Prostate cancer: symptoms and treatment

Prostate Cancer

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate begin to grow abnormally. Most Prostate cancer cells are localized, they remain within the prostate. In over 90% of cases, this type of cancer remains confined to the prostate and is not considered life-threatening. In many cases, localized Prostate cancer cells grow so slowly that they may never cause any symptoms or health problems. 

Prostate cancer is the age-old enemy of men. Despite being the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer is a silent killer. Men can suffer from prostate cancer for months and even years without experiencing any symptoms.

The symptoms of prostate cancer can be vague, so it's critical to educate yourself about the signs and symptoms you might experience if you have prostate cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

Once a tumor has been detected or once cancer spreads beyond the prostate, a person might experience these symptoms:

  • Frequent urge to pee, especially during the night.
  • Trouble starting or stopping a stream of urine.
  • Leaking pee while laughing or coughing.
  • Not being able to pee while standing.
  • Pain or burning sensation while peeing.
  • Pain or burning sensation while ejaculating.
  • Less fluid outflow while ejaculating.
  • Blood in pee or semen.
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum.
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, pelvis area, thighs, and hips.
  • Erectile dysfunction

Some advanced symptoms are weight loss, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, swelling of lower limbs, bowel problems, weakness in lower limbs along with constipation.

Prostate Cancer Treatments

Treatment options for prostate cancer vary from medical management to surgery, radiation, or brachytherapy. The choice of treatment depends on many factors, including your age and overall health. 

  • Surgery: The basic operation wherein the prostate and nearby lymph nodes are removed. In most cases, surgeons can remove the gland without cutting the nerves. These nerves control erections and the bladder. This makes the patient less likely to become impotent. Depending on the age of the patient and the amount of surgery needed to remove all the cancer cells, nerve-sparing operations allow many men to get erections after the surgery without the need for erectile dysfunction treatments.
  • Radiation: Radiation is often the main treatment for prostate cancer that has not spread to other body parts. It can also be recommended as a follow-up surgery. Radiation is also used in advanced cancer cases to relieve pain from the spread of cancer to the bones. Radiation to the pelvis may also be done if PSA levels rise after surgery.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is recommended for treating advanced prostate cancer cases. Since testosterone can make prostate cancer grow faster, this therapy works by stopping testosterone production in the body. But the risk of heart attack is higher with this treatment. 
  • Other treatments: Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for many types of cancer. It is also a good option for men with advanced prostate cancer, who did not respond well to other treatments.

What is the Latest Treatment for Prostate Cancer?

A taxoid antineoplastic agent called docetaxel and cabazitaxel has shown effective results in the treatment of prostate cancer. Larger studies suggest that giving prostate cancer patients chemotherapy earlier in the stage might help them live longer. 

What is the Safest Treatment for Prostate Cancer? 

Radiation therapy is known to be the safest option for many men with early-stage prostate cancer. It is also the best treatment for older men or those with health complications.

How to Avoid Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. There is still no cure for prostate cancer, but diet and exercise can help in its prevention.

  • A balanced diet: Choose a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. They contain vitamins and nutrients that are vital for prostate health. 
  • Regular exercise can help you maintain weight and enhance your mood as well. Try to exercise most days of the week to curb obesity, which can make you prone to developing prostate cancer. 
  • Consult a doctor to know about your increased risk of prostate cancer. Certain medications or treatments may reduce the risk. 

Prostate Cancer and Sex Life

Prostate cancer can disrupt your sex life by decreasing libido. When you are aware of your condition, it can make you feel extremely anxious and nervous to have sex. Hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer can also negatively affect your sex drive because hormone therapy targets to reduce testosterone levels in your body.

Take Away

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, other than skin cancers. In fact, out of every 100 new cases of cancer in men, 27 are prostate cancers. There is no single cause for prostate cancer. Several factors like age, race, family history, diet, heredity, and ethnic background are thought to be responsible for the higher risk in certain groups.

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