Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the prostate gland due to metastatic (rapid or uncontrollable) growth of the cells of the prostate gland.
The prostate is a small walnut shaped gland found in men.
The size of the prostate increases with age,that is to say that as one grows older the size of the prostate increases.
The main function of the prostate is the production of seminal fluid that helps in the transportation of the semen from the seminal vesicle through the urethra.
The prostate is located below the bladder in front of the rectum.
Just behind the prostate gland lies the seminal vessicle.
Types of prostate cancer
Nearly all types of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas.
Adenocarcinoma is the type of cancers that develops from gland cells for instance pancreas,prostate e.t.c.
In this case the cancer develops and spreads through the prostate gland that is why it is called prostate cancer.
Other types of prostate cancer
The other types of prostate cancer is rare.
If a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer,there is a higher chance that it is adenocarcinoma because it is more rampant.
The other types of prostate cancer includes;
- Small cell carcinomas
- Transitional cell carcinoma
In some cases of prostatic cancer,the cancer grows rapidly at an alarming rate while in other cases the rate of growth is not rapid.
Is proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA)cancer?
According to the American Cancer society,in proliferative inflammatory atrophy,the prostate cells looks smaller than normal and there are signs of inflammation in the area.
PIA is no cancer,but researchers believe that PIA may sometimes lead to prostate cancer.
Early detection of prostate cancer and diagnosis
Detecting cancer earlier will help in proffering and exploring more treatment options and also help in curbing the high metastatic growth of the cancerous cells.
As a man you should always look out for the early signs of prostatic cancer.
Diagnosing cancer earlier will help in determining the exact stage of the cancer growth hence monitor it properly and administer adequate treatments.
Symptoms of Prostatic cancer
The symptoms to look out for while diagnosing prostatic cancer includes;
- A noticeable burning sensation while urinating or during ejaculation.
- Presence of blood in the urine or seen
- Weak erection
- Difficulty in cutting of the stream of urine.
- Pain and discomfort in the pelvic area.
Treatment Methods Available
Before you embark on the journey towards choosing the best treatment procedure for prostate cancer you might want to consider the following.
- Complementary method
- Alternative method
The complementary method of treatments can include vitamins,herbs,special diets or other methods such as acupuncture or massage to name a few.
Complementary method refers to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care.
This alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment.
Irrespective of the fact that some of these methods might be helpful on relieving symptoms or helping you feel better,many of them have not been proven to work.
Some might even be dangerous.
Medical practitioners that treats prostate cancer
The doctors who are very reliable when it comes to prostate cancer treatments are;
- Urologist:These are doctors who treats diseases of the urinary system and male reproductive system including prostate cancer.
- Radiation oncologists:They are doctors who treat cancers with radiation.
- Medical Oncologists:They are doctors who treat cancers with medicines such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
Treatments For Prostate Cancer
To curb the growth of prostatic cancer cells or completely eliminate them, viable treatment options should be employed to that effect.
The treatment procedures includes the following.
- Hormone therapy
- Chemotherapy for prostate cancer
- Radiation therapy
Surgery For Prostate Cancer
Surgery is always a common choice in the treatment of prostate cancer if it’s not thought to have spread outside the prostate gland.
The different types of surgery carried out includes;
- Radical Laparoscopic Prostatectomy :This involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues using several small cuts.
- Laparoscopic surgery:This surgery uses a video camera and thin tubes inserted into small cuts on the body to remove or repair tissues.
- Prostatectomy :Surgical removal of all or part of the prostate gland.
- Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy:Surgical removal of the prostate gland through a cut in the abdomen.
This therapy stops or slows down the production of hormones mostly androgens which is a male sex hormones that stimulates the prostate gland to produce seminal fluid.
The stimulation of the prostate gland by this hormone can lead to rapid growth of the gland,this rapid uncontrollable growth of the prostate gland caused by excess secretion and stimulation of the prostate gland is called Prostate cancer
During this hormone therapy the aim is to suppress or slow down the production of this androgens.
Hormone therapy can also be called Androgen deprivation or suppression therapy.
Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer
This method of treatment is aimed at killing the metastatic cancerous cells that are growing or multiplying too quickly.
This therapy focuses high power energy or a power energy on a particular area of the cancerous cells in a bid to kill them.
The two main types of radiation therapy includes;
- External beam radiation
- Brachytherapy (internal radiation)
Cryotherapy for Prostate cancer
This is the use of very cold temperatures to freeze and kill prostate cancer cells.
Risk factors of prostate cancer
In this section,we have to find out what increases your risk of having prostate cancer.
We should remember that a risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chances of developing a particular disease,but that does not mean that they directly cause the disease.
Most people with known risks end up not having cancers,while those that have limited risks end up with cancers.
The risk factors includes;
- Age:The chance of having prostate cancer increases with age especially after age 50.More percentage of prostate cancer diagnosis have been made in men who are 65 years or older.
- Race/Ethnicity:Black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men.Black men also develop prostate cancer at a very younger age and have more aggressive tumors that grows rapidly.The exact reason why black men are prone more to prostatic cancer is not known but it can be linked to genetic, socio-economic or other factors.
- Agent Orange Exposure:The US department of veterans affairs lists prostate cancer as a disease associated with exposure to agent orange,a chemical used during the Vietnam war.Read more on the link between agent orange and prostate cancer on the Department of veterans affairs.
- Obesity: Overweight and obese men are more at risk of developing prostate cancer than men with a healthy weight.
- Family history: Some families have history of prostate cancer,this is known as Familial prostate cancer.This type of cancer occurs because of shared genes and shared environmental or lifestyle factors.
In our next article,we shall find out whether prostate cancer can male infertility as well as Urinary incontinence as a side effect of prostate surgery.
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