Cases of prostate cancer have been on the rise in the last decade. It is unfortunate that most men with early prostate cancer do not have any symptoms or signs, and if not diagnosed before metastasis, this disease can lead to death.
The good news is that this type of cancer can be treated if found in the early stages. With so many cases of prostate cancer being reported every month, people have become more aware of the condition and they are seeking answers on how they can prevent or seek treatment for this condition. In this article, we will give answers to some of the frequently asked questions about prostate cancer and which treatment options are available for patients.
What is Prostate Cancer?
The male reproductive system has a prostate gland that is a size of a walnut and it is located in front of the rectum, below the bladder. This is the part that is responsible for making some of the fluid that is part of semen. When the cells in the prostate gland grow out of control they form a tumor which then causes prostate cancer.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer?
There are a number of risk factors for prostate cancer. According to research, more than 50% of all cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men in their 60s and older. It is also believed that the rate of developing prostate cancer is higher in African-American men and Caribbean men than men of other races. Other risk factors include certain genes and family history. Smoking is not a contributing factor of getting prostate cancer. However, research shows that smoking may increase one’s chances of dying from prostate cancer.
What Are The Common Symptoms And Signs Of Prostate Cancer?
As mentioned earlier, many men do not show any symptoms in their early stages of prostate cancer. This is the main reason men over 50 years of age are urged go for screening regularly. Common symptoms of prostate cancer include:
•Blood in the semen or urine.
•Decreased ejaculate amounts.
•Trouble having erection.
•Difficulty holding back urination or starting urination.
•Urinary urgency or frequency.
Changes in the way you urinate may not necessary mean that you have prostate cancer. It could also be a sign of a common non-cancerous problem known as enlarged prostate. It is still advisable to get it checked out to rule out prostate cancer.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
Prostate cancer is diagnosed with both a physical examination and a blood test. The PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) test measures the amount of protein levels in the blood produced by the prostate. If the PSA level in the blood is high, this may be an indication of prostate cancer. The physical part of the examination involves a DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) in which a finger is inserted into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. If a lump is detected, this may indicate prostate cancer. In order to confirm a diagnosis, doctors order a biopsy if the DRE and PSA test results are abnormal.
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated?
There are several types of treatments that are used for prostate cancer, including radiation therapy, hormone therapy, cryotherapy and chemotherapy. The type of treatment a patient receives depends on the stage of the cancer.
Stage 1: Cancer has grown in the prostate but the patient has no symptoms. At this stage, the patient is closely monitored and treatment is started if any changes are observed.
Stage2: Cancer is localized to the prostate but PSA scores are higher and the prostate gland is larger. At this stage, the patient is actively monitored and treatment options may include radiation therapy, and radical prostatectomy (removal of prostate and surrounding tissue).
Stage 3: Cancer is localized outside the prostate but has not spread. At this stage, treatment options may include hormone therapy, radiation therapy and sometimes radical prostatectomy may be required.
Stage 4: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes or nearby tissues. At this stage, prostate cancer is not curable but can still be treated. Treatment options include all other methods for other stages. Clinical trials and medications may also be recommended.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, having the top cancer experts is a necessity for ensuring you or a loved one is receiving the best treatment possible. Never be afraid to ask about a second opinion or seek treatment from more experienced doctors. To get additional information about prostate cancer and treatment options available, click here!