What is prostate cancer?
Researchers are continuously coming up with and testing new types of treatment for prostate cancer. One of the newer treatments is Cryosurgery.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the U.S.
There were an estimated 192,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2020, and estimates say that 12% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lives.
Find out what prostate cancer is and how doctors diagnose and treat it today.
Prostate cancer is when the damaged cell division and development associated with cancer occurs in the prostate, which is responsible for producing some of the fluid that makes up semen.
Most types of prostate cancer, adenocarcinoma, start in the gland cells, which produce semen. While these are common, rarer types include small cell carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma, and sarcoma.
When cancer first sets in, it may not have any symptoms. As it progresses, you might develop some or all of the following signs:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in your semen
- Blood in your urine
- Needing to urinate a lot, especially in the night
- Weak urine stream
- Difficulty or inability urinating
- Lower back and thigh pain
- Weak or numb legs or feet
Doctors believe there is no single cause for cancer. Genetics has a part to play in cancer development, as does diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Exposure to certain chemicals, radiation, and tobacco products are other possible causes of cancer.
Who can get it?
There are several risk factors involved in developing cancer. Some of these factors are:
- Radiation exposure
- Excess sunlight exposure
- Substances that are known to cause cancer (carcinogens)
- Chronic inflammation
Diagnosis for prostate cancer
Doctors use several tests to determine if you have prostate cancer. Most people with prostate cancer are initially identified by a digital rectal exam or by a blood test that screens for prostate-specific antigens (PSA).
If doctors find a high PSA level or notice something during the rectal exam, they will order a biopsy to test a tissue sample. They will usually gather a tissue sample with a needle that they insert into the prostate. Doctors also use imaging such as an ultrasound or MRI to look at the prostate.
A lab analyzes the samples and sends the results to your doctor. They will tell you whether you tested positive, negative, or suspicious — which means something was there, but not cancer.
Treatments for prostate cancer
If you’ve received a diagnosis for prostate cancer, the doctors have several options to treat it. Doctors choose from the following treatments:
The type of treatment your doctor decides upon depends on the stage of cancer you are in. Your best treatment options for a less aggressive stage (stage one or two) might be just waiting, while stage four might require all methods.
Your doctor might prescribe one of the many available medications for your prostate cancer, depending on their diagnosis. There are around 24 medications your doctor can choose from. A few of them are:
Researchers are continuously coming up with and testing new types of treatment for prostate cancer. Some of the newer treatments are:
- Proton beam radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
- High-intensity-focused ultrasound therapy
If necessary, a doctor can decide to remove your entire prostate gland, called a prostatectomy. They might remove some tissue that surrounds it for safe measure.
A few of the types of surgeries a doctor can perform are robot-assisted radical prostatectomy or open radical prostatectomy. Both allow removal of the prostate through the lower abdomen.
Possible complications and side effects
Depending on your course of treatments, there are possible side effects. Talk to your doctor to weigh the risks against the severity of your prostate cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation can damage normal cells and cause side effects like:
If you get surgery, you could develop trouble controlling your urine, or incontinence. It may take you a little time to get back bladder control, but incontinence will happen less often with time. Talk with your doctor about special exercises to help stop the problem completely.
Prostate cancer surgery can also often lead to erectile dysfunction. If possible, try to get nerve-sparing surgery to avoid this, but it will not always be a choice.
Many people also feel mentally worn down while managing their cancer, leading to high stress and depression. The best way to try to avoid this is to talk with your family and friends about how you’re feeling at every step of the way and establish a support group to help you cope. A counselor can also help you with this.
Browse through our medical image collection to see illustrations of human anatomy and physiology
Medically Reviewed on 2/2/2021
Cedars-Sinai: “Prostate Cancer.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Prostate Cancer Statistics.”
InformedHealth.org: “How does the prostate work?”
National Cancer Institute: “Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer.”
National Cancer Institute: “Drugs Approved for Prostate Cancer.”
National Cancer Institute: “Prostate Cancer Treatment (PDQ)-Patient Version.”
National Cancer Institute: “Risk Factors for Cancer.”
- COVID Leaves Most Pro Athletes With No Lasting Heart Damage: Study - March 5, 2021
- 21वीं सदी का युवा ही भारत को जगतगुरु बनाएगा : मंत्री सुश्री ठाकुर - March 5, 2021
- Team of bioethicists and scientists suggests revisiting 14-day limit on human embryo - March 5, 2021
- American Indians Face the Highest Odds for Stroke - March 5, 2021
- मंत्री सुश्री ठाकुर ने दी मुख्यमंत्री श्री चौहान को जन्मदिवस की शुभकामनाएँ - March 5, 2021
- Why we’re so bad at daydreaming, and how to fix it - March 5, 2021
- Perils of the Pandemic: Scooters, Cleansers and Button Batteries - March 5, 2021
- पर्यटन मंत्री सुश्री ठाकुर और जल संसाधन मंत्री श्री सिलावट ने पुस्तक का विमोचन किया - March 5, 2021
- Ireland investigates stillbirths linked to COVID-19 - March 5, 2021
- Penfolds Unveils Inaugural California Collection - March 5, 2021