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Prostate cancer- the development of cancerous (malignant) growth in Prostate gland- a gland present in the male reproductive system. It generally affects older men. As per published data the prevalence of prostate cancer is 1:6, on average one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer however, 1 man among 36 diagnosed with prostate cancer may die.
Causes and Risk factors
- Age: Age plays major role in diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. Most Prostate cancer diagnosed (about two thirds of all prostate cancers) in men age 65 and older.
- Family History/Genetics: Prostate cancer is more prevalent in Men from North America, north Western Europe, Australia. However, cases of prostate cancer are less seen among men from Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
- Similarly Men whose brother or father had suffered from prostate cancer are under high risk of developing it.
- Medication--Some studies suggest that the daily intake of anti-inflammatory medicines may be linked to increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Obesity: “Like other diseases, obesity does increases the risk of prostate cancer and the death from prostate cancer”, suggest the scientist.
- Diet: Men having habit of eating a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products are more likely to develop prostate cancer compare to one who eats lots of fruits –vegetable (Mediterranean diet) and lives a healthy lifestyle. Similarly lack of vitamin D may also raise chances of having prostate cancer.
Usually in initial stages there are no remarkable symptoms, most cases diagnosed at this stage are accidental, and cancer is found during a routine check up or blood test. As cancer advances, patient may experience few symptoms such as
- Difficulty while passing urine.
- Frequent urination Day and night
- Passing of blood in Urine
- Painful urination
- Painful Ejaculation
- Difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection
- Lower backache
- Urinary Incontinence
- Incontinence: Prostate cancer and its treatment both can lead to urinary incontinence. Treatment options for the same include medications, catheters and surgery.
- Erectile dysfunction: Again, both prostate cancer itself and its treatment can cause difficulty in erection or inability to erection. Various treatments such as medications, radiation or hormone treatments, and vacuum devices are available to treat such condition.
- Secondary Metastasis: The spread of cancer at adjacent organs such as kidney, pelvic bones or other parts of body can lead to kidney failure or dysfunction of the organ that catches cancer. Which ultimately cause serious health problem and if not control in time can lead to death.
Treatment option for Prostate cancer is chosen considering various factors such as, severity and spread of tumour, Health condition of patient, and potential side effects of the particular treatment.
Active surveillance: When Prostate cancer is diagnosed at very early stage and men does not experience any symptoms related to prostate cancer, and the finding suggest of slow growing cancer confined to small area of prostate, doctors may not advise any specific treatment instead may kept patient under active surveillance. Active surveillance includes regular follow up, blood test, physical examination and biopsies are performed to monitor progress of cancer.
Active surveillance is also choice of treatment for a man who is at advance age where cancer treatment is more difficult or is suffering from serious health condition.
Radiation therapy: Killing of cancer cell using radiation can be chosen as mode of treatment at any stage of disease. Moreover, radiation can be combined with surgery or chemotherapy in selected cases. The possible side effects of radation therapy include difficulty or painful urination, Impotency and loss of sexual desire.
Surgery: Surgical intervention is the most common treatment option for men with early stage of prostate cancer. The various types of surgery include, part or total removal of prostate via either putting cut on abdomen (retropubic) or a cut in between anus and scrotum (perineal). The surgery can be performed with or without robotic assistance.
In case of total prostate removal there will not be production of semen although man gets orgasm. Other possible complications could be loss of an erection (in case nerves are damaged) or urination problem.
Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is generally considered for men with advanced prostate cancer. The aim of treatment is to reduce size of cancer and also hamper the growth of tumours by reducing the production of male hormone testosterone.
Hormone therapy before radiation increases the success rate of radiation therapy. Possible side effects of hormone therapy may include erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone mass, reduced sexual desire and weight gain.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is choice of treatment generally for patient with history of metastasis of prostate cancer to distant part of body. Medicines are given to cancer patient to kill the rapidly growing cancer cells. The medicines can be administered in form of pills or inserted through vein or both.
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