Prostate cancer

We would like to thank BXT Accelyon - LDR Brachytherapy - Successfully treating prostate cancer for 25 years.  bxt-accelyon.com.  The information below is accreditied to BXT Accelyon.http://ww.bxt-accelyon.com

 

Who gets prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. The average age for a man to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is about 66. Prostate cancer in men under the age of 40 is rare.

 

How is prostate cancer detected?

Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:

1. Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
 

2. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test: Measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions that affect the prostate.

As a rule, the higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely a prostate problem is present. But many factors, such as age and race, can affect PSA levels. Some prostate glands make more PSA than others. PSA levels also can be affected by:

  • Certain medical procedures

  • Certain medications

  • An enlarged prostate

  • A prostate infection

 

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that produces the majority of fluid that makes up semen, the thick fluid that carries sperm. The walnut-sized gland is located beneath a man's bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. Prostate function is regulated by testosterone, a male sex hormone produced mainly in the testicles.

    

  • The prostate is a gland found only in males. It sits below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum.

  • The size of the prostate changes with age. It grows rapidly during puberty, fueled by the rise in male hormones (called androgens) in the body, such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

  • The prostate usually stays about the same size or grows slowly in adults, as long as male hormones are present. In younger men, it is about the size of a walnut, but it can be much larger in older men.

  • The prostate’s job is to make some of the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen, making the semen more liquid.

 

What are the signs & symptoms of prostate cancer?

Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all, especially in the early stages.

Some symptoms of prostate cancer are:

  • Difficulty starting urination

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine

  • The need to urinate more often, especially at night

  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely

  • Pain or burning during urination

  • Loss of bladder control

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Pain in the back, hips, chest (ribs) or pelvis that doesn’t go away

  • Weekness or numbness in the legs or feet

  • Difficulty getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)

  • Painful ejaculation

 

It is important to understand that the PSA test is not perfect. Most men with elevated PSA levels have non-cancerous prostate enlargement, which is a normal part of ageing. Conversely, low levels of PSA in the bloodstream do not rule out the possibility of prostate cancer. However, most cases of early prostate cancer are found following a PSA blood test.

If your prostate specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal exam (DRE) is abnormal, doctors may do more tests to find or diagnose prostate cancer.

1. Transrectal ultrasound: A probe the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum, and high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off the prostate to create a picture of the prostate called a sonogram. This test may be used during a biopsy.

2. Biopsy: A small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells.

Gleason score: This score is determined when the biopsy is looked at under the microscope. If there is a cancer, the score indicates how likely it is to spread. The score ranges from 2–10. The lower the score, the less likely it is that the cancer will spread.

If prostate cancer is diagnosed, other tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the prostate or to other parts of the body. This process is called staging. Staging is a way of explaining how far the cancer has spread, if at all. It can also help to determine treatment.

 

Prostate cancer classified as stage 1 is present in only a tiny portion of your prostate. It is not fast growing and hasn’t spread beyond the original location. Stage 2 means the cancer is small, but fast growing. It can also mean that the tumor is large or has spread through the entire prostate gland. In stage 3 prostate cancer, cancerous cells have invaded seminal vesicles or adjacent tissues. Stage 4 means the cancer has spread from the prostate to other organs. Usually, it spreads to the lymph nodes, bones, bladder, or lungs.

What are the treatments for prostate cancer?

Depending on how advanced the cancer is, men may be offered a range of treatments, or forms of monitoring called watchful waiting or active surveillance.

 

Possible treatment options include:

  • Watchful waiting or active surveillance

  • Surgery

  • Radiation therapy

  • LDR & HDR brachytherapy

  • Cryosurgery (cryotherapy)

  • Hormone therapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Vaccine treatment

  • Bone-directed treatment

  •  

References   
http://www.healthline.com

http://www.nhs.uk






 

 

 

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