What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in prostate grow abnormally. It is common cancer in men.
Prostate cancer spreads very slowly and is not life-threatening in most of the cases. In cases of low-grade prostate cancer, there is a little or no difference in the life expectancy. However, some types of prostate cancers spread rapidly and can prove lethal if not managed appropriately.
What causes Prostate Cancer?
The causes of prostate cancer are not known. However, age, family history of prostate or breast cancer and obesity are considered as risk factors.
What are the symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- Pelvic area pain
- Bones pain
- Blood in semen or urine
- Erectile dysfunction
- Frequent and sudden need to urinate
- Painful urination
- Lower back pain
How is Prostate Cancer diagnosed?
A series of physical and lab tests are run to ascertain whether or not the patient is suffering from prostate cancer. The tests are:
Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
The prostate is reached through the rectum and is felt to find abnormalities.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test
It is a blood test to check if there is a high-level PSA in the blood. Abnormal PSA does not necessarily mean prostate cancer but hints that there is a chance.
Ultrasound test provides sonogram, a picture of the prostate and of tumors if any.
In case the other tests establish the presence of a tumor, a tissue from the prostate is sent for biopsy to ascertain if the condition is cancer.
What are the treatments of Prostate Cancer?
In case of low-risk cancer, treatment may not be necessary or at least may not be necessary immediately. However, doctors recommend active surveillance in these cases.
In cases of more serious cancers, a biological therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a cryosurgery is recommended. When the cancer is detected early, while it is confined to the prostate, its treatment is easy.
In high-risk cases, a surgical procedure called radical prostatectomy is conducted to remove the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues.
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