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Guide on Prostate Cancer

What is prostate?

The prostate is an organ and a part of the male reproductive system. It is present below the bladder and in front of the pelvis. The prostate produces a fluid that supports and protects the sperm during ejaculation. The prostate regulates flow and releases semen. However, in addition to aging, the prostate gland can also grow. This condition leads to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or cancer. This can cause urination and interfere with sexual function, and it needs immediate treatment.

What is prostate cancer?

  • Prostate cancer is the stage of the disease in which the cells of the prostate gland begin to divide as well as affect nearby tissues.
  • Abnormal sperm growth can lead to the drying of the bladder in the prostate gland.
  • This cancer can spread to different parts of the body. This process in which the cells leave the site of origin and travel to another location through the blood or lymph nodes to form this new tumor is called metastasis.
  • Common patients have heavy stools, blood in urine or semen, sexual dysfunction, and pelvic discomfort.
  • The patient should have a PSA test and a digital rectal examination (DRE) screening tool. The clinical trial facilitates the rapid treatment and prevention of cancer cells.

 What age does prostate cancer start?

  •  Prostate cancer is generally noticed in males whose age revolves around 65 or older.
  • It is rare in younger age groups.
  • People with family history or specific genetic defects may get diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age.
  • The risk of being affected by prostate cancer increases with an increase in the age of men.
  • Males aged 50 or older with risk factors can have an effective treatment through the early detection of cancerous cells.

  Stages of prostate cancer

  • Stage 1 of Prostate cancer is tiny, slow-growing, and localized within the prostate gland. It is frequently discovered during standard screenings but may not cause symptoms.
  • In stage 2 , the cancerous cells start growing abnormally within the prostate gland. The size of the tumor may be larger than Stage 1. Some men may have urinary problems while suffering from stage 2.
  • By Stage 3, cancerous cells have spread to surrounding tissues through the medium of blood or lymph flow. The symptoms can be observed, such as urinary problems, blood in urine or semen, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Stage 4 indicates metastasis to distant organs or tissues, resulting in severe symptoms such as bone pain, weight loss, and exhaustion that require a variety of treatments.

Treatment techniques range from active surveillance in the early stages to more aggressive approaches like surgery or chemotherapy in late cases, emphasizing the significance of ongoing monitoring and personalized care.

In which gender is prostate cancer most common?

Prostate cancer mostly affects the male population. While extremely rare, prostate cancer can emerge in girls who have a prostate gland due to certain medical conditions. Raising awareness among the male population about the chronic disease is crucial. Nevertheless,  early detection always leads to effective treatment of the illness.

What are the main causes of prostate cancer?

  • Age: With age, there are biological changes in the prostate gland. Men start approaching the risk zone of getting affected by prostate cancer once they hit 50 years of age. However, the risk intensifies after 65 years of age.
  • Family medical history: If someone in your bloodline has had prostate cancer earlier, we recommend that you take precautions to avoid the disease.
  • Racial differences: Men of African-American descent are more likely to develop prostate cancer than other races due to obvious climate changes.
  • Lifestyle choices: Neglecting your body by taking a high-fat diet, or following a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, smoking and obesity can further complicate your vulnerability.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Imbalanced hormone levels with high testosterone push you towards the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Environmental factors: Pollutants and toxins entering the body may lead to the uncontrolled growth of cells, which may lead to prostate cancer. However, the exact cause is not known to date.

Can prostate cancer be cured permanently?

Yes, prostate cancer can be cured permanently. However, it is likely only if you are aware of the symptoms and can diagnose them early. Medical science has come up with the latest radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy to help you recover from chronic disease. Doctors will choose the treatment option based on the cancer stage, the patient’s overall condition, and the bodily changes occurring in response to treatment. However, continuous monitoring, regular follow-up, and proper care are important for long-term recovery.

Symptoms of prostate cancer

  • Urinary changes: When affected, patients feel uneasiness while passing urine. Some patients complain about decreased urine flow or feeling empty in the bladder. 
  • Bleeding: Haematuria and hematospermia are two medical conditions that occur as symptoms of prostate cancer. These medical terms refer to passing blood and semen in the urine, respectively. It can lead to several other health issues as well.
  • Erectile difficulties: Prostate cancer affects sexual function in patients who face erectile dysfunction. This refers to a condition where the person cannot erect his sexual organ for a longer period.
  • Pelvic pain: Patients complain about experiencing discomfort, tension, or pain in the area of the pelvis. It affects their daily activities.
  • Osteoarthritis: Cells actively divide uncontrollably in prostate cancer, where it may also reach an advanced stage. The cancerous cells reach the bones, causing bone loss, especially in the hips, pelvis, or ribs. It affects the patient badly.
  • Swelling: Some rare cases are reported where the urethra gets blocked. It leads to fluid collections, which then potentially cause leg or rectal swelling (lymphoma).

Treatments that are available for early-stage prostate cancer

  • Active screening: This process involves several physical and technical examinations of the patient’s health. It ranges from routine screening to PSA screening to digital rectal examination. The results show the analysis of cancerous cells and their growth during low-risk and early-stage prostate cancer.
  • Surgical options: In the early stages of cancer, you can opt for ‘prostatectomy’ or surgical removal of the prostate gland. The process is quite simple and involves conventional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. The interesting fact is that the process can also be a robot-assisted one, as it involves minimally invasive techniques.
  • Radiation therapy: Eliminate your cancerous cells with focused and directed radiation through External beam radiation therapy (EBRT). This procedure is also known as brachytherapy.
  • Cryotherapy: Kill the cancer cells in the prostate gland and stop their growth by freezing them with this simple technique.
  • Hormone therapy: Lower your testosterone levels with hormone therapy to sway off prostate cancer from your body.

Also, Read another complete guide to understanding cancer by Dr Nikhil Mehta.

Consideration of lifestyle after treatment

  • Maintain Exercise: Post recovery from the deadly disease, you must exercise daily, at least for 30 minutes to maintain a healthier lifestyle. We recommend you to include walking, swimming, or cycling in your daily routine.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Your body needs a good and balanced diet post-treatment to recover well. We recommend a mixed combination of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats for fast response to medications. Avoiding processed foods, red meat, and sugary drinks can reduce the probability of reoccurring cancerous cells to a very small extent.
  • Manage your weight: Stay healthy through a proper diet and exercise to reduce the risk of healing.

Dr. Nikhil Mehta, your go-to oncologist for consultations before treatment

He is a light of trust in the field of oncology, providing rigorous consultations and intelligent advice before starting cancer treatment. Dr. Mehta, who has extensive experience and a deep understanding of oncological practices, is a well-known cancer doctor in Jaipur for developing tailored care methods that perfectly address individual medical demands and fears. Whether it is explaining treatment options, assisting with decision-making issues, or providing unflinching support, Dr. Mehta’s unwavering devotion guarantees that patients navigate their cancer journey with the utmost attention and understanding. Trust Dr. Mehta to lead a symphony of compassionate and holistic oncological care, guiding patients through the maze of cancer treatment difficulties with steadfast confidence and tranquility.

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