Prostate Cancer Treatment Options - What to Expect?
About prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a disease that affects only the men. In this condition, the cancer begins to grow in the prostate which is gland in the male reproductive system. This case is also known as adenocarcinoma. Mostly, this is a slow progressing disease and many men die of old age without ever knowing they suffer from prostate cancer only when autopsy is performed. Several studies reveal that nearly 80% of all men in their 80's have had prostate cancer when they died.
According to experts, prostate cancer starts with tiny changes in the size and shape of the prostate gland cells also known as Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN). Any patient found to have high grade PIN after the prostate biopsy is at significantly higher risk of having cancer cells in the prostate.
What are the symptoms & causes of prostate cancer?
Usually, there are no symptoms in the early stages of prostate. Most men find out they have cancer at this stage after undergoing blood test or a routine checkup. Some of the symptoms are:
a. Frequent urination
b. Difficulty in urinating
c. Blood in urine
d. Painful ejaculation
e. Painful urination
f. Difficulty to achieve or maintain an erection
If prostate cancer is at advanced stage then the following symptoms might be seen:
a. Pain in proximal part of the femur
b. Pain in bones often the pelvis, ribs and spine
c. Weakness in leg
d. Fecal incontinence
e. Urinary incontinence
Although the causes for prostate cancer are not known but the possible risk factors include the following:
6. Enzyme PRSS3 linked to aggressive prostate cancer:
7. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):
8. Agent orange:
What is prostate cancer Treatment?
The prostate cancer treatments are separated into the early stage and the advanced stage prostate cancers.
a. Early stage prostate cancer: If the cancer is small and localized then it is usually managed by the treatments listed below:
i) Watchful Waiting: In this immediate treatment is not carried out instead the PSA blood levels are monitored regularly.
ii) Brachytherapy: The radiation beams are shaped such that the region where they overlap is as close to the same shape as the region or organ that requires treatment. Hence, this minimizes the exposure of healthy tissue to the radiation.
iii) Intensity modulated radiotherapy: In this method, the beams of variety intensity are used. The advanced form of the conformal radiotherapy usually delivered by a computer-controlled linear accelerator. If there is a good prognosis and the cancer is in its early stages then all the options can be considered.
iv) Hormone Therapy: This is cancer treatment for removing the blocks or hormones by stopping the growth of cancer cells. In prostate cancer, male sex hormones cause the growth of prostate cancer. Surgery, drugs or other hormones are used for reducing the amount of male hormones or block their growth.
v) Surgery: The patients whose tumor is present in the prostate gland only may be treated with surgery for removing the tumor. There are different types of surgery to remove the prostate cancer:
• Pelvic lymphadenectomy: This surgical procedure is performed to remove the lymph nodes in the pelvis. If the lymph nodes contain cancer, then your doctor will remove the prostate and recommend other treatment.
• Radical Prostatectomy: In this method, the prostate is removed surgically.
• Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): This is a surgical procedure to remove the tissue from prostate using a resectoscope. This procedure is done in men whose tumor is present in the prostate only and who cannot undergo radical prostatectomy.
Is prostate cancer surgery safe?
The prostate cancer surgery is safe and this is common choice to cure the prostate cancer if it has not spread outside the gland.
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Success rate of prostate cancer Treatment in India
The patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer had better success rate after undergoing treatment in India. The survival rate of the patients was 74% in prostate cancer patients with localized disease. The local treatment either with surgery or radiation achieves reasonable reasons with the prostate cancer patients.
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Mohan R, Schellhammer PF (August 2011). "Treatment options for localized prostate cancer". Am Fam Physician 84 (4): 413–20.
Wigle DT, Turner MC, Gomes J, Parent ME (March 2008). "Role of hormonal and other factors in human prostate cancer". Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part B, Critical Reviews 11 (3–4): 242–59.