The prostate is a small gland which is found in a man’s lower abdomen. It’s located under the bladder and surrounding the urethra. This is regulated by the hormone testosterone and produces seminal fluid, also known as Semen (a substance containing sperm)
When an abnormal, malignant growth of cells — which is called a tumor — forms in the prostate gland then it is called prostate cancer. This cancer can spread to other parts of the body if not found early.
Prostate cancer is a very slow-growing cancer. It is actually a wide spectrum of diseases, with some tumors being aggressive and others that act more benign. Causes for prostate cancer are uncertain, though there are known risk factors, such as age.
Types of prostate cancer
Most cases of prostate cancer are a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma. This is cancer that grows in the tissue of a gland, such as the prostate gland.
Prostate cancer is also categorized by its growth. It has two types of growths:
- Aggressive, or fast-growing – In this type of cancer, the tumor can grow quickly and may spread to other areas of the body, such as the bones.
- Nonaggressive, or slow-growing – In this cancer, the tumor either doesn’t grow or grows very little over time.
It’s important for men to know the symptoms of prostate cancer, even though the disease is often diagnosed with screening tests before any signs develop. U
- Frequency of urination
- Urgency with urination
- The need to urinate at night (nocturia)
- Difficulty starting the stream of urine
- Decreased force of urination
Less common symptoms may include:
- The sudden onset of erectile dysfunction
- Blood in urine or semen
- Loss of bladder control
- Pain in the back, hips, or ribs (due to the spread of cancer to bone)
- Unintentional weight loss
Advanced prostate cancer can involve the following symptoms:
- bone pain, spine pain , femur pain , pelvis pain , or ribs pain
- bone fractures
When cancer spreads to the spine and compresses the spinal cord, you may feel:
- leg weakness
- urinary incontinence
- faecal incontinence
- age – the risk of prostate cancer rises as you get older, and most cases are diagnosed in men over 50 years of age
- Ethnic group – a prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent than in Asian men
- Family history – if you are having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer before age 60 seems to increase your risk of developing it. Many research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer
- Obesity – Some recent research suggests there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer, and a balanced diet and regular exercise may lower your risk of developing prostate cancer
- Diet – Various researches indicates links between diet and prostate cancer. There are some evidence that a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer
A doctor will carry out a physical examination and enquire about any ongoing medical history. If the patient Show Some symptoms, or if a routine blood test shows abnormally high PSA levels, further examinations may be requested.
Tests may include:
- a digital rectal examination (DRE), in which a doctor will manually check for any abnormalities of the prostate with their finger touch
- a biomarker test used to check the blood, urine, or body tissues of a person with cancer for chemicals unique to individuals with cancer
If above tests shows abnormal results, further tests will include:
- a PCA3 test which examines the urine for the PCA3 gene only found in prostate cancer cells
- a transrectal ultrasound scan which provides imaging of the affected region using a probe that emits sounds
- a biopsy, or the removal of 12 to 14 small pieces of tissue from various areas of the prostate for examination under a microscope view
This diagnosis will certainly help confirm the stage of cancer, whether it has spread, and what treatment is appropriate.
To track any spread or metastasis, doctors may use a bone, CT scan, or MRI scan of the effected region.
The treatment options for prostate cancer can vary,. Which may depend on the stage of the tumor. For early, non-aggressive tumors (such as Gleason 6 tumors), active surveillance (watch and wait)—simply monitoring cancer and only treating it if it begins to progress—may be the treatment of choice.
Curative options for prostate cancer include surgery (prostatectomy) or radiation therapy. Surgery can either be done manually or via robots (robotic surgery) with direct injection.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells generated inside. Prostate cancer radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways to cure it:
- Radiation that comes from outside of your body (external beam radiation) weeks
- Radiation placed inside your body (brachytherapy).
There can be side effects of radiation therapy including painful, frequent or urgent urination, as well as rectal symptoms such as loose stools or pain when passing stools. Erectile dysfunction can also occur.
For prostate cancers that are more advanced:
- Hormonal therapy (androgen deprivation therapy): Medications is one of the way to reduce the amount of testosterone present in the body (just like orchiectomy) or interfere with the ability of testosterone to act on prostate cancer cells. This therapy does not cure prostate cancer but is a mainstay for controlling its growth—sometimes for an extended period of time as well.
- Chemotherapy: The chemotherapy medication Taxotere (docetaxel) is usually used first when chemotherapy is indicated by doctor to continue therapy.
- Immunotherapy: Provenge (sipuleucel-T) is a cancer vaccine that trains a man’s own immune system to recognize prostate cancer cells as abnormal so it can fight with in the body.
- Clinical trials: Number of clinical trials are done using combinations of the above treatments, as well as newer treatments such as other immunotherapy drugs, targeted therapy, and PARP inhibitors to treat prostate ca