The prostate gland is responsible for producing some of the ingredients that make up the semen. Like other organs in the body, the prostate gland may experience issues like cancer. In this article, we’ll explore the possibility of back pain as a symptom of cancer.
The Prostate Gland: A Brief Overview
All males have a prostate. The prostate gland is a muscular gland that is the size of an apricot and is responsible for producing some of the ingredients that make up the semen. It is located below the bladder and right in front of the rectum. The prostate weighs around 30 grams or one (1) ounce and surrounds the tube, the urethra, that transports urine coming from the bladder and moving towards the penis. The prostate gland is also essential for the efficient and proper function of the reproductive system of males.
But what does the prostate actually do or accomplish?
Prostate Gland Function
As stated earlier, the prostate gland is only present in male individuals and is tasked with the excretion of a liquid that can keep sperm healthy and alive and acts as protection for the genetic codes carried by the said sperm. Contraction of the prostate also occurs during ejaculation as it squirts the liquid into the urethra. When ejaculating, the sperm will be transported in two (2) tubes of the vas deferens. These tubes will then transport millions of sperm from the location where they were created which is the testes to the seminal vesicles. The Seminal vesicles are connected to the prostate and can help provide additional liquid to the semen before it is transferred to the urethra. The ejaculatory duct is the location where the seminal vesicles and the vas deferens intersect or meet.
It is also impossible to urinate and ejaculate at the same time as during ejaculation, the prostate will contract which closes off the opening found between the opening of the urethra and the bladder which will then push the semen at high speed.
Parts of the Prostate
The prostate gland is flanked on all sides by muscle fibers that make up protective and connective tissue. This can make the prostate’s texture elastic to an individual’s touch. Experts will usually identify the portions of the prostate like layers on onion with four layers in total encircling the urethra. Enumerated below are some of the portions of the prostate:
The Stroma or the Anterior Fibromuscular Zone
Physically looks like a capsule and made up of fibrous and muscular tissue. This is the outermost portion of the prostate.
The location where the glandular tissue is located and found in the back portion of the prostate gland.
The central zone composes one-quarter of the total mass of the prostate gland and surrounds the ducts for ejaculation.
The transition zone is the innermost portion of the prostate gland and is the only zone of the prostate that all throughout life will continue to grow and develop. It also surrounds the urethra and is the smallest part of the prostate.
Is Back Pain a Symptom of Prostate Cancer?
Technically speaking, back pain can be a symptom of prostate cancer. It is important to note though that back pain may be caused by some other medical condition and that prostate cancer may have other symptoms. Back pain may be caused by prostate cancer due to how it affects the human body. Prostate cancer, particularly those that are in its advanced stages will usually affect other areas of the body. This adverse effect of prostate cancer will usually exhibit itself in the patient’s bones which medical professionals call bone metastasis.
Once prostate cancer or any other cancer starts spreading to the patient’s bones, it will most likely affect the hips, ribs, and the spine. This metastasis or spread of cancer cells to the bones will most likely happen patients who are already in stage 4 of the said cancer and this condition can lead to back pain. Patients who experience back pain with no possible cause or reason should seek assistance from their doctor for possible medical evaluation and assessment.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in male patients with roughly one (1) in seven (7) males contracting the said cancer. One (1) out of Thirty-five (35) patients will die of above-mentioned cancer. In a statement by a cancer advocacy group known as ZERO around sixty percent (60%) of patients with prostate cancer will experience metastasis which can adversely affect the bones of these patients.
What are the Other Causes of Back Pain?
As stated earlier, back pain may be caused by many other causes other than prostate cancer. These other causes may include abdominal aneurysms, infections, kidney stones, arthritis and other diseases that can cause inflammation, scoliosis and other spine abnormalities, sciatica, spinal nerve pressure, spinal stenosis, deteriorating, ruptured, and damaged discs of the spine, injuries, overexertion, sprains, and strains.
What are the Other Possible Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer can have other possible symptoms other than back pain. However, early stages of prostate cancer may have no symptoms and as such, medical professionals will often recommend prostate screenings for male patients. Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer are listed below:
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Pain with ejaculation or urination
- trouble stopping and starting the flow of urine
- the reduced flow of urine
- nocturia or the need to frequently urinate at night
- The urgent and frequent need to urinate