The prostate is part of a reproductive system used by a man. It is located right in front of the rectum and below the bladder. It encircles the urethra, the tube from which flows urine. A walnut is about the size of a healthy prostate. The prostate is an integral part of seminal fluid. Seminal fluid helps carry sperm from the man’s body as a part of the semen during ejaculation.
Male hormones (androgens) make the prostate grow. The testicles are the main source of male hormones, including testosterone. The adrenal gland also makes testosterone but in small amounts.
If the prostate grows too large, it squeezes the urethra. This may slow or stop the flow of urine from the bladder to the penis.
Confronting Prostate Cancer
One of the most common forms of cancer in people is prostate cancer. It usually affects men in their 60s, but is now also being found progressively in men of a lower age group. Common issues that occur in this gland include benign (non-cancerous) enlargement or prostate cancer. Older age, family history, and obesity are risk factors.
Prostate cancer is rising slowly and remains limited to the prostate initially. However, development is rapid in some cases and can spread rapidly to other organs. Early detection enables patients to choose between a range of treatment options, with excellent results. Treatment of prostate cancer includes a team of Medical, Radiation, and Uro-Oncology experts who are aligned to follow protocols of international standards.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
Having any of these symptoms does not mean it is cancer, but if one or more of them are noticed for more than two weeks then a doctor must be seen, and an immediate health screening is a must.
Prostate cancer sometimes does not cause symptoms until it is advanced. So regular tests are recommended with the Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and the Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) examination. High levels of PSA may be predictive of cancer, infection, inflammation, or non-cancerous enlargement. For further examination, transrectal ultrasound is performed. The biopsied tissues are tested to determine the Gleason score for the degree of prostate cancer. The diagnosis is confirmed by bone scan, CT, MRI, or PET CT accompanied by Biopsy. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early stages may not need treatment immediately. In only a few cases active surveillance is required.
- The patient would require to undergo detailed Physical & clinical at evaluations which will include Blood Tests, DRE, and PSA.
- Prostate cancer is diagnosed leading cancer hospitals in India through these methods:
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): It helps detect lumps, asymmetries and the size of the prostate.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): It is a blood test that looks for a protein that the prostate generates.
TYPES OF PROSTATE CANCER
- Acinar adenocarcinoma Adenocarcinomas are cancers that develop in the gland cells that line the prostate gland. They are the most common type of prostate cancer. Nearly everyone with prostate cancer has this type.
- Ductal adenocarcinoma
Ductal adenocarcinoma starts in the cells that line the ducts (tubes) of the prostate gland. It tends to grow and spread more quickly than acinar adenocarcinoma.
- Transitional cell (or urothelial) cancer
Transitional cell cancer of the prostate starts in the cells that line the tube carrying urine to the outside of the body (the urethra). This type of cancer usually starts in the bladder and spreads into the prostate
- Squamous cell cancer
These cancers develop from flat cells that cover the prostate. They tend to grow and spread more quickly than adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
- Small cell prostate cancer
No one knows the exact causes of prostate cancer. Doctors often cannot explain why one man develops prostate cancer and another does not. However, we do know that prostate cancer is not contagious. You cannot “catch” it from another person.
Research has shown that men with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease.
Studies have found the following risk factors for prostate cancer:
- Age: Age is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. This disease is rare in men younger than 45. The chance of getting it goes up sharply as a man gets older. In the United States, most men with prostate cancer are older than 65.
- Family history: A man’s risk is higher if his father or brother had prostate cancer.
- Race: Prostate cancer is more common in African American men than in white men, including Hispanic white men. It is less common in Asian and American Indian men.
- Certain prostate changes: Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk for prostate cancer. These prostate cells look abnormal under a microscope.
- Diet: Some studies suggest that men who eat a diet high in animal fat or meat may be at increased risk for prostate cancer. Men who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk
- Many of these risk factors can be avoided. Others, such as family history, cannot be avoided. You can help protect yourself by staying away from known risk factors whenever possible.
Scientists have also examined whether BPH, obesity, smoking, a sexually transmitted virus, or lack of exercise may raise the risk of prostate cancer. There are not strong risk factors at this time. Most research also did not find an elevated risk of prostate cancer for men who had a vasectomy. A vasectomy is a surgery to cut or tie off the tubes from the testicles that carry sperm.
Most men with known risk factors are not getting prostate cancer. On the other hand, people who do get the disease often have no known risk factors, except to grow older. When you think you may be at risk, speak to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways to lower your risk and can plan a check-up schedule.
Your doctor will be able to check for prostate cancer before you experience any symptoms. Screening can help the doctors find cancer and treat it early. But studies so far have not shown that screening tests are reducing prostate cancer deaths. You may want to talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and harms that screening can bring. The decision to be screened, like many other medical decisions, is a personal one. You should decide after learning the pros and cons of screening.
Your doctor can explain more about these tests:
- Digital rectal exam: The doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall. The prostate is checked for hard or lumpy areas.
- Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA): A lab checks the level of PSA in a man’s blood sample. A high PSA level is commonly caused by BPH or prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). Prostate cancer may also cause a high PSA level.
The digital rectal exam and PSA test can detect a problem in the prostate. They cannot show whether the problem is cancer or a less serious condition. Your doctor will use the results of these tests to help decide whether to check further for signs of cancer.
The treatment options include surgery or radiation therapy (radical prostatectomy). Extreme prostatectomy for prostate cancer includes removing a few lymph nodes, the prostate gland, and underlying tissue. The da Vinci Robotic Surgery System is used in some of the best cancer treatment facilities in the world for operations. Robotic prostatectomy allows the surgeon to make more precise movements with surgical tools as compared to traditional open or minimally invasive surgery.