Prostate Cancer: Symptoms and Treatment

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What is prostate cancer?


Prostate cancer is the cancer of the prostate gland in men. Prostate gland creates some of the fluid that is part of the semen. This gland lies below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The size of the prostate changes with age. In younger men, it is about the size of a walnut, but can be of a much larger size in older men.


How does prostate cancer occur?


Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, i.e. those which develop from the gland cells which produce the prostate fluid that is added to the semen.

Other types of prostate cancer include:

  • Sarcomas
  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (other than small cell carcinomas)
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

These types are very rare.


Who is prone to prostate cancer?


Some people are more prone to prostate cancer than others. They include:

  • Men who are above 50 years of age
  • Men who have a strong family history of cancers, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, or pancreatic cancer. Especially, having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease.
  • Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products and less fruits and vegetables appear to have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer.
  • Obese men have a higher risk of getting more aggressive prostate cancer, some studies have shown
  • Men who chain smoke are at an increased risk of getting prostate cancer
  • Men who inherit gene mutations
  • Men who have been exposed to certain harmful chemicals and radiation


What are the causes of prostate cancer?


Like all other cancers, the exact cause of prostate cancer isn’t easy to determine. Multiple factors may be involved such as:

  • a family history of cancer
  • exposure to environmental toxins, like certain chemicals or radiation
  • mutations in the DNA, or genetic material, which can lead to the growth of cancerous cells
  • a diet which is high in red meat and high-fat dairy products and low in fruits and vegetables
  • obesity


What are the symptoms of prostate cancer? How is prostate cancer diagnosed?


In the early stages of prostate cancer, there are usually no symptoms. If symptoms do appear they include:

  • urge to urinate frequently, even at night
  • painful urination and, less commonly, ejaculation
  • blood in the urine
  • difficulty while commencing and maintaining urination
  • difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection

The symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include:

  • pain in the bones, especially in the spine, femur, pelvis, or ribs
  • bone fractures
  • leg weakness
  • urinary incontinence
  • faecal incontinence

Diagnosis

 

If you notice any disturbing symptoms, you need to visit a general practitioner who will carry out a physical examination and enquire about any ongoing medical history. He may ask you to undergo a blood test.

If a routine blood test shows abnormally high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels, the doctor may suggest further examinations and you may be referred to an oncologist.

Your oncologist may perform tests which include:

  • a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), in which a doctor will manually check for any abnormalities of the prostate
  • a biomarker test checking the blood, urine, or body tissues of a person for chemicals which are unique to people suffering from cancer
  • a urine test to check for the PCA3 gene only found in prostate cancer cells
  • a transrectal ultrasound scan which provides images of the affected region
  • a biopsy, which involves the removal small tissues from several areas of the prostate for examination under a microscope
  • scans such as bone, CT scan, or MRI scan to see if the cancer has spread


What are the complications of prostate cancer?


The complications of prostate cancer include:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • urinary incontinence
  • faecal incontinence
  • metastasis or spread of the cancer cells from one part of the body to other parts of the body
  • severe pain
  • higher-than-normal levels of calcium in the blood leading to nausea, vomiting, and confusion
  • compression of the spinal cord, which can lead to muscle weakness and urinary and faecal incontinence


What is the treatment for prostate cancer?


Depending on the severity of your condition the doctor may prescribe some medicines and observe, wait and monitor if it is in very early stages.
If it is advanced then he may suggest radical prostatectomy in which the prostate is surgically removed, or radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Prostate Cancer ?

Patient Experiences

Payal Singh
Prostate Cancer Treatment
I visited dr for my father's prostate cancer treatment. Dr Mangesh explain us about tge disease and how to cure it. He suggested some Medical treatment for my father and after that i can see reduction in amount of cancerous cells. Dr Mangesh positive attitude develops faith in patients mind....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Mangesh Mekha
Dr Mangesh Mekha's Onco care
Vidya
Managing Prostate Cancer
It is said that god sends healers in the form of doctors, Dr.Nagasubramanyam S is one such soul who kept my dad alive for 2 long years. Like most of them have already shared the feedback about him of being patient, good listener etc..I definitely have nothing much to talk about him, however, it goes without saying that every bit that he has done to my father's recovery, be it his professionalism, or the way he explains things, & the subtle nature of him soothes any patient. There are very few doctors who hold such higher qualifications which any aspiring doctors could think of, staying grounded is more important than that, Dr. Nagasubramanyam holds this degree on the top of all his qualifications. He is a man with truck loads of human values & i am sure my dad's soul also feels the same for him. My mother & I is truly grateful to him for being who he is with his benevolent, simplicity & humane nature. Stay blessed Doctor & thanks a ton for all the help that you've given my mother & I. Best Wishes, Vidya...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Nagasubramanyam S
Ramakrishna Super Speciality Hospital
Saibal
Satisfied With The Treatment
The finest Oncologist I have come across in Hyderabad. I have intentionally mentioned the words 'The Finest' and not 'One of the Best'. He has treated 2 of my family members successfully with 100% record. He speaks to the point and is quick in decision-making which is one of the parameters that makes him 'The Finest'. Always peps up his patients with a smile on his face which is another very important parameter that makes him a class apart. A man who is true to his word and is very very time conscious. Takes great care in providing medication because some of the patients may be allergic to allopathy. Hence makes it a point to mix it up with some vitamin tablets or syrup with slight dosage of anti-biotics. I mean, he studies the patient before providing any anti-biotics. I have been to his Omega Hospital and was really impressed with the infrastructure (includes latest medical equipments) and care taken to ensure all patients recover soon. This is one of the hospitals where I have never seen any advertising billboards in Hyderabad. People just flock here by either word of month or through reference, I presume. People of all faiths and from other countries are regularly seen in any given day. All in all, a fine gentleman, and a great doctor. Just hope he lives forever for all generations to come. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Mohana Vamsy CH
Omega Hospital's
Ameerah Khan
Robotic Prostatectomy

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
My father has been diagnosed with prostrate cancer with Gleason score 3+4. He has consulted one doctor who suggested hormone therapy but as far as I studied in various articles, robotic surgery is the best option . Hormone therapy is to reduce hormone production and is not a complete cure. Please help to understand what treatment he should undergo.
Dr. Abdullah
Radiation Oncologist, Chennai
Treatment depends on the patient age,general condition , Stage and Risk Stratification.  And also on life expectancy.
Based on PSA, Gleason Score, and Tumour Stage. 
Determined by Clinical findings of Digital Rectal Examination. 
If Any Pelvic Imaging CT or MRI done might help knowing the T stage.
Bone scan to rule out spread of disease to bones.
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