What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘prostate cancer’? It’s very likely that you started to think about how men deal with the disease. However, should prostate cancer be a concern for women too? While there’s a lot more research needed, it turns out that the answer is “yes”. Let’s look at what you need to know about prostate cancer in women.
Can Women Really Get Prostate Cancer?
Technically, women don’t have a prostate gland the way that men do. Women have “Skene’s glands” or “Skene’s ducts”, which are small glands and ducts at the front of the vagina.
As researchers established some similarities between these structures and male prostate glands, they became more popularly known as female prostate glands. One noteworthy similarity is the presence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PSA phosphatase (PSAP) in the Skene’s glands.
The production of PSA and PSAP is usually used as an indicator of prostate cancer in men as well as breast cancer in women. It’s possible that the same can be said of female prostate cancer but there have been too few cases to confirm that.
Typical Signs Of Female Prostate Cancer
Again, there are have been so few cases of this illness that all the symptoms haven’t been identified. For the most part, you should be concerned about sudden changes in your menstrual cycle, an unusual discharge, blood in the urine, bleeding from the urethra, difficulty passing urine, and feeling pressure behind the pubic bone.
Some people have also noted pain when having sexual intercourse. The general guide is that you should contact your doctor if you have any concerns about changes in your reproductive or urinary systems. While the issue may not be the Skene’s structures, it could be another illness or infection that needs to be addressed.
Who Might Be At Risk
Research still continues to find out all the relevant information for this disease. So far one possible risk factor has been identified. People who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may be more likely to