Prostate Cancer Information
Prostate cancer is a serious risk for men. Although many men are aware of prostrate cancer, many, especially those who are young, may not know its specifics.
They might not know, for example, that prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men. It's important to do your basic research to know the risks and signs of prostrate cancer, as well as the lifestyle choices that can help avoid it.
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a general term that actually covers a complex group of diseases. These different diseases can have widely different pathologies.
Normally, cells have certain mechanisms that keep them from multiplying endlessly. When these mechanisms are circumvented in multiple ways that overlap, tumors form, adn these tumors could be cancerous.
Some of the mechanisms that stop cell multiplication from getting out of hand include specific signals to grow at certain times, and signals to stop growing. There are also certain rates the cells usually grow at.
But cancer cells might start even without the usual starting signals, and ignore the usual stopping signals, and grow at a faster rate.
Cells might also stop performing their typical programmed cell death.
These factors form a tumor. This tumor becomes malignant or cancerous when this abnormal cell growth is able to spread outside of its place of origin.
But What About Prostate Cancer Specifically?
99 percent of cases of prostate cancer are cases of adenocarcinoma, a specific type of cancer that forms in the glands that line your organs. The changes in the prostate gland cells are referred to as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
What Puts Me at Risk?
Risk for prostate cancer increases significantly after the age of 50. For reasons unknown, prostate cancer is much more common in North America, Northwestern Europe, the Caribbean Islands and Australia.
Prostate cancer is 60 percent more common for black men than for non-Hispanic white men.
Some studies suggest that eating red meat has been linked to prostate cancer. So far the correlation has not been fully proven.
How Do I Identify Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer can be identified by the following symptoms: frequent urge to urinate, difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, painful urination or ejaculation, and difficulty achieving erection.
A further advanced stage of prostate cancer can be identified by bone pain in the spine, femur, pelvis, or ribs.
If the cancer metastasizes, it can cause incontinence.
Prostate cancer can be diagnosed with a number of tests, including digital rectal tests (where a doctor manually checks for signs of prostate cancer in the prostate) a biomarker tests which look for chemicals that are indicative of cancer.
If these tests show the doctor any reason to be worried, they might pursue further testing. These further tests include PCA3 tests, which checks urine for a gene only found in prostate cancer cells, a transrectal ultrasound, or a biopsy(the surgical removal of tissue to be examined).
Metastasis can be checked with a CT scan or an MRI.
What Are My Treatment Options?
The treatment options for prostate cancer depend on the stage of progression of the cancer.
The prostate could be surgically removed, either traditionally or via robotic keyhole surgery.
In brachytherapy, radioactive seeds are implanted to kill the cancer cells.
In conformal radiation therapy, radiation is used to kill cells, but sent in precise shapes to minimize the effect on healthy tissue. An advanced form of this uses radiation of varying intensities.
If the cancer has advanced, the patient might be treated with chemotherapy, a more systematic therapy that uses medications that kill rapidly growing cells. Finally, androgen deprivation therapy reduces the effects of male hormones that can stimulate cancer growth.
To learn about your options for alternative treatments for prostate cancer, contact us today.