Prostate cancer is a tumor; it most commonly occurs in men over the age of 40. The prostate is a gland of the size and shape of a walnut that produces seminal fluid.
When it starts, there is no discomfort or symptoms. This is why it is important for all men to be screened regularly to detect it in a timely manner.
What causes prostate cancer is not entirely clear, but it begins when some of the cells in the prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the DNA of abnormal cells promote cells to grow and divide faster than healthy cells.
The abnormal cells continue to increase, while others die. The accumulation of abnormal cells forms a tumor that can grow to invade surrounding tissues. Some abnormal cells can also rupture and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer:
In more advanced stages, prostate cancer can cause:
Difficulty urinating: start or stop the stream of urine, pain or burning
Need to urinate frequently, especially at night
Weak urine stream
Blood in the urine or semen
Difficulty to achieve an erection
Hip or back pain
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
Rectal examination: It must be part of the annual physical examination. By inserting a gloved finger into the rectum, the doctor palpates the prostate surface through the wall of the bowels. Suspicious masses, abnormal textures or hardness will lead to further investigations
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): A protein produced by the prostate that can be elevated when cancer is present. PSA levels can help the doctor in the follow-up of a patient with prostate problems
Prostate biopsy: The only way to determine if a suspicious mass is prostate cancer is to microscopically examine a sample of tissue taken from the area. This sample can be removed by a needle, placed directly into the prostate through the rectum or perineum (the space between the scrotum and the anus), or by surgery
Prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast it is growing, how far it has spread, overall health, and the potential benefits or side effects of the treatment.
When low-risk prostate cancer is diagnosed, treatment may not be necessary right away. In some cases, treatment may not be required. In these circumstances, doctors recommend constant checkups, which involve regular blood samples, rectal exams, and possibly biopsies, to monitor cancer's status and progress.
If tests show that the cancer is progressing, other alternatives may be suggested, such as:
Prostate removal surgery
Freeze prostate tissue to kill cancer cells
Chemotherapy Biological Therapy (Immunotherapy)
Coping with Prostate Cancer
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be overwhelming, but with time and the right support, you will find a way to deal with these feelings of distress and uncertainty. The most important thing is to be aware that there are treatments to combat this cancer and that many patients have recovered satisfactorily with proper treatment.
Finding out about prostate cancer is vital to make the right decisions in conjunction with the specialist, and ask the necessary questions to the Urologist or Oncologist. Surrounding yourself with family and friends, and seeking alternative help with a therapist is helpful.
When should I visit the doctor?
It is essential to consult an Urologist to accurately diagnose lung cancer and carry out the corresponding studies, to assess the different treatment options available.
When consulting the Urologist , it is crucial to record all the symptoms for how long they have manifested themselves. If you are taking any medication, you should also mention it to the doctor. Learning more about lung cancer is the first step in controlling it.
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