Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. It affects the prostate gland which lies below the urinary bladder. It occurs when abnormal cells develop and multiply in the gland.
Prostate cancer is termed as a slow-growing disease. A majority of men with low-grade prostate cancer survive without any residual effects. Low grade prostate cancer does not spread and become life-threatening whereas high-grade prostate cancer spreads quickly and can affect other parts of the body, making it life-threatening.
Types of Prostate Cancer:
- Small cell carcinoma
- Neuroendocrine tumor
- Transitional cell carcinoma
Prostate Cancer Symptoms:
Most prostate cancers do not exhibit any symptoms in their initial stages. Men usually have symptoms when the tumor leads to urinary blockage at the bladder neck or the urethra. The following are a few common symptoms reported by most patients:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination
- Difficulty holding back urine
- Inability to urinate
- Interrupted flow of urine
- Blood in the urine
If prostate cancer is left untreated, it can cause some additional symptoms, which include:
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Causes of Prostate Cancer
The reasons for the occurrence of prostate cancer are unclear. However, some risk factors exist which can be linked with the development of the condition. The risk factors for prostate cancer, include:
Genetics: Genetics is one of the major risk factors as prostate cancer can be inherited from generation to generation. Studies show that males with a family history of prostate cancer are more likely to have this condition than men without a family history.
Hormones: Prostate gland is affected by male hormones (androgens). Higher levels of androgens and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) puts men at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of prostate cancer as excess calorie consumption will directly stimulate prostate enlargement which favors the development of prostate cancer.
Previous Cancer: Men who have or had other cancers are at a higher risk of having prostate cancer. The other cancers include:
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Lung cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Melanoma skin cancer
Diet: Diet that is rich in calcium, red meat and high-fat dairy products often increase the risk for developing prostate cancer. High-fat milk consumption is considered to be another significant factor in the development of prostate cancer.
Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer
If one suspects that they may have prostate cancer, they should talk to their healthcare provider. He or she will recommend some tests to diagnose this condition, which may include:
- PSA blood test
- Further tests
- Digital rectal examination
- Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will decide on the appropriate treatment that best fits you depending on several factors, such as:
- Grade Group
- Stage of cancer
- PSA level
- Personal preference
- Other health conditions
Treatment for prostate cancer varies from person to person. However, most prostate tumours don’t need treatment. The treatments available for prostate cancer include:
Surgery: Surgery for prostate cancer involves removal of the prostate, part of the urethra, and the seminal vesicles and surrounding tissues. Most cancer surgeries aim to eradicate tumours and can be performed in several ways, include:
- Robotic laparoscopic surgery
- Retropubic surgery
- Perineal surgery
- Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a procedure in which high-energy beams are used to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be directed in two ways: external-beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy.
1. External-beam radiation: In this procedure, the patient will be lying on a table with machines moving around their body. Then, the high-powered energy beams that scatter from X-rays or protons are targeted towards prostate cancer.
2. Brachytherapy: In this procedure, rice-sized radioactive seeds are placed in the prostate tissue using a needle guided by ultrasound images. These seeds deliver a lower dose of radiation for an extended period and stop giving off radiation after a certain period. They don’t need to be removed.
Cryosurgery or Cryoablation
Cryosurgery is a procedure recommended for men who haven’t been helped by radiation therapy. In this procedure, the surgeon will insert small needles containing freezing gas in the prostate using ultrasound images. This gas freezes the surrounding tissues. Then, a second gas is introduced in the needles to reheat the frozen tissues.
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Treatment
In HIFU, a small probe inserted into the rectum to introduce powerful sound waves that are targeted at precise points in the prostate. These sound waves heat the prostate tissues and kill the cancer cells.
Chemotherapy treatment is a procedure in which cancer-killing drugs are administered through one of the veins in our arm. Can be a first-line therapy or used as an adjunct to surgery.
Early detection of prostate cancer is a must because the longer the duration of prostate cancer, more chances of other parts of the body getting affected. Once the diagnosis for prostate cancer is confirmed, talk to our oncologist and discuss all the treatment options available to decide what’s best for you or your loved one.
About The Hospital:
Since the inception of Premier Hospital in 1991 till today, we have grown to unprecedented levels, due to our excellence in medical sciences and healthcare. Premier Hospital is the creation of Dr Mahesh Marda and when it was first established, was only a small, 30-bed hospital facility. Back then, we provided only secondary care to patients, but that certainly has changed in the present landscape.
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