About Prostate Cancer
There are various symptoms of prostate cancer which we will discuss, but initially let’s discuss what prostate cancer is. Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer that affects men. The cancerous growth which occurs in the prostate gland of males is termed Prostate cancer. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland located just below the urinary bladder in men. The gland produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports the sperm.
Prostate cancer is one of the common forms of cancer. Most such cancers grow at a slow pace and only affect the prostate gland. The chance of spread is scarce. Prostate cancer, if detected early, offers a high opportunity for successful treatment and recovery. But some prostate cancers are very aggressive. They spread to areas outside the prostate and can be very challenging to treat and curb.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer in its early stage is not likely to cause any signs or symptoms. Most men do not feel any symptoms. And this is because of the slow pace at which cancer grows. The symptoms mostly appear at an advanced stage.
- Trouble urinating or emptying the bladder
- Frequent urge to urinate (especially at night)
- Weak urine flow
- A constant feeling that the bladder is not drained properly
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Blood in urine
- Blood in the semantic fluid (semen)
- Rapid loss of weight
- An onset of erectile dysfunction
- Discomfort in performing daily activities, even sitting, due to an enlarged prostate.
These symptoms of prostate cancer can sometimes indicate some other non-cancerous conditions of the prostate like Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate. Any infection surrounding the bladder can also cause similar urinary symptoms.
But, if cancer breaks out of the prostate gland, the condition can be called locally advanced prostate cancer. And if cancer spreads to other body parts, it can be called advanced prostate cancer.
In such cases, one can look for the following signs and symptoms of advanced prostate cancer:
- Pain in the back, thighs, hips, pelvis, shoulders, or other bones.
- Constant distress and fatigue
- Fluid buildup or swelling in the legs or feet
- Change in bowel habits
- Problems in getting or keeping an erection
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood in urine or semen
These symptoms of prostate cancer can also be indicative of some other health problems. Hence it is always good to keep track of these symptoms and consult a doctor ASAP. It ensures the right treatment at the right time. A proper diagnosis will help in figuring out the actual cause of a problem.
Once the diagnosis is made, and cancer is detected, the next step is to relieve the symptoms. This step may be called palliative care or supportive care.
Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer:
Factors that can increase the risk of prostate cancer include:
As age increases, the risk of prostate cancer also increases. The condition is most common in people beyond 50 years of age.
If a person has a family history (any blood relatives- parents, siblings, or children) of prostate cancer, they are at a higher risk. Studies also reveal that if a family has a history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer, then the risk of prostate cancer can also be high.
Some researches show that black people are at a higher risk of prostate cancer than any other race. In such cases, the cancer is more likely to be advanced or aggressive.
Obese people are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer. In such people, the cancer is likely to become aggressive and return after initial treatment. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent people from developing prostate cancer or, for that matter, any disease in general.
If you have any question in regards to prostate cancer, symptoms of prostate cancer or risk factors of it, feel free to contact ZenOnco.io
The treatment of prostate cancer depends on several factors, including the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer, the overall health of the patient, and the patient’s preferences. Here are some common treatment options for prostate cancer:
- Active Surveillance: For slow-growing and early-stage prostate cancer, active surveillance may be recommended. This involves closely monitoring the cancer with regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, digital rectal exams, and periodic biopsies. Treatment is deferred unless there is evidence of cancer progression.
- Surgery: Surgical removal of the prostate gland, known as a radical prostatectomy, is a common treatment for localized prostate cancer. This procedure can be performed through open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. The goal is to remove the entire prostate gland along with nearby lymph nodes if necessary.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be delivered externally using a machine (external beam radiation therapy) or internally through implanted radioactive seeds (brachytherapy). Radiation therapy may be used as the primary treatment for localized prostate cancer or as an adjuvant treatment following surgery.
- Hormone Therapy: Prostate cancer cells are often dependent on male hormones, particularly testosterone, for growth. Hormone therapy, also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), aims to lower the levels of male hormones or block their effects on cancer cells. This can be achieved through medications or surgical removal of the testicles (orchiectomy). Hormone therapy is commonly used in advanced or metastatic prostate cancer and can also be used before or after radiation therapy.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells or slow down their growth. It is typically used in advanced or metastatic prostate cancer that is no longer responding to hormone therapy. Chemotherapy may also be used in combination with hormone therapy in certain situations.
- Targeted Therapy: Certain targeted therapies specifically target the underlying genetic mutations or molecular pathways involved in prostate cancer. These treatments may be recommended for advanced prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy aims to stimulate the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Some immunotherapy drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors, have shown promising results in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
- Other Treatments: Additional treatment options for prostate cancer may include cryotherapy (freezing cancer cells), high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), focal therapy (treating only the cancerous areas), and bone-targeted therapies to manage bone metastases.
The choice of treatment depends on various factors and should be discussed with a healthcare team, including urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and other specialists, to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual case.