Prostate Cancer is a form of cancer that affects aging men commonly. The prostate gland is responsible for producing seminal fluid or semen, from its position under the bladder, surrounding the urethra. Its function is under control of testosterone hormone produced by testicles.
Prostate cancer refers to the growth of a malignant mass of cells which can also be called a tumour. More about this cancer:
- Risk Factors: The various risk factors are studied for the development this cancer. Advancing age, a family history of the same disease, obesity, western diet and black race are the risk factor for development of this cancer.
- Types: There are basically two types of prostate cancer, including fast growing or aggressive, and slow growing or non-aggressive. Yet, it is also important to remember that not every abnormal growth in this gland can be termed as a tumour, or is a sign of prostate cancer. A malignant growth signifies prostate cancer. This tumour can grow at a fast pace for aggressive prostate cancer, while it can grow and spread slowly for the non-aggressive type.
- Symptoms: It is possible not to have any kind of obvious symptoms when suffering from this kind of cancer at early stage. The symptoms usually begin to show up when the cancer has reached a more advanced stage. These include urinary problems, like poor flow, frequency, frequent need to wake up for urination in night. The patient may go through pain and difficulty when it comes to urinating. This pain may also occur during ejaculation. The patient may also find blood discharge in the semen upon ejaculation. Pain in the back bone and pelvic are also common symptoms of prostate cancer when it spread into bones. Spine involvement may gradually turn into numbness in lower limbs with paralysis. Bloked of ureters may lead to kidney failure.
- Diagnosis: The diagnosis of prostate cancer is suspected by digital rectal examination and PSA blood test. If any nodule or hard area is suspected on digital rectal examination or PSA is high, then prostate biopsy is done to confirm the cancer. When in doubt, Multiparametric MRI of prostate may guide the necessity of biopsy.
- Treatment: Early cancer limited to prostate can be cured by surgery (Radical Prostatectomy) or Radiotherapy. Advancement in surgical techniques due to robotics and laparoscopy, has made Robotic radical prostatectomy as first choice of treatment for localized prostate cancer. Advance cancer is treated by hormonal manipulation of testosterone blockade. It can be achieved medically by various injections or surgically by removing both testes. If cancer still grows despite hormonal manipulations, chemotherapy helps in rescue.
- Prostate cancer is treatable disease. We should not fear with it rather fight with it. Ultimately, we can win over the cancer.