Prostate cancer is the cancer that affects the prostate, the abnormal growth of cells that forms a mass in the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. It is located below the urinary bladder. Prostate gland produces fluids which together with the sperm and fluids from other glands, form the semen. The abnormal mass that forms can be benign (harmless and non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous and can be deadly)
The exact cause of prostate cancer is still unknown. Like any other cancers it begins as a result of mutations in the DNA.
Early stages of prostate cancer may not exhibit any symptom. When symptoms occur, they include:
- Sudden and frequent urge to urinate
- Interrupted flow of urine
- Pain while urinating
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Shortness of breath
- Erectile dysfunction
- Back pain or bone pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Diagnostic measures for prostate cancer includes procedures for screening, diagnosing, aggressiveness or grade of cancer cells and the stage of cancer.
- Physical exam
- Medical history
- DRE -Digital rectal exam
- PSA- Prostate specific antigen test
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Transrectal MRI
- Prostate biopsy
- MRI fusion
- Gleason scoring scale
- Bone scan
- PET scan – Positron emission tomography
The risk of developing and progression of prostate cancer can be reduced by the following steps:
- Eat healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Avoid smoking.
Treatment options of prostate cancer depends on the stage of cancer, overall health, side effects and several other factors. Some of the treatment measures are mentioned below.
- Some cases of low-risk prostate cancer do not require treatment. Doctors may recommend a regular follow up to assess the condition.
- Radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of prostate gland, used in the treatment of prostate cancers.
- Radiation therapy is a procedure in which high energy beams are used to kill the cancer cells.
- Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone for their growth. Hormone therapy can be helpful in seizing the hormone production.
- Chemotherapy is a procedure in which drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy is another treatment method in which your immune system is used to fight against the cancer cells.
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