One of the most common types of cancer in men, prostate cancer is cancer that begins in a man’s prostate – a small walnut-sized gland that sits just beneath a man’s bladder and produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
When prostate cancer is detected at its earliest stages, the chance of successful treatment is very good. But most gallbladder cancers are discovered at a late stage, when the prognosis is often very poor.
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
What causes prostate cancer is still in the realm of debate among medical fraternity. Prostate cancer forms when some cells in the prostate gland begin to grow out of control and divide more rapidly than normal cells. The accumulating cells tend to develop a tumor that can grow beyond the prostate and spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body including tissues, lymph nodes, organs, lungs and eventually bones.
Factors that can increase risk of prostate cancer include:
The chances of prostate cancer are greater if you’re an older person.
People who are obese are at higher risk for developing advanced stage of prostate cancer.
Family history of prostate or breast cancer
Prostate cancer is more common in people who have a family history of prostate cancer.
Symptoms of Prostate cancer
While in its early stages prostate cancer may not produce symptoms, signs and symptoms in advanced stages may include:
• Trouble urinating
• Decreased force when urinating
• Increased frequency of urination
• Discomfort in the pelvic area or rectal
• Blood in the semen and urine
• Erectile dysfunction
• Bone pain
• Tests and diagnosis
Tests and procedures used to screen prostate cancer include:
Determining the extent of prostate cancer
Once a prostate cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread beyond your prostate, imaging tests such as these may be recommended:
Once your doctor diagnoses your prostate cancer, he or she works to find the extent (stage) of the cancer. Your prostrate cancer’s stage helps determine your prognosis and your treatment options. Tests and procedures used to stage prostate cancer include Bone scan, Ultrasound, MRI, CT scan and PET scan.
It is not necessary for every person to undergo every test. Your doctor will help determine which tests are suitable for you.
Stages of Prostate cancer
The stages of prostate cancer are:
• Stage I. At this stage, prostate cancer is confined to a small area of the prostate.
• Stage II. This stage of prostate cancer has grown to involve both sides of the prostate gland. When viewed under a microscope, the cancer cells may be considered aggressive.
• Stage III. At this stage, prostate cancer has grown beyond the prostate to invade the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissues.
• Stage IV. The latest stage of prostate cancer includes invasion of the nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs or other organs.
Treatments and drugs
What prostate cancer treatment options are available to you depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, the stage of your cancer, your overall health, personal preferences, as well as the benefits and the potential side effects of the treatment.
Operations used to treat prostate cancer include radical prostatectomy under which the prostate gland, some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes are removed by the doctor. The radical prostatectomy procedure can be performed in different ways. Discuss with your doctor to determine which type of surgery is right for you.
Freezing prostate tissue
Cryosurgery or cryoablation involves freezing tissue to destroy cancer cells. During the procedure, your doctor places small needles containing a very cold gas in the prostate. Ultrasound images are used to guide the needles and monitor the freezing of the tissue.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill rapidly growing cancer cells that have spread to distant areas of the body.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy from sources such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy treatment, you lie on a table and a machine directs the energy beams at a precise point on your body. l