Can women have prostate cancer?

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that produces fluids to help with reproduction. 

Prostate cancer starts when cells in this gland grow abnormally, forming growths called prostate adenocarcinomas. 

The most common symptom is difficulty urinating because the tumor presses on the urethra or causes blockage within it.

Prostate cancer is prevalent in men, but can women have prostate cancer too? Let’s find out!

What is the prostate gland? 

The prostate gland is an organ in the male reproductive system. It is located just beneath the male bladder and also assists in regulating urine flow in men.

Do women have prostate glands?

Though the prostate is not a component of the feminine system, certain glands and ducts in the female reproductive system perform similar functions to the prostate gland.

These glands are the Skene’s glands and have been discovered to contain PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen), an enzyme responsible for causing prostate cancer in men. They are located on either side of the female urethra, in front of the vulva.

Like the prostate gland, the Skene’s gland also helps in urinary health.

Based on a report in 1994, 0.003% of recorded cancer conditions in genital parts of females were caused by cancer of the Skene’s gland.

Can women have prostate cancer? Signs of prostate cancer in women

Because prostate cancer is rare in women, little research has been done regarding its signs and symptoms. However, from reported cases, here are some symptoms associated with prostate cancer:

  • Passing out urine too often and in urgency.
  • Urinating with pains.
  • Passing out the urine with traces of blood.
  • Passing out blood from the urethra.
  • Painful copulation.
  • Steady pressure at the back of the pubic bones.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Reduced urinary flow.
  • Feverish conditions.
  • Pain on the lower regions of the back.
  • Uncomfortable sensation on the bladder.
  • Tingling feeling in the genital region
  • Urethral release during activities in the bowel.
  • Adenofibroma: a mass of fibrous tissue appearing on the Skene’s gland.

Can women have prostate cancer? – Causes of prostate cancer

There are different causes of prostate cancer. Based on research and speculations, some of the causes of prostate cancer are;

Age

The chance of having prostate cancer increases with age, particularly in adults of 50 years and above. About 12 out of 20 prostate cancer diagnoses are found in adults from 65 years and above.

Race

Prostate cancer occurs more in Black Americans and those with an African origin. People of other races have lesser tendencies of being affected.

Diet

It is not precisely known how diets can cause prostate cancer, but studies have shown that people who consume dairy products in large amounts might have an increased chance of having prostate cancer. 

Also, some examinations propose that high calcium consumption in food supplements can create the risk of having prostate cancer.

Family trait

Prostate cancer can be passed down from generation to generation in families. This genetic inheritance increases the chances of contracting the disease. Having a sibling or relative with prostate cancer can increase the tendency of suffering from the disease. 

Genetic mutation 

Changes in genes tend to induce prostate cancer. However, there are only a few reported cases owing to genetic differences. For instance, inherited modifications of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes known to be causes of breast and ovarian cancers have been discovered to cause prostate cancer.

Women with Lynch syndrome have a higher tendency of having prostate cancer, as well as other cancers. Modifications in DNA repair genes like ATM and RAD51D have tendencies of causing the disease.

Also, the gene accountable for the growth of the prostate gland, HOXB13, can experience mutations. And these mutations are associated with prostate cancer. However, this kind of modification is not inheritable. Other genetically contracted mutations can be causes of prostate cancer.

Obesity

Being overweight could raise the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Also, obese people tend to have complicated levels of this condition and die from it. 

Smoking

If you’ve ever suspected that smoking tobacco might cause cancer, well, you were right. Scientists have known for a long time that smoking causes lung cancer, and prostate cancer is not far behind.

Smoking can result in prostate cancer and even death. 

Radiation and chemicals

Constant exposure to radiation and certain chemicals can heighten the risk of acquiring prostate cancer. An example is a study associating outbreaks of prostate cancer with a mixture called Agent Orange that was used in the Vietnam war.

Prostatitis

This is the swelling of the prostate. Its precise cause is not determined; however, certain conditions have been found to play a role in its development. Some of them are:

  • Bacterial attack from the reversed flow of contaminated urine to prostate canals.
  • Medical treatments like examination of the bladder and urethra and collection of urine from the urinary canal.
  • Malfunction of the urinary canal.
  • Current or just-gone bladder or urinary canal disease.
  • Expanded prostate.
  • Periniumal damage.
  • Reaction to an injury or illness by chemical or the immune system.
  • Chlamydia bacterial attack.
  • Mycoplasma illness.
  • Bacteria disorder in the urinary area.

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can raise the possibility of having prostate cancer. 

Prostate cancer prevention

Even though the chances of women having prostate cancer are low, a healthy diet and lifestyle will help to reduce the risk of developing the disease. 

Below are some health tips to prevent prostate cancer:

1. Consume more fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and tomato have been shown to contain compounds that help to protect against cancers.

2. Go for quality fats.

As much as possible, avoid animal fats as they can increase the risk of prostate cancer. Plant-based fats from nuts and seeds are healthy alternatives.

3. Consider green tea and soy.

Green teas and isoflavones, a nutrient found in soybeans, help lower the risk of prostate cancer.

4. Quit smoking

5. Regular exercise 

As obesity is a predisposing factor for developing prostate cancer, routine workouts like running, jogging, and walking can help you maintain a right and healthy body weight.

Can women have prostate cancer? – Conclusion

Fact: Women can also develop prostate cancer, but the chances are lower when compared to men. Take note of the causes and preventive measures outlined in this article to ensure you never have to suffer from prostate cancer. 

It can be treated by radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery for people who already have prostate cancer.