The prostate gland is a small walnut-shape gland that is responsible for the production of seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. A cancerous tumor that affects this gland is called prostate cancer.
One of the most common cancers in men is prostate cancer. The initial stage of prostate cancer can have a slow growth rate while some cases may spread fast.
A tumor may not cause any obvious pain or symptoms in the early stages . Doing screening for men can allow for early detection of prostate cancer.
When prostate cancer is detected while it is still within the prostate gland, treatments success is far more likely.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
While prostate cancer may not result in obvious symptoms initially, when the cancer starts to spread, some possible signs and symptoms include
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, sometimes urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination during urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
- Bone pain
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Feeling tired due to a low level of red blood cells
Risk factors of prostate cancer
Several factors increase the risk of prostate cancer, these factors include.
- Age research has shown that men over the age of 50 have higher incidence of prostate cancer
- Family history Men that have close relatives with prostate cancer or breast cancer (BRCA1) will have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Diet Frequent consumption of processed red meat may put men at increased risk of getting prostate cancer.
Treatment of prostate cancer
Some of the treatment methods for prostates cancer include:
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. This is done under the care of oncologists.
Brachytherapy or internal radiation therapy:
This involves the insertion of radioactive rice sized seeds directly into the prostate. The radioactive seeds deliver a low dose of radiation over a period of time.
Hormone therapy: prostate cancer cells depend on the hormone testosterone to grow, when testosterone supply is cut of the growth of the tumor is either stopped or slowed down.
Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists: this hormonal medication stops the testicles from producing testosterone.
Anti-androgens: these medications block testosterone from reaching cancer cell example of such drugs are nilutamide (Nilandron) and flutamide.
Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy). Removing your testicles reduces testosterone levels in your body.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both.
Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has spread to remote body locations. Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don’t respond to hormone therapy.
Immunotherapy: this designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function.