Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men. Cancer will affect the prostate gland which lies beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It produces semen and it will also play an important role in urine control in men. If the cancer is detected during the early stages, it can be treated effectively. The patient should undergo regular checkups and the diagnosis should take place before the metastasis.
Early prostate cancer will not produce any symptoms and other symptoms will be localized to the prostate. If you notice unexplained weight loss, dull pain in bones or low back, you should consult the physician. Increased shortness of breath and swelling of the legs related to the obstruction of the lymph tissue should be investigated.
- If prostate cancer symptoms appear, there will be problems with urination.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer that affects men above 50 years of age.
- No symptoms are found during the early stages of the cancer
- There will be an urge for urination (including nights)
- The patient may find it difficult to urinate
- The urination cannot be maintained consistently
- Blood appears in urine
- It is difficult to achieve the erection
- There will be difficulty in maintaining the erection
- Decreased force of urine stream
- Weight loss, bone pain and lower extremity swelling
- Pain in the bone (often in the spine), pelvis or ribs
- Bone fracture
- If cancer affects the spinal cord, it may compress the spinal cord. The patient may experience leg weakness, faecal incontinence, and urinary incontinence.
There are several specialists involved in the identification of the prostate cancer. You should discuss your need with the family medical doctor so that you will go for cancer screening. If there are abnormal results in the rectal examination, you might want to submit for further tests.
The prostate will start in glandular cells. It is also called adenocarcinoma. The exact cause of the prostate cancer is not known. There are several risk factors which have been identified by researchers. However, which factors will lead to cancer is not completely established.
The exact cause of the prostate
- There will be a small change in the shape and size of cells which is called as Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN). As the process is very slow, it is difficult to notice the symptoms in the human body.
- 50% of the men above 50 years will suffer from the PIN. If the PIN is high-grade, it should be considered as pre-cancerous.
- The risk of prostate cancer will increase with certain genetic factors
- Certain ethnic groups pose a higher risk of prostate cancer
- A man has a higher risk if his twin has the prostate cancer
- Diet high with red meat and high-fat dairy products will increase the risk of prostate cancer
- Benign enlargement of the prostate which is called as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
- Acute and chronic infections of the prostate
- Non-bacterial chronic inflammation of the prostate
- The prostate cancer is common in men above the age of 50 years and the risk will increase with the age
- Men with father or brother diagnosed with the prostate cancer will pose a higher risk of prostate cancer
- The patient should undergo regular screening to figure out the issue and cancer should be diagnosed before the metastasis.
- The doctor will carry out a physical examination. The medical history of the patient will be traced
- If a patient has symptoms, it will be revealed through a routine blood test. The patient will have abnormal PSA levels.
- The presence of prostate cancer will be revealed through imaging tests.
- The abnormalities of the prostate will be checked with the finger with the digital rectal examination.
- A biomarker test will be conducted to check the blood, urine and body tissues of a person.
- Further tests are conducted if there are abnormal results in standard tests.
- The PCA3 test will be conducted to examine the PCA3 gene present in prostate cells
- Tran rectal ultrasound scan will deliver the image of the affected area by using the sound waves
- About 12 to 14 pieces of tissues will be removed from several areas of the prostate gland to conduct the biopsy. The stage of cancer and further progression of cancer will be determined through these tests.
- Prostate cancer is mentioned in different stages based on the size and shape of a tumour. The scale of metastasis indicates the spread of the prostate gland from one part to another part.
- Stage 0 – A tumour had not invaded the prostate gland nor spread from the gland
- Stage 4 – cancer had spread to distant organs and sites
- CT scan or MRI scan will be used to track the spread of the cancer cells to various parts of the body
- Regular screening is required to detect the prostate cancer. It can be treated if it is in a treatable condition
- Urologists will diagnose the prostate cancer by performing a prostate biopsy. As per the grade and stage of cancer, additional specialists are involved in the treatment of prostate cancer.
- Surgical-based treatments are offered by urologists and it is called radical prostatectomy. After conducting minimally invasive treatment, the patient will go through the hormonal therapy.
- If the disease is found before spreading into other parts, it is called metastasis process, the 5-year survival rate of the person is 99%.
- The 5-year survival rate goes down by 96% after 15 years
- As cancer metastasizes, the 5-year survival rate is 29%.
- Periodic laboratory testing is recommended to screen for prostate cancer. The tests should be conducted once every 1 or 2 years.
- Observation, active surveillance, surgery and other therapies may influence the prostate cancer cell growth.
- There are different kinds of treatments to deal with an early stage of cancer and the advanced stage of cancer
- For localized and minimal cancer, watchful waiting or monitoring will be done. The treatment options include radical prostatectomy, brachytherapy, conformal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
- During the watchful waiting process, PSA blood levels are checked on a regular basis. However, no medication will be offered to the patient. If the cancer development is slow, immediate medication will lead to side effects.
- Radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure in which the prostate will be removed through the surgical process. If a patient undergoes traditional surgery, it requires hospitalization of 10 days. The patient will recover in three months.
- Robotic keyhole surgery can be performed quickly with the shorter recovery period. However, it is very expensive.
- Through the Brachytherapy, radioactive seeds will be planted into the prostate. The targeted cells are reached by the radiation.
- Through the conformal radiation therapy, the exposure to healthy tissue will be limited.
- Through the intensity modulated radiation therapy, beams of various intensities will be used to deal with cancerous cells. Intensity modulated radiation can be considered as the advanced form of conformal radiation therapy.
- For advanced prostate cancer, aggressive cancer treatment will be offered. The treatment options include chemotherapy, Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and long-term hormone therapy.
- If cancer is in the early state, the radiation therapy along with the hormone therapy will be offered for about 4 to 6 months.
- The treatment provided to the patient is based on the condition of the individual. The age, health complications and lifestyle will also influence the treatment option.
- The urologist or the oncologist will share the available options with the patient and the most appropriate treatment will be offered to the patient.
- Chemotherapy is used to treat advanced cancer as it can kill cancer cells in a very efficient way.
- By giving Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), the effect of androgen will be reduced. Androgens are male hormones and they can increase the cancer growth. By reducing the androgen levels, the cancer growth can be arrested.
- If the hormone therapy does not deliver the intended results, the patient will participate in clinical trials. The patient should discuss the further course of action with the doctor.
- Medical oncologists are specialized in the treatment of cancer. There are various kinds of medical therapies through which cancer will be treated. Chemotherapy, immunization and hormonal therapy are the most common options to arrest the cell damage or division.
- Radiation oncologists are specialized in using the radiation to treat cancerous cells. The radiation therapy will be implemented through the external or internal therapy.
- The prostate cancer case review will be done by a group of specialists including urologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. If you are being treated for prostate cancer, you will meet one or all these specialists during the course of treatment.
- If cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is not possible to use radical prostatectomy.
- With the removal of the prostate, there will be an impact on the production of semen and fertility.
- With the radiation therapy, the prostate tissue will be affected. The ability to father children will be reduced due to insufficient semen or damaged sperm.
- By following non-surgical options, the reproductive capabilities are severely affected. Hence, the patient may donate the sperm to the sperm bank or the sperm can be extracted directly from the sperm bag through artificial means.
- If the prostate cancer is identified in early stages, it can be treated.
- If there is a spread of cancer to other parts especially bones, there will be a great danger.
- The symptoms of prostate cancer will be similar to the enlargement of the gland. There may be symptoms due to other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- There will not be complications with the biopsy procedure. The patient will experience numbness, tenderness or pain for a short period after the test. In some patients, there is the possibility of the presence of blood, semen or stool. It is very rare to develop an infection after the biopsy.
Myth #1: Patients suffering from prostate cancer cannot father children
There are various options to treat prostate cancer. The patient should discuss his needs with the doctor and the most appropriate treatment will be offered to enhance the fathering capability. However, there will be a great risk by following non-surgical methods in containing the cancerous cells in the prostate gland.
Myth #2: Prostate cancer can affect men of all age groups
Prostate cancer is very common in men above 50 years of age. About 50% of the men will suffer from prostate cancer after 50 years of age. It is very rare to find in men below 45 years of age.
Myth #3: Smoking and sexually transmitted diseases increase the risk of prostate cancer
The role of smoking, sexually transmitted diseases, and inflammation of the prostate have not been proven in causing the prostate cancer.
Myth #4: It is hard to find prostate cancer indications through the blood test
The abnormal PSA levels in the blood test and the digital rectal examination will indicate the condition of the prostate gland. It will help doctors to conduct further tests in diagnosing the disease.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland which will secrete fluids to be used outside of the body. The fluids produced by the prostate will nourish the sperm and help in the transportation of the sperm. The sperm should meet the egg in the female ovum. If the prostate is contracted, the fluids will go out during orgasm. The prostate will control the urination. If there are any issues with the gland, it should be identified at an early stage so that cancer can be treated in an efficient way.
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