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It is thought that around 10% of prostate tumours are of genetic origin, transmitted by high penetrance genes. If a first-degree relative has had prostate cancer, the risk of developing it doubles. An association between genetic mutations that predispose a person to tumours has been observed, for example the BRCA gene.
PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a protein that is exclusively produced in the prostate and can be detected using a blood test. Its usual function is to participate in the production of seminal fluid. Its production depends on the levels of androgens and the size of the prostate.
The usual values can be altered by benign prostate pathology such as infections, prostate growth, or by surgery on the prostate or the bladder.
Normal PSA levels vary depending on each laboratory and the patient characteristics, but as a general rule a PSA level of under 4 ng/ml is considered normal. When it is over 4 ng/ml, the need for a prostate exam should be assessed.
If a high PSA level is shown, you should consult your urologist. An overall assessment will have to be carried out by the urologist to plan the following steps, including which tests to carry out, if necessary.
Prostate tumours are often indicated by a high PSA level, but other benign illnesses can also give rise to this. Urinary infections, benign prostate growth (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and surgery on the urinary tract, especially on the prostate and the urethra, can elevate PSA.
PSA analysis is the first step to detecting prostate cancer. In addition, a physical rectal examination should be performed. To confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer, a prostate biopsy must be performed which, on occasions, is accompanied by the prior performance of a magnetic resonance on the prostate.
Surgery is not the only treatment option for prostate cancer. Surgery is one of the multiple treatment options for prostate cancer, which will be indicated depending on the characteristics of the tumour and the patient. Other treatment options may include radiotherapy, hormonal treatment or chemotherapy.
The surgical treatment of prostate cancer may affect erection and ejaculation in various ways and can be temporary or permanent.
If a radical prostatectomy is carried out, surgery which consists of a total removal of the prostate and seminal vesicles, the man will no longer produce semen or be able to ejaculate following surgery.
Erections can be affected by surgery, either temporarily or permanently. The most common way for surgery to affect erections is when the nerves that contribute to producing an erection, which are located behind and next to the prostate, are removed or damaged. Whenever surgery is performed, an attempt is made to preserve these nerves, but the erection may still be affected. Depending on the quality of erection following surgery, treatment can be given to improve them.
Prostate tumours are not clearly associated with a particular lifestyle or diet. Despite this, a Mediterranean diet with balanced saturated fats is recommended, as is maintaining an active lifestyle to prevent tumours.