What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer originates when cancer cells rapidly start multiplying in the body. Prostrate, in a nutshell, is a distinctively minute walnut-shaped gland located in the pelvis of the males. Situated in the bladder, prostate cancer can be detected through a digital rectal exam. This cancer is the second most effective cause of death in men. Prostate carcinoma cells usually start spreading after the prostate tumor breaks. They move from the blood vessels to other parts of the body, like lymph nodes. Furthermore, the cancer cells attach themselves to the tissues and develop into new tumors. Usually, the prostate cancer cells spread to the seminal vesicles.
What are the types of Prostate cancer?
This cancer type makes up an extensive majority of the cases of prostate cancer. Experts suggest that about 95% of prostate cancer cases are Adenocarcinoma. About 9 out of 10 adenocarcinoma cancers are acinar while the minimal fraction is ductal. Acinar Adenocarcinoma originates in the acini cells and enhances the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. The cancer cells additionally produce fluid-secreting glands and clusters. Ductal Adenocarcinoma originates in the cells of the prostate gland’s ducts and does not necessarily affect PSA levels. Ductal Adenocarcinoma is thus difficult to detect and can spread rapidly compared to acinar Adenocarcinoma.
- Neuroendocrine Tumors
Neuroendocrine tumors are often called carcinoids. Located in the neuroendocrine system, these tumors start developing slowly. Neuroendocrine system consists of gland and nerve cells that play an imperative role in producing and transferring the hormones in the bloodstream. Neuroendocrine tumors originate in the digestive system, thereby spreading to other places like the prostate. These cancers occur rarely and do not have an impact on the prostate-specific antigen levels. NETS are hereditary in nature and are responsible for secreting hormones. The symptoms of this type of prostate cancer are irregular heartbeat, wheezing, diarrhea, dizziness, skin flushing, and fatigue.
- Prostate sarcomas
Sarcomas are the rarest type of prostate cancers and contribute to about 0.1% of the total cases of prostate cancer. This cancer originates In the soft tissues that comprise nerves and muscles. Soft tissues are located all over the human body. Sarcomas can spread everywhere in the body. The commonly affected regions of the sarcomas are in the lungs. Sarcomas tend to break, thereby spreading in different regions of the body. The commonly known prostate sarcomas are rhabdomyosarcoma and leiomyosarcomas. These cancers usually affect men aged 35 to 60. Studies have reported that very minimal cases have been detected in children. These sarcomas can be extremely difficult to detect and do not impact the PSA levels.
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is an advanced, rare, but rapidly spreading prostate cancer. Cancer, in-line other prostate cancers do not originate in the gland cells. It is initiated in the flat cells of prostate glands. Squamous cell carcinoma is an aggressive type of prostate carcinoma cancer and can effectively spread to different parts of the body.
- Small Cell carcinoma
Small cell carcinoma is directly linked to neuroendocrine cancer and is a rare type of prostate cancer. These cancers are aggressive and do not affect the levels of PSA. About 1% of the total number of prostate cancers are small cell carcinoma. In most cases, small cell carcinoma is metastasized before its detection. Most cases cannot utilize basic treatments such as hormone therapy because the cancer is too advanced. Due to the poor prognosis of this cancer, the estimated life expectancy of the patients is less than a year.
- Transitional cell carcinoma
Transitional cell carcinoma or urothelial cancer originates from the prostate structures and the urethra’s cell lining. Prostate cancer can usually grow as the fundamental tumors in the bladder and the urethra. The tumors break after which they start spreading rapidly to different body parts. Transitional cell carcinoma usually initiates with blood in urine. This cancer type is rare and advanced due to which enhanced treatment is vitally required.
What are the early signs of Prostate cancer?
- Difficulty in urinating
- Bloody discharge of the semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Bone pain
- Irritability in the pelvic region
- Less force in the urine stream
What are the causes of prostate cancer?
Studies suggest that African American males are primitively exposed to prostate cancer compared to other ethnicities. One out of six African American male has the potential risk of prostate cancer. However, why they are more prone to this cancer is vividly unknown. Socioeconomic, diet, and environmental factors might be the potential causes.
Prostate cancer is genetic. Men who have a family history of this type of cancer have an increased risk of developing it. People with a family history have three times more likelihood of being diagnosed with different types of prostate cancer.
Aging can also relatively increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who are aged 55 or more are highly likely to obtain prostate cancer. The cancer cells eventually start multiplying and spread at a rapid rate.
The lifestyle and diet you maintain are solely linked to the risk of prostate cancer. Consuming more refined sugar, animal fats, low vegetables, and fruits can leave you more vulnerable to prostate cancer. Minimal exercising can also affect this factor.
Smoking, excessive drinking, environmental exposures, and psychological factors like stress are all linked to increase the risk of prostate cancer.
How to prevent Prostate cancer
- Eat a healthy diet
Balancing your diet with healthy carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other components is the key to maintaining a healthy body. Avoid eating high fat foods. Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that are high in nutrients and vitamins. Healthy eating can unquestionably enhance your overall health, which can substantially decrease your vulnerability to prostate cancer.
- Don’t consume supplements
No verified studies report that supplements can lower the risk of obtaining prostate cancer. Healthy food is always better than supplements. Consume food that is rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.
- Avoid obesity
Obesity can be the dynamic cause of a multitude of health conditions. Maintaining the right weight is highly crucial to avoid exposing yourself to prostate cancer. Consulting a doctor for a reliable health plan can be beneficial for losing or gaining the right weight for your body.
- Exercise regularly
Exercising on a timely basis has countless benefits starting from boosting your mood, improving your health, and lowering the risk of potential health conditions. Studies have reported that many men who do minimal physical activities have been higher PSA levels. Exercising for 30 minutes per day can help substantially enhance your health levels.
Risks involved in prostate cancer
- Age– Aging can enhance the development of prostate cancer, especially in men aged above 50.
- Obesity– Obese men can have a higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
- Family history- Men with a family history of prostate cancer are more prone to developing it.
- Race- Black men have an increased rate of prostate cancer due to unknown reasons.
Different diagnosis for prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer screening
Many reputed organizations suggest that men should consider prostate cancer screening at the age of 50 or more. Prostate cancer screening tests are of two types.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE)- In a DRE, the doctor puts a lubricated and gloved finger directly into the rectum for analyzing your prostate. Irregularities in the shape, texture, and size of the gland can be potentially helpful for understanding the need for additional tests.
- Prostate-specific antigen test- In the PSA blood test, the doctors take a blood sample to detect PSA, a liquid produced by the prostate gland. If the PSA levels in your body are higher than usual, it could be the indication of prostate infection, enlargement of cancer, and inflammation. .
DRE and PSA test blend to help detect prostate cancer at initial stages. The additional tests that are recommended after DRE and PSA are as follows.
- Ultrasound- On the detection of different irregularities and abnormalities in the prostate, doctors recommend doing an ultrasound. Ultrasound plays a vital role in the evaluation of the prostate. Doctors insert a minute probe that is cigar-shaped into the rectum. The probe, furthermore, utilizes ultraviolet rays for creating an image of your prostate glands.
- Prostate tissue sample test- For additional examination, doctors suggest opting for a procedure that involves collecting prostate tissue cell samples. This method is called a prostate biopsy. Doctors make use of a miniature needle to collect the tissue sample. Lab analysis helps to determine the presence of cancerous cells in the prostate.
- MRI fusion– MRI fusion plays a requisite role in the examination and detection of cancer cells while performing Ultrasound and prostate biopsy.
Determination of the behavior of prostate cancer
Biopsy determines the cancer presence. Followed by the detection of cancer, determining the aggressive behavior of the cancer cells is crucial. Our reliable laboratory pathologists help detect the behavior of cancer through a prostate tissue sample. Interpreting how many cells are healthy and how many are cancerous can help in analyzing the aggressiveness of cancer. Advanced and aggressive cancers are more likely to spread rapidly to different regions of the body. Most doctors are making use of genomic testing to analyze the risk of cancer and its nature accurately.
Analyzing the affected regions of the cancer
After analyzing the above tests, determining the affected body regions with cancer is essential. Advanced prostate cancer can spread to various areas of the body. This can be determined by
- Bone scan
- CT scan (computerized tomography)
- (MRI) Magnetic Resonance imaging
- Positron emission tomography scan (PET)
Treating different stages of prostate cancer
Surgery chiefly revolves around radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland). Radical prostatectomy can be chiefly performed in 2 different ways.
- Creating an incision in the abdomen– Retropubic surgery involves taking out the prostate gland by an incision in the lower abdomen.
- Robot assistance during therapy- A robot-assisted surgery involves attaching instruments to a robot. These instruments are then inserted into the abdomen of your body by numerous incisions. Robotic prostatectomy plays a brilliant role in administering and organizing meticulous movements for the surgery.
Radiotherapy utilizes high-peered sources to eliminate cancer cells in two different methods.
- External beam radiation- In a nutshell, external beam radiation is the radiation that occurs on the outside of the body. During this process, you are required to lie down on a table beside the movable machine. This movable machine directs high-powered beams like protons or X-rays to detect and treat prostate cancer. External beam radiation takes about 5 days minimum and can stretch up to several weeks.
- Brachytherapy- Brachytherapy is the process of placing several radioactive seeds of the size of rice into the prostate tissue. These seeds offer a minimum dose of radiation for an expanded time. The doctor then implants these seeds into the prostate with the help of an ultrasound and needle. These seeds coherently stop emitting radiation due to which you don’t have to remove them.
Hormone treatment is usually done to eliminate male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells solely depend on testosterone for their development. Stopping the testosterone supply can slow down the growth of cancer cells. Three types of hormone therapies include-
- Orchiectomy (testicles removal surgery)
- Medications for blocking the testosterone from cancer cells
- Testosterone eliminating medications
Chemotherapy is the process of utilizing drugs to epilate the rapidly evolving cancerous cells. It is retail by injecting the drug into your veins or by consuming it through pills. It is one of the most widely used treatments that help in treating the prostate cancer cells which spread throughout the body.
5.Freezing prostate tissue
Cryoablation or cryosurgery is the process of freezing the tissue to eliminate and kill the cancer cells. During the process of cryosurgery, doctors make use of small needles to insert it into the prostate gland, along with utilizing ultrasound images for thorough guidance. The needles comprise a cold gas that freezes the surrounding tissue of the prostate gland. The second gas inserted into the prostate heats the tissue. The consistent cycles of thawing and freezing play a crucial role in killing the cancer cells and adjacent healthy tissues to avoid reinfection.
Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, is the process of combating cancer cells with the help of the immune system. PROVENGE is a popular biological therapy used for treating advanced prostate cancer. It is also utilized for treating recurrent prostate cancer. This treatment involves collecting your immune cells to combat prostate cancer. These cells are removed and enhanced by laboratory methodologies, thereby injecting them into the body for enhanced prostate cancer treatment.
Different stages of prostate cancer:
- Stage I- Stage 0 comprises minute tumors that affect only small portions of the body. In this stage, the PSA levels and Gleason scores are comparatively low. This stage doesn’t consist of any noticeable symptoms. DRE or Ultrasound do not help in detecting the tumor. Routine screening is the most vital method of treating cancer. Due to the well-differentiation of the cancer cells, distinguishing between the healthy and damaged cells becomes difficult. Stage I prostate cancer is said to have a discovery rate of about 80% and the survival rate of about 5-years or 100%. Radiotherapy is the most primary treatment that one can opt for.
- Stage II– Medical tests do not usually reveal the prostate tumor in stage II. However, Ultrasound and DRE play a vital role in detecting the aggressiveness of cancer. The PSA levels at this stage are between 10-20. The Gleason Score can start from 6 and rise to 8. Stage II cancer is classified into two parts, IIA and IIB. The tumor might or might not detect the affected regions of cancer through imaging tests. The cancer cells can, however, start growing rapidly at this stage. Although stage II cancers aren’t developed outside the prostate, their growth is rapid. Symptoms of this cancer might be difficulty in urination and bloody urinal discharge. Treatments for this stage are- Brachytherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, external beam radiation therapy, clinical trials, etc. The survival rate of Stage II cancer is 100% or 5-years.
- Stage III- Stage III is a considerably critical cancer that spreads beyond different body parts of the prostate gland. It can reach the seminal vesicles (semen-producing gland). However, the cancer cells do not reach the rectum or bladder. The PSA levels can reach up to 20 or more. This cancer type most often comes back after the treatment. External beam therapy, radiation therapy, and radical prostatectomy are a few of the primary treatments for Stage III prostate cancer. Symptoms at this stage can be fatigue, bloody semen discharge, and difficulty in urination. The survival rate of Stage III cancer is almost 100% at 5-years.
- Stage IV- The last and most critical stage of prostate cancer is Stage IV cancer that spreads to different areas of the body, such as close-by organs, like bladder, lymph nodes, and rectum. It can moreover transfer to distant organs like liver and bone. After spreading to other body parts, this cancer is called metastatic prostate cancer. PSA levels and Gleason score at this stage can have any number. Surgery, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy are the most fundamental treatments for curing prostate cancer at this stage. Bloody semen discharge, fatigue and nausea, and erectile dysfunction are the common symptoms noticed in this stage. The survival rate at this stage is 29% at 5-years.
Integrative treatment for prostate cancer
Life in Remission
- Weakness and Fatigue
Fatigue is the most common factor linked to cancer treatment. The distressing side effect of cancer treatment can leave you feeling extremely weak, unable to do your daily chores. Mild exercising, eating healthy, and sleeping on time, can help mitigate the feeling of fatigue and weakness, along with helping you bolster your mood.
- Shortness of breath
Prostate cancer treatment and prostate cancer symptoms can lead to shortness of breath. A feeling of breathlessness, also called dyspnea, can be petrifying and happens in seconds. Staying calm and composed and avoiding heavy lifting and tiresome tasks until you completely recover from the cancer treatment can help reduce the feeling of breathlessness.
- Heartburn and hiccups
Cancer treatment can also lead to heartburn and hiccups in rare cases. The medications of chemotherapy and other cancer related drugs vitally trigger these hiccups and can result in irritability of the diaphragm nerves. Drink water slowly, do not force yourself to eat, take deep breaths, and bear down gently to avoid heartburn and hiccups.
Seizures are uncontrollable movements of muscles that color when the nerve cells of the brain are disturbed and irritated. Seizures last for less than a few minutes and can occur multiple times during a day. Chemotherapy, brain swelling, blood clots, can all lead to seizures. Prostate cancer patients rarely suffer from seizures . Mediating every day and staying calm can help minimize seizures.
How can ZenOnco.io help?
- Practice self-care
Healthy eating and sleeping on time contribute to living a risk-free life. One must make it a habit to eat nutritious proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients to ensure maintaining a healthy body. Cancer treatment can make your body weak. Thus, do your part by taking care of your body and pampering it with necessities.
- Exercise on a timely basis
Exercising every day can boost your metabolism and help you avoid future health conditions. A healthy body requires a good amount of nutrition and fitness. Obesity can lead to several health conditions. Mild exercising can help calm your mind, along with healing your body entirely. Make sure to avoid rigorous workout sessions. However, consulting your doctor is best advised.
- Ensure cancer-proofing your home and surroundings
A clean environment is a win-win situation for you when it comes to healing from your cancer treatment. It is obvious that living in a secure infrastructure can help you stay healthy and happy in the long run. Cancer-proofing your home is a must when it comes to protecting your life.
- Stay calm and composed
We understand how dreadful it is to go through cancer treatment. Prostate cancer is undeniably painful. The entire treatment process can be traumatizing. However, staying strong, calm, and composed can help you come out of this stronger and healthier. Increased stress levels can cause recurrent cancer. To safeguard your life, meditating daily and staying calm is vital.
- Ask for community support
We at ZenOnco.io are devoted to offering worthwhile community support. We believe that combating cancer and it’s treatment unitedly can help make each other stronger. Our exceptionally friendly and reliable community support aims to help you overcome the journey of this deadly disease.
Visit the official website of ZenOnco.io to learn more about our wellness practices, which are catered to help every patient and survivor lead a cancer-proof life.