The beginner’s guide to understanding prostate cancer

With early diagnosis, most cases of prostate cancer are not fatal
Photo credit: With early diagnosis, most cases of prostate cancer are not fatal

What you need to know:

  • Most prostate cancers are detected during screening with a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), and the Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS).
  • Prostate cancer mainly affects men who are 40 years or older.

Four years ago, Raphael Omondi’s older brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had been complaining of trouble urinating with burning sensations from time to time. This had gone on for a couple of years. He attributed his health problems to bacterial infections. “He would buy antibiotics and the problem would go away for a while. At one point, he suspected his wife was unfaithful and was the cause of the recurrent ‘bacterial infections,” says Raphael.  What he did not know was that his prostate gland was growing malignant. “A pharmacist recommended a prostate cancer test but he refused. According to him, prostate cancer was a problem of sexually inactive men,” says Raphael. By the time he took the test four years ago, cancer had spread too far. He oozed pus and blood during urination and could no longer achieve an erection. “He was told the tumor had invaded the seminal vesicles and he would be put on a combination of radiation and hormonal therapy treatment,” says Raphael. Two years ago, in April 2019, he succumbed to cancer.

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