Prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease caused because of development of abnormal cells in the prostate. This type of cancer affects only men and is confined to the prostate gland at the initial stage, where it might cause minimal or no harm.
Early detection of cancer, when it is limited to the prostate gland increases the chances of successful treatment. Let’s look at the symptoms, causes, and treatment of prostate cancer.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
There could be no visible symptoms of cancer at the early stage but may come up later especially when one ages. Some do have aggressive symptoms of prostate cancer and 5 of the warning signs mostly visible in later stage are the following
- Need to urinate frequently or suddenly
- Difficulty in urinating
- Discomfort while urinating
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pain in hips, lower back or upper thighs
- Causes of Prostate Cancer
How do you get prostate cancer ? The causes of prostate cancer are still not clear, but as far as doctors say, it begins after a few cells in the prostate become abnormal possibly because of mutation in the genetic materials which develop into cancerous cells.
The accumulation of abnormal cells forms a tumor, which has the possibility of invading nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
Some of the factors that could increase the risk of developing prostate cancer are:
Age – Aging increases the risk.
Obesity – Obese men are more likely to have prostate cancer.
Race – Although the reason is unknown, but black men are at a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Family History – If men in the family have had prostate cancer, it could be passed on to the next generation.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Low-risk prostate cancer might not need immediate treatment and there are more chances of survival
In some men, prostate cancer treatment is never required, but doctors would recommend active surveillance, follow-up blood tests, biopsies and rectal exams.
The prostate gland and a few lymph nodes and surrounding tissues are removed through robot-assisted surgery or by making an incision in the abdomen.
High-powered energy is used to kill cancer cells. Doctors might give the radiation from outside the body or perform brachytherapy by placing rice-sized radioactive seeds in the prostate tissue.
The therapy stops the body from producing a male hormone called testosterone. As prostate cells rely on testosterone for growth, cutting off the supply may cause cancer cells to die or slow down the growth.
The procedure involves freezing tissues to kill cancer cells. Small needles filled with cold gas are inserted in the prostate, which freezes the surrounding area. Another gas is then put in the needles to reheat tissues. The process kills cancer cells and surrounding tissues.
Drugs are used to kill rapidly growing cells, which also involve cancer cells. Chemotherapy is given through vein the arm, pill or in both the forms. The treatment is recommended in case the cancer has spread to other location in the body.
Individuals who receive treatment of prostate cancer might experience feelings of fear, depression, anxiety, anger, and disbelief. Learning enough about the disease comforts the patient and help in making treatment decisions.
Staying close to family members and friends, and connecting with other cancer survivors improve the survival and success rate in patients.