Prostate Cancer – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments You Should Not Ignore. In addition, prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate – a small nut-shaped gland in men that produces seminal fluid that feeds and carries sperm.
The prostate cancer is the most common cancers in men. This cancer usually grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it cannot cause serious damage. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment at all, other types are aggressive and can spread rapidly.
The prostate cancer that is detected early – when it is still confined to the prostate gland – has a better chance of successful treatment.
What Are Prostate Cancer Symptoms?
The prostate cancer often produces no symptoms until the condition is quite advanced. It is often diagnosed after treatment is sought for problems with urinary function. Prostate cancer symptoms are often similar to those of benign (noncancerous) prostate conditions. Common symptoms include:
- Decreased force of urine flow .
- Pain and / or difficulty passing urine .
- Passing urine more often (especially at night).
- Blood in the urine .
- Inability to pass urine (this may occur as cancer increases, blocking the urethra)
It is possible for cancer cells to spread from the prostate gland to other areas of the body (metastases) where other tumors may develop. The most common places for prostate cancer to spread are the pelvic lymph nodes and the bones of the spine. The spread of cancer can produce symptoms such as lower back pain.
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
It is unclear what causes prostate cancer .
Doctors know that this cancer begins when some prostate cells become abnormal. Mutations in the DNA of abnormal cells cause cells to grow and divide faster than normal cells. The abnormal cells stay alive when other cells die. The accumulated abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells may also break and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Factors that may increase your risk of prostate cancer include:
Age: Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you get older.
Race: For reasons not yet determined, black men are at higher risk for this cancer than men of other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.
Family History: If men in your family have had prostate cancer , your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer , your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
Obesity: Obese men diagnosed with this cancer may be more likely to have an advanced disease that is more difficult to treat.
What Are Your Treatment Options?
There are several options for treating prostate cancer , ranging from “active surveillance” (not taking any action but keeping an eye on it at very low risk) to surgery to remove the gland itself, or radiation therapy. which can use an external beam to kill cancer cells or radioactive “seeds” placed in the prostate (brachytherapy).
Hormone therapy to stop testosterone production in the body is another form of treatment because this cancer needs testosterone to grow.
Chemotherapy is an option when cancer has spread beyond the prostate or in cases that do not respond to hormone therapy.