Prostate cancer is a specific type of cancer exclusive to the male prostate, a walnut-shaped gland responsible for producing the fluid that moves sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the leading types of cancer in men. While some forms grow slowly, more aggressive forms require immediate treatment. Like most forms of cancer, early detection is vital. Symptoms of prostate cancer are often not noticeable in the early stages, which is one problematic aspect of the disease. As the cancer advances, more symptoms become apparent. Many people experience trouble urinating as their first symptom of prostate cancer. They either cannot control their flow and become incontinent or have problems urinating altogether. The presence of blood in the semen is another possible indication of prostate problems, as is bone and pelvic pain, and erectile dysfunction.
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Doctors are not sure what causes prostate cancer, but they have identified several risk factors. These include family history of prostate cancer or the gene that causes breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2), race (black men have a heightened risk of aggressive forms), advanced age, and obesity. If prostate cancer is allowed to progress without treatment, it can spread through the body, leading to incontinence and permanent erectile dysfunction.
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