Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut shaped gland that is found in men. This gland produces the fluid that transports and nourishes sperm. Prostate cancer it one of the most common types of cancer that affect men. It has been found that 1 in 35 men will die from prostate cancer.
Early signs of prostate cancer:
- burning or pain during urinating
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urges to urinate
- loss of bladder control
- blood in the urine or semen
Prostate cancer begins to develop when cells in the prostate become abnormal. These mutations in the abnormal cells allow the cells to grow and divide rapidly. Like normal cells, these abnormal cells do not die. These abnormal cells grow and grow until a tumor develops.
Doctors use a variety of methods to test for prostate cancer
Prostate screening tests include a digital rectal exam, where your doctor will insert a lubricated gloved finger into your rectum to feel the prostate. If there are any abnormalities felt, further tests will be done. Doctors also perform a prostate-specific antigen test, where a blood sample is drawn from a vein and analyzed for PSA; it is normal to have small amounts of PSA in your blood, but if there is a high level of it found, this may indicate infection or cancer. If both the digital rectal exam and prostate-specific antigen test come back abnormally, additional tests have to be done. An ultrasound of the prostate can be given, this is where a small probe is inserted into the rectum to use sound waves to create a picture of the prostate gland.
Your doctor also might collect a sample of prostate tissue through a biopsy. The sample is then analyzed in a lab to see if there are any cancer cells present. After a biopsy confirms cancer, the next step to take is to determine the level of aggressiveness of the cancer cells. A higher grade indicates that the cancer is more aggressive and will most likely spread quickly. A scale called a Gleason scale is used to evaluate prostate cancer cells. The range is from 2 to 10, where 2 is a non-aggressive cancer and 10 is a very aggressive cancer. Once cancer has been found, there are ways to determine the stage of cancer and how far it has spread. Bone scans, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs and more can be done to determine this information.
There are several different treatments for prostate cancer. Immediate treatment may not even be necessary. Sometimes the best kind of treatment is active surveillance, regular blood tests, exams and biopsies. If these tests confirm that cancer is progressing, then other treatment options can be considered.
- Active Surveillance is an option for those who have cancer that is not causing any other symptoms and is growing slowly in a small area of the prostate.
- Radiation, where photons kill the cancer cells so they cannot grow or replicate themselves. This technique is very effective in killing localized prostate cancer and also has the same cure rate as surgery.
- Radical Prostatectomy will remove the entire prostate gland through surgery and is a great option for men who has prostate cancer that has not spread.
There is also hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other types of treatments for prostate cancer. The biggest concern when picking a treatment is how aggressive the cancer is and what is going to work for each individual patient. You also have to have a good oncologist and someone that will steer you in the right direction.
Men need to take this seriously and get regular rectal exams to rule out any type of cancer, especially if they are having any symptoms. Doctors are there to help, not hurt. According to the source early detection of this cancer will result in a better outcome. Your doctor will help with any kind of diagnoses and treatment depending on the severity of the cancer. By consulting your doctor, you can come up with the best option for you in terms of treatment, surveillance, and even ways to prevent prostate cancer from forming or spreading even further. Men can live a healthy life even after this cancer diagnoses.