Prostate cancer is a man's worst nightmare, as it one of the most common diseases in men. Learn about its stages, symptoms, and treatment.
Prostate is a gland within men's body structure which is important for the vital activity of sperms. Prostate can be a nightmare over the age of 50 years, as this gland can become a deadly cancerous organ that will lead to death. Researches indicate that prostate cancer is genetically inherited, and the risk increases when father or brother has the disease.
So, if you have a genetic relation to this disease, you should check yourself at the age of 45 years. Some researchers have found that capsicum and black pepper may worsen this disease
The most common diseases of prostate are prostatitis and prostate tumour.
Prostate cancer passes roughly through four stages:
The symptoms of prostate cancer are:
We have to determine an indicator that will direct us towards the right place, which is the PSA.
PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) is a tumour marker, the increase of which will indicate cancer in our body.
TRUS (Transrectal Ultrasound) scan is used to detect the enlargment of prostate, through the anal opening. A specimen of the prostate can also be taken by this method.
The specimen can be examined in a well equipped pathological lab to determine if the cells are cancerous.
The tumour cells will be irregular, disoriented and non-functional and grow rapidly.
Early detected prostate cancer can be totally cured by medications.
In early stages, when prostate cancer is still in stage one, urologists prefer surgical removal of the prostate (prostatectomy).
Prostate can be removed by laser or radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate along with the removal of some tissue around it).
In the last stage, castration is done. Castration by surgically removing the testicles so as to stop the secretion of the male hormone (testosterone). This process is called orchiectomy. This in turn stops or delays the growth of cancerous cells.
Prostate cancer is hormone sensitive because it grows due to the response of male hormone (testosterone). Therefore, hormonal therapy is a must in metastatic stage.
After treatment with hormonal therapy, PSA becomes low for a certain period of time.
CRPC (Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer) can be treated by chemotherapy.
Like any other cancer, there is no known cause for prostate cancer. It develops when some abnormal cells in the prostate gland divide more rapidly. The risk factors include older men, family history, African American males, obesity, and genetic mutation.
Prostate cancer cannot really be prevented, but you can try the following to reduce the risk:
- Avoid high-fat food and consume a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- If you are at high risk for developing prostate cancer, Finasteride and Dutasteride have been found to reduce the risk.
Most people do not show any sign of cancer in the early stages as it is nonaggressive. Urinary problems like frequent urination, a weak stream of urine, and blood in the urine are often the first signs you might notice. But remember, there are other conditions that can cause these symptoms also.
As cancer progresses, you might have the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination.
- A weak stream of urine.
- Blood in the urine.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Pain and numbness in the chest, back, and pelvic if cancer metastasizes.
If your routine blood test showed elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen), then your doctor might suggest you get a digital rectal examination (DRE) and biomarker test done. If these tests show abnormal results, then you might need to do the following tests:
- PCA3 (prostate cancer antigen 3) test.
- Transrectal ultrasound scan.
- CT or MRI scan.
Some natural ways that help reduce the risk of prostate cancer are:
- Products that contain isoflavones like tofu, miso, beans, alfalfa, and chickpeas.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish, walnuts, flax seeds).
Depending on the size, extent, and if the tumor has metastasized, the stages are:
- Stage I - Early stage of cancer, where it is usually slow-growing.
- Stage II - The cancer is confined to only the prostate, and PSA levels are low.
- Stage III - The tumor is growing, and PSA levels are high.
- Stage IV - Cancer has spread to other body parts.
The survival rate depends on the stage at which cancer gets detected. Early detection and treatment help patients live disease-free. And the survival rate for patients with stage IV cancer is 5 years.
The survival rate for 99 % of patients with stage IV cancer, where cancer spreads to other body parts, is 5 years.
No, prostate cancer is nonaggressive and does not spread quickly. It usually takes about 15 years for cancer to develop and spread to other body parts.
Last reviewed at:
18 Jul 2019 - 2 min read
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