Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer develops, when the genes that govern a cell’s growth and division lose control. Without proper checks and balances, malignant prostate cells multiply when they should not, and then go where they should not as they invade normal tissues near the prostate and eventually spread to other areas of the body.

Prostate cancer occurs in about 180,000 new individuals each year and is the most common internal cancer in American men. It is the second to lung cancer among malignant cases of death. Men most likely develop this disease, when they become older with a family history of prostate cancer, obesity, and those who follow an inappropriate diet with high-normal testosterone levels. Usually men with early stages of prostate cancer feel perfectly well; the only way to detect tiny prostate cancer is to screen men routinely.

When prostate cancer enlarges and spreads, it can produce symptoms ranging from urinary and sexual dysfunction to bone pain, weight loss, and weakness. Early prostate cancer is usually treated either with radiation or surgery. Both of these treatments carry risks from diarrhea and pain to urinary incontinence and impotence. For some early prostate cancers, especially in older men, no treatment may be just as effective as aggressive therapy. In current studies from Connecticut, men who were diagnosed with low-grade, localized prostate cancer between the ages of 65-75 but did not receive treatment lived just as long as men who never had cancer.

The best way to detect this disease at its earliest, most curable stage is with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. PSA is a glycoprotein, a sugar-containing protein. If PSA is present or occurs in high concentrations in semen, it might be an alert of possibility of prostate cancer. Other tests such as Digital rectal exam are recommended in men 40 or older yearly as well as ultrasound, or transrectal ultrasonograpy (TRUS). TRUS is a procedure when a small ultrasound probe is inserted in the rectum allowing sound waves to be aimed directly at the nearby prostate. Other procedures such as MRI, biopsy can also be used. When a doctor introduces a biopsy gun through  the rectal probe and lines it up with the prostate, he fires a set of needles and retrieves the tissue specimens, which are sent on to the labs where the pathologists examine them under a microscope.

The treatment of prostate cancer in most cases depends on the decision of the patient. Many men with prostate cancer choose a surgical type of treatment.  Every individual should consider both advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option that is available before making a final decision.

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