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Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in the pelvis of men, located next to the bladder. It is responsible for secreting a fluid that nourishes and protects the sperms. Prostate cancer begins when the cells present in the prostate gland start to grow out of control. There are often no symptoms during the early stages of cancer, however, screening can detect changes.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Prostate inflammation
  • Family history
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Age

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Painful urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Pain and discomfort while sitting

Prevention of Prostate Cancer

  • Eat and maintain a healthy diet
  • Eat a low-fat diet
  • Reduce the consumption of dairy products
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise regularly

Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

  • Digital Rectal Exam – During a DRE, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to examine the prostate, adjacent to the rectum. The doctor aims at looking for abnormalities in the texture, size, and shape of the gland
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen Test – During a PSA test, a blood sample is drawn and analyzed for PSA which is a substance that’s produced by the prostate gland. If the level of PSA is abnormally high or higher than usual, it might indicate infection, enlargement, inflammation, or cancer of the prostate
  • Imaging Tests – Tests like ultrasound, MRI, and prostate biopsy are performed to further determine whether you have prostate cancer or not
  • PET scans, bone scans, ultrasounds, MRIs might also be performed to check if cancer has metastasized to other organs

Treatment of Prostate Cancer

  • Surgery – The doctor may surgically remove the tumor in the prostate if the patient is in good health and the tumor is present only in the prostate gland. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, the doctor may recommend the removal of the prostate, tissue surrounding it, nearby lymph nodes, or the seminal vesicles
  • Radiation Therapy – This involves the usage of high-energy beams like X-Rays or protons that can kill the cancer cells or halt their growth
  • Hormone Therapy – Certain cancer cells feed on hormones. Hormone therapy aims at removing or reducing the hormones that feed the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy – This treatment uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells. It does this either by killing the cancer cells or by preventing their further division. It can be done intravenously and also given orally. These drugs then enter the bloodstream and travel across the body to kill cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy – It uses the body’s immune system to fight off cancer cells. Substances made in labs or by the body itself are used to boost and restore the body’s immune system and use as a defense against the cancer cells
  • Cryosurgery – It is a treatment that aims at freezing and destroying the cancer cells present in the prostate gland. Ultrasound is used to find the area that will be treated using this method. It can sometimes lead to impotence
  • Photodynamic Therapy – This treatment uses a drug and laser light to kill cancerous cells. It might be injected into the vein and the drug used collects in the cancerous cells more than the normal one. Once the cancer cells are located, the laser beam then aims at killing these cells. The drugs become active only when it is exposed to the laser beams