Prostate cancer is an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells that results in the formation of a tumor in the prostate gland. Prostate, the walnut sized gland is a part of the reproductive system which lies deep in the pelvis. It is located in front of the rectum and underneath the urinary bladder and surrounds the urethra, (the urine tube running from the bladder, through the prostate and the penis). It contains gland cells that produce some of the seminal fluid, which protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen and supports the ejaculatory ducts, or sperm tubes. The prostate continues to grow till a man reaches adulthood and is maintained after it reaches normal size as long as male hormones are produced.
Prostate cancer begins most often in the outer part of the prostate. It is the most common cancer in men older than age 50. In most men, the cancer grows very slowly. In fact, many men with the disease will never know they have the condition. Most Prostate cancers originate in the posterior prostate gland, the rest originate near the urethra.
Difficulty starting to urinate.
Less force to the stream of urine.
Dribbling after you finish urinating.
Frequent urination, especially at night.
Blood or pus in the urine.
Pain while urinating.
Pain with ejaculation.
Hip and lower back pain that does not go away over time.
Pain in the lower part of your pelvis.
Unintended weight loss and/or loss of appetite.
Most of the time, prostate cancer does not produce symptoms in its early stages. Approximately 40 percent of prostate cancers are not diagnosed until they have spread beyond the prostate. Screening tests are usually the first step in diagnosing prostate cancer. When prostate cancer is detected early — when it is still confined to the prostate gland — there is an excellent chance of successful treatment with minimal or short-term side effects.
The choice of treatments will depend on many factors, including how fast the cancer is growing, how much it has spread and the patient's age and health. Surgery (prostatectomy), external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy, hormone therapy, cryotherapy.
In early stages, when the prostate cancer is localized (confined to prostate), treatment options generally would include:
1. Prostatectomy: This is surgical removal of the prostate gland. The idea is to remove the cancerous growth of the prostate by removing the entire prostate gland.
2. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-ray to kill cancer cells. There are two methods of radiotherapy.
1. Radiation may come from out side the prostate (external radiation): As treatment begins cancer cells are damaged and later die. Some normal cells are damaged too. More cancer cells die with more treatment. Cells continue to die for 12-18 months after treatment. During each dose of external beam radiotherapy, radiation comes from a machine outside your body is beamed into the cancer. Each dose damages more and more cancerous cells.
2. Radiation comes from material placed inside the prostate (interstitial brachytherapy).
targeting cells from inside the prostate. During interstitial brachytherapy, “seeds” (tiny plastic tubes containing radioactive material) are implanted into your prostate through needles using the perineal approach. This occurs when you are under anesthesia. The seeds releases decreasing amount of radiation for about a year. The implant can be temporary or permanent. Healthy tissue near the seeds may also be affected. This may cause some side effect.
Causes and Risk factors
Scientists don't know exactly what causes prostate cancer. They cannot explain why one man gets prostate cancer and another does not. However, they have been able to identify some risk factors that are associated with the disease. Age is the most important risk factor for prostate cancer. The disease is extremely rare in men under age 40, but the risk increases greatly with age. More than 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men over age 65. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 65. Race is another major risk factor. In the United States, this disease is much more common in African American men than in any other group of men. It is least common in Asian and American Indian men. A man's risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease.
A variety of excellent tests are available to screen for and diagnose prostate cancer. They include:
1. PSA Test: The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is one of the best ways to screen for prostate cancer. This blood test measures a protein made by the prostate that normally is present in the blood. The amount of this protein in the blood will increase in men who have prostate cancer.
2. Digital Rectal Exam: In a digital rectal exam (DRE), a doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into a man's rectum in order to feel the prostate. If the doctor finds a roughness and irregular uneveness to the tissue, prostate cancer might be suspected. An enlarged prostate that is not cancerous will likely still feel smooth.
3. MRI Scan: A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a computerized picture made by magnetic fields that can show detailed, cross-sectional images of the inner body. MRI scans can create a clear picture of the prostate gland.
4. Ultrasound: Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that bounce off organs and body structures and produce a computerized image. Ultrasound most often is performed by passing a sensor over the surface of the body. The prostate can be examined through a type of ultrasound called transrectal ultrasonography. In this exam, a tube is inserted into the rectum that carries the sound waves to the nearby prostate, producing a better image.
5. CT Scan: A CT (computed tomography) scan is a sophisticated x-ray procedure that uses a computer and rotating x-ray beams to produce images of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. Areas of dense tissue, such as tumors, can be seen better than with one-dimensional x-rays.
6. Biopsy: A biopsy is a technique in which a small sample of tissue is taken through a fine needle and examined under a microscope to see if cells are malignant. Biopsy is a highly accurate way to tell if prostate cancer is present.
Medicine and medications:
There are a number of medications to treat the prostate. Here you'll find a list of drugs commonly prescribed for prostate conditions with Avodart Oral, Bactrim Oral, Cardura XL Oral, Casodex Oral, Cipro Oral, Doryx Oral, Erythromycin Oral, Estrogens, Conjugated Vaginal Vagl Eulexin Oral, Flomax Oral, Floxin Oral, Hytrin Oral, Lupron Depot IM, Macrodantin Oral, Minipress Oral, Nilandron Oral, Penicillin V Potassium Oral, Prednisone Oral, Premarin Oral, Proscar Oral, Striant Bucl Tetracycline Oral, UROXATRAL Oral, Zoladex SubQ.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.