Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, affecting 1 in 7 during their lifetime. Men have a gland called a prostate, located between the bladder and penis. Women do not have prostates. Instead, they have Skene glands that contain the same chemicals as the prostate. These chemicals are called prostate-specific antigen and prostate-specific antigen phosphatase. The Skene glands have coined the term “female prostate,” though it’s very rare for women to develop cancer in these glands. Still, can a woman get prostate cancer?
The Female Prostate and Risk
Discovery of Skene glands is fairly new and there is some speculation regarding their function. One debated possibility is that its role is sexual in nature. It’s possible that the fluid produced by some women during orgasm, also known as female ejaculate, is produced in these glands.
While it’s very rare for women to develop cancer in the Skene glands, there is still the risk of cysts, infection and/or inflammation in the glands or their ducts. These conditions can cause symptoms of frequent or painful urination, urinary tract or vaginal pain, and even sexual dysfunction. These symptoms are synonymous to those of other gynecological or urinary infections or conditions. If a woman is experiencing these symptoms and other methods of medication or treatment have not been successful, it’s possible these glands may be a contributing factor.
Men and Prostate Cancer
As a man ages, his chances of getting prostate cancer increase exponentially. Unlike cancer in the Skene glands, symptoms of prostate cancer often go unnoticed for a while, until certain ones start to present. These include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, erectile dysfunction, and hip, back or chest pain. It’s recommended that men speak with their physicians regarding screenings for prostate cancer, especially after the age of 50. Even if a man develops prostate cancer, it may be very low risk and unnecessary to undergo treatment. A physician will want to monitor the growth of the tumor if any at all. As well, dietary and lifestyle changes may be suggested by a physician to help prevent or manage a tumor in the prostate.
Both men and women should be sure to take care of their body and health by exercising regularly, eating nutritious meals, not overusing recreational substances, such as alcohol, and getting regular check-ups from their primary care physician. Regular checkups and preventive care are the keys to maintaining good health. Remember: if you catch prostate cancer in its premature stages, there are many noninvasive methods for addressing it.
The CyberKnife Center of Miami is a state-of-the-art facility that utilizes the most technologically advanced radiation therapy to destroy tumors with pinpoint accuracy and has a 98% success rate for treating prostate cancer. It is non-invasive, no cutting, no anesthesia, no pain and no downtime. For more information or to learn if you are a candidate for CyberKnife contact our office at 305-279-2900 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.