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    Understanding Prostate Cancer: An Overview for Men

    Understanding Prostate Cancer: An Overview for Men

    December 23, 2023

    Prostate cancer is a kind of gender-specific cancer which develops in the prostate gland in men. The prostate gland is a part of the reproductive system in men, located right below the bladder. It secretes fluid mixed with semen, which aids in nourishing the sperm for conception and pregnancy.

    Prostate cancer may affect men of any age group but may grow differently for them. Younger people may get prostate cancer the size of a walnut, but it may grow significantly larger in older males. In addition to this, quite a few prostate cancers may grow slowly, due to which they may not require any treatment immediately but may still need to be kept under careful vigilance. On the other hand, some prostate cancers can grow aggressively and spread fast.

    Types of Prostate Cancer

    Having discussed the spreading capacity of prostate cancer, it is important to understand what are the various types of prostate cancer that can affect a male. A majority of prostate cancers are Adenocarcinomas. These types of cancer develop from the cells of the prostate gland itself. Rarely, if ever, prostate cancer develops in cells other than those of the prostate gland.

    Apart from Adenocarcinoma, there are other less common prostate cancers that begin in the prostate gland, such as:

    • Sarcomas
    • Small cell carcinoma (small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma)
    • Transitional cell carcinoma
    • Other neuroendocrine tumours (including large cell carcinoma)

    A person diagnosed with prostate cancer is more likely to have Adenocarcinoma than the other types of cancer as they are quite rare.

    Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

    Symptoms appearing in the early stages of prostate cancer are rare and may begin appearing as the disease progresses in its advanced stages.

    Males with prostate cancer may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

    • Frequent, sometimes urgent, urge to urinate
    • Decreased or weak flow of urine
    • Painful or burning feeling during urination (dysuria)
    • Blood in the urine (Haematuria)
    • Blood in the sperm (Haematospermia)
    • Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
    • Loss of bowel control (faecal incontinence)
    • Pain during ejaculation and/or erectile dysfunction
    • Pain in the lower back, hip, or chest

    Are These Symptoms of a Definite Sign of Prostate Cancer?

    Growths or masses of tissues present in the prostate may not always be cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis are two such conditions manifesting symptoms similar to prostate cancer.

    • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is the medical condition of prostate enlargement that is extremely common, occurring in almost everyone with a prostate gland but doesn’t increase the risk of cancer.
    • Prostatitis is a benign condition of the prostate gland that is marked by inflammation and swelling in the prostate gland and often affects people younger than 50. 

    When to See the Doctor?

    If symptoms resembling those of prostate cancer appear and persist, it is important to undergo screening tests under the supervision of an oncologist.

    When is Screening for Prostate Cancer Necessary?

    Most prostate cancers are slow-growing, which provides enough time to be diagnosed before the cancer has proliferated beyond the prostate. However, prostate cancer screening may be beneficial for people with certain risk factors.

    Screening of the prostate gland for the presence of cancerous tumours or growths can be extremely beneficial in developing treatment plans to prevent its growth or spread. Since most prostate cancers grow slowly, watchful waiting may be recommended by oncologists.

    Nevertheless, it is advisable to consider starting screening for prostate cancer if there is one or more of the following risk factors:

    • Aged over 50 years
    • Family history of prostate cancer
    • Certain genetic factors like having Lynch syndrome and inheriting specific mutated genes associated with breast cancer
    • Obesity may be a factor in causing more aggressive prostate cancer than people who are not obese

    While these risk factors increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer, they are not definitive. Having these risk factors doesn’t cause prostate cancer, most definitely, but it may put emphasis on taking regular screening tests. 

    Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

    Prostate cancer screening tests may demonstrate the need for further investigation through additional testing.

    • Digital Rectal Examination
    • A biopsy of the prostate gland to determine the presence of cancerous cells
    • A transrectal ultrasound scan to obtain visuals of the prostate gland
    • An MRI scan
    • Ultrasound
    • Prostate-Specific Antigen test

    Management & Treatment of Prostate Cancer

    If the cancer is in its early stages, doctors may recommend active surveillance to monitor the condition instead of applying any treatment if the cancer is progressing slowly. Screening tests, imaging scans, and biopsies may be employed on a regular basis. Doctors may focus on managing symptoms rather than eliminating the tumour.

    If the cancer is found to be more pervasive or the prostate gland has become diseased but hasn’t spread yet, a radical prostatectomy may help remove the prostate gland. Other cancer treatments may offer preventive measures to control the spread of cancer as well as for symptom relief. These measures may include:

    • Hormone therapy
    • Immunotherapy
    • Radiation therapy
    • Chemotherapy
    • Targeted therapy

    Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka

    Precise cancer diagnosis is the most important step for prostate gland cancer identification and treatment. At Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, patient-centric healthcare and treatment for cancer in patients of all age groups. We have highly recognised and experienced surgical and medical oncologists who advocate regular screening of the prostate gland for early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

    Apollo Hospitals offers highly effective and recent therapies for successful treatment of various forms & stages of prostate cancer, reaping the high success rates and providing a better quality of life.

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