About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is that the presence of cancerous cells in ‘prostate’ that could be a tiny gland in males responsible for producing fluid which will nourish male semen. 2 out of 3 prostate cancer cases are found in males on top of 65 years of age and may be therefore termed as ‘malignancy of elderly males’.
Risk factors for the prostate cancer
Age – Prostate cancer is rare in men under 40 years of age and the risk increases rapidly as a man reaches 50 years of age.
Family history – Men who have a family history of prostate cancer (father or brother)have a higher chance of developing it themselves. The risk is more in case of an effected brother than father.
Genes – Inherited mutated genes form a small number of cases.
Smoking – It can not only increase the chances of prostate cancer but also slightly increase the risk of death due to prostate cancer.
Inflammation and Infections (prostatitis) can also increase the chance of one getting prostate cancer.
High fat diet and obesity have also been shown to put men at high risk of prostate cancer.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.
Frequency – urinating much more often than normal.
Urgency – having a sensation that you need to urinate immediately.
Nocturia – getting up to urinate multiple times during the night.
Hesitancy – difficulty starting the urine stream. Other less common symptoms can be blood in urine, blood with semen, impotence, bone pain in back, hips or ribs and loss of bladder control.
Prostate Cancer – Treatment
Different doctors are usually involved in the treatment of prostate cancer (urologist, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist). These specialists discuss prostate cancer cases in so call tumor boards.
Several factors will be considered for each patient’s individual treatment plan:
- size of the tumor
- whether it is limited to the prostate or has already spread
- aggressiveness of the tumor
- age and general life expectancy of the patient
- other diseases and tumor associated symptoms
How can one screen or diagnose prostate cancer?
Various methods can be used for screening and diagnosis. Most important of them for screening high risk patients is the blood levels of Prostate specific Antigen (PSA). Other methods for confirming prostate cancer is digital rectal examination, CT, MRI or bone scan as recommended by a consultant. Depending on the stage of disease, prostate cancer can be treated in various ways.
- Radiation Therapy which refers to non-invasive beam therapy using electron, proton, or neutron beams.
- Prostatectomy or prostate surgery
- Chemotherapy works by destroying quickly-dividing cells and is usually reserved for patients with advanced prostate cancer.
- Hormone Therapy prevents testosterone from spurring the growth of prostatic tissue and the prostatic tumour.
- Cryotherapy is a revolutionary minimally invasive therapy that uses ultrathin needles and freezing gases to destroy the cancerous tissue
Prevention of prostate cancer
No exact method to prevent prostate cancer is known. To lower the risk of prostate cancer one must be watchful of the weight, include fruits and vegetables in diet especially (tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, soy, beans, and other legumes) or fish, exercise regularly and include Vitamin E supplements in consultation with a medical practitioner.
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