tests, various treatment methods such as surgical treatment, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy are carried out. These treatment methods are applied differently depending on the progress of the disease, and if the cancer has not spread to the surrounding area but is confined to the prostate, surgical treatment and radiation treatment are performed. And if it has metastasized to bones or other organs, hormone therapy is performed to suppress the process of producing male hormones or prevent it from acting on the prostate, and then chemotherapy can be performed.
2. Steady exercise
In order to prevent prostate cancer and relieve symptoms, it is very important to do regular aerobic exercise in a regular pattern. In particular, such exercise is said to help prevent overweight and obesity, which are major risk factors for prostate cancer, and help maintain an appropriate weight. Exercising 3 times a week, such as walking for 30-40 minutes a day, is said to have a good effect. And since prostate cancer is reported to have a high incidence in occupational groups exposed to harmful substances, sedentary work, and low physical activity, reduce sitting in a fixed position for a long period of time, It is important to make efforts to minimize exposure to hazardous substances.
3. Controlling Animal Fat and High Fat Dietary Habits
Excessive intake of animal fat is known to be the biggest risk factor for prostate cancer, so it is very important to reduce intake of animal fat and eat a low-fat and high-fiber diet centered on fresh vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes, in particular, have a high content of lycopene, a representative antioxidant that lowers the risk of prostate cancer, which helps reduce the possibility of prostate cancer based on its strong antioxidant power. Since it is a food that has been proven to be effective in several studies, it is important to consume it regularly. In addition, catechin, a polyphenolic compound contained in large amounts in green tea, is also said to have a beneficial effect in reducing the occurrence of prostate cancer.
In addition, it is known that regular consumption of various types of legumes, soybean paste, cheonggukjang, tofu, watermelon, pumpkin, pomegranate, and garlic, which are made by processing soybeans, helps to lower the risk of prostate cancer. there is. In addition, various components such as selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and curcumin are known to prevent the occurrence of prostate cancer by inhibiting the degeneration of normal cells into cancer cells. It is also said to be effective in improving symptoms.