Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland which produces some of the fluid in semen and has an important role in urine control in men. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, but it is also treatable if diagnosed in the early stages. The latest research on recent advances in prostate cancer showed that novel drugs, drug sequences and combinations had improved the result of prostate cancer in recent years.
While it is such common and treatable at the same time, many men become alarmed only in late prostate cancer stages. What is the reason of such behavior? Unfortunately, mostly the fear of learning the truth and a certain stigma. Men prefer just to ignore the signs of prostate cancer rather than attend regular screenings.
With this article, we try to aid attempts to increase prostate cancer awareness among men. Here you will find basic symptoms of prostate cancer, its causes, prevention tips, and most common options for prostate cancer treatment.
How Common Is Prostate Cancer?
The American Cancer Society estimated that about 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and about 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer will occur in the United States in 2019.
About 1 man out of every 9 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer develops more frequently in older and also in African-American men. About 6 in 10 men are diagnosed while they are 65 or older. The average age of diagnosis of prostate cancer is about 66.
What Are the Symptoms
To most common signs of prostate cancer belong problems with urination such as the decreased flow of urine, frequent urination, and loss of bladder control, the need to strain to empty the bladder and blood in the urine. Moreover, erectile dysfunctions and discomfort or pain when sitting may belong to prostatitis symptoms.
If you experience any of them, it is time to visit your doctor. Remember – early prostate cancer diagnosis is the key to success in fighting this cancer.
Prostate Cancer Causes & Prevention
There is no such thing as direct prostate cancer causes. However, there is a number of prostate cancer risk factors which shall be generally known. According to research, a significant number of cases reported sustainable positive changes in regard to diet, tobacco and alcohol consumption affect prostate cancer progression and benefit quality of life.
Additionally, we can mention the prostate cancer age – most men suffer from it when they reach their sixties. As for prostate cancer prevention, it shall be focused on eradicating bad habits mentioned before, especially regarding our diet and lifestyle Good nutrition may help shrink the risk of developing prostate cancer or slow the progression of it.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
There are several prostate cancer treatment options available since various prostate cancer stages require a different strategy to cope with them. As a result, not all prostate cancer treatment alternatives are recommended for every patient. Doctors after analyzing the case choose the best combination of prostate cancer treatments at hand and then try to either totally eliminate (in stage 1 and stage 2) or at least control or partially reduce (in stage 3 or stage 4) cancer.
Among these options we can mention:
- Prostate Cancer Treatment with Hormone Therapy – In prostate cancer treatment, hormones play a very important role, especially so-called androgens. Androgens induce prostate cancer cells to grow. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are the main androgens in the body. Prostate cancer treatment with hormones is a supporting therapy for prostate cancer surgery or other methods. Side effects of hormone therapy can include a lower sex drive, erection problems, and bone thinning.
- Prostate Cancer Treatment with Radiation –as in many other types of cancer, prostate cancer can be treated with radiotherapy generated by a machine (external radiation treatment) or injected into one’s body (internal radiation). As the prostate is close to many vital structures, radiation therapy can disrupt normal urinary, bowel, and sexual functioning and cause side effects.
- Prostate Cancer Surgery –As cancer hasn't yet metastasis outside of the prostate in stage 1 or stage 2, surgery can help to remove the gland and cure the disease at these early stages. Additionally, in late prostate cancer stages, it can be utilized to curb the extent of cancer and prolong one’s life.
- Chemotherapy as Prostate Cancer Treatment –chemotherapy may be used as a supporting therapy together with radiation or prostate cancer surgery. In chemotherapy, powerful doses of medicines are used to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be applied in different ways. As stomach juices can destroy different chemicals in some cases, to give some medications as a pill becomes impossible. It is also found that intravenous (to the vein) chemotherapy may contribute better anti-cancer action in particular cases. Some medications can also be given as an injection into the muscle, and some others are absorbed when only given directly into the bladder or the abdominal cavity.
- Other Prostate Cancer Treatment Alternatives – these include cryotherapy, vaccine therapy, and others. Cryotherapy means destroying cancer cells with extremely low temperatures, and it is an effective treatment for primary prostate cancer, with low surgical risk and has 98.1% success rates in terms of cancer-specific survival. Vaccine therapy for prostate cancer includes removal of white blood cells and arming them against cancer cells. However, these therapies are usually just supported for other prostate cancer treatment options.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in April 2019.