Cancer has a number of platforms to drive awareness these days.
Many organisations, worldwide, have made it their business to educate the public, while entire months have been dedicated to highlighting information about the various types of cancer.
Given that Movember revolves around male health issues, we’ll be looking at some of the most common types of male cancers.
If the cancer starts in the testicles, it would be called testicular cancer. As for how it develops, it would be useful to begin by talking about what testicles do. That is, they make male hormones such as testosterone. They also make sperm.
Upwards of 90% of testicular cancers grow in special cells called germ cells. They’re the cells that produce sperm. There are two main types of germ cell tumours in men.
The first type, called seminomas, can take two forms. More than 95% of them are called classical seminomas, and they tend to occur in men between the ages of 25 and 45. Spermatocylic seminomas are rarer, develop more slowly, and tend to occur in men who are around 65.
Seminomas usually develop and spread less quickly than non-seminomas. The latter type of germ cell tumours ordinarily occur in men who are between their late teens and early 30s.
The prostate is found below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. Although there are many types of cells in the prostate, just about all prostate cancers grow from gland cells. These are the cells that produce prostate fluid – which is added to semen.
In the UK, prostate cancer tends to affect men over the age of 50, with the average age of diagnosis being between 70 and 74.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis, and its main purpose is to store urine prior to it leaving the body. It has flexible, muscular walls that have four primary layers: the urothelium, thelamina propia, the muscularis propia and, finally, a layer of fatty connective tissue to keep the bladder separate from nearby organs.
It’s important to be familiar with these layers when considering how bladder cancers develop. Most of them start in the urothelium. Bladder cancers become more difficult to treat as they grow into or throughout the other layers.
Given that it ordinarily takes a long time to grow, bladder cancer usually occurs in people over 60.
As with many other types of cancer, the basic rule is that early detection can save lives. That’s because it’s easier to treat if you diagnose it before it’s got too big or spread.
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