Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer in males, but it is highly treatable in the early stages. It begins in the prostate gland which is found in between the penis and the bladder.
Around 1 in 9 males will receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer at some point in their life. However, only 1 in 41 of these will die as a result of it.
This is because treatment is effective, especially in the early stages. Routine screening enables doctors to detect many cases of prostate cancer before they spread.
Functions of the prostate are as follows;
-producing the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
-secreting prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein that helps semen retain its liquid state.
-It helps and controls the release of urine.
Treatment for prostate is very effective in the early stages.
There are often no symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer, but screening can detect changes that can indicate cancer.
Screening involves a test that measures levels of PSA in the blood. High levels suggest that cancer may be present.
-Difficulty starting and maintaining urination.
-A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night.
-Blood in the urine or semen.
-Painful urination and on ejaculation.
-Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
-Pain or discomfort when sitting, if the prostate is enlarged.
-Bone fracture or bone pain, especially in the hips, thighs, or shoulders and back pain.
-Edema, or swelling in the legs or feet.
-Changes in bowel habits.
Prostate cancer develops when specific changes occur, usually in glandular cells.
Cancerous or precancerous cells in the prostate gland are called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
Nearly 50% of all males over the age of 50 years have PIN.
At first, the changes will be slow, and the cells will not be cancerous. However, they can become cancerous with time. Cancer cells can be high or low grade.
High grade cells are more likely to grow and spread, while low grade cells are not likely to grow and are not a cause for concern.
The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, but the following risk factors may make it more likely:
The risk increases after the age of 50, but it is rare before the age of 45.
Race or Ethnicity.
It is more common in black males than white males. Asian males have a lower risk than black males or white males.
If a male has a relative with a history of prostate cancer, there is a higher probability of developing it themselves.
Inherited features, including changes to genes, may increase the risk. Mutations in these genes increase the chance of breast cancer in females too.
Possible factors are as follows.
There is some evidence to suggest that other factors may play a role, but scientists need more evidence to confirm their involvement:
-Inflammation of the prostate.
-Sexually transmitted diseases.
-Exposure to chemicals.
Knowing the stage of prostate cancer can help a person understand what to expect, and it will inform decisions about treatment. We list the stages below:
Stage 0: Precancerous cells are present, but they only affect a small area and are slow growing.
Localized (stage 1): Cancer is only present in the prostate gland. Effective treatment is possible at this stage.
Regional (stages 2–3): Cancer has spread to nearby tissues.
Distant (stage 4): Cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or bones.
Treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer.
Treatment options for each stage of prostate cancer are listed below, as well as some new approaches and what treatment means for fertility:
Early stage prostate cancer
A prostatectomy is one possible treatment for early stage prostate cancer. If the cancer is small and localized, a doctor may recommend the above.
The doctor may check PSA blood levels regularly but take no immediate action.
Prostate cancer grows slowly, and the risk of side effects may outweigh the need for immediate treatment.
A surgeon may carry out a prostatectomy. They can remove the prostate gland using either laparoscopic or open surgery.
Radiation therapy are as follows;
A doctor will implant radioactive seeds into the prostate to deliver targeted radiation treatment.
Conformal radiation therapy.
This targets a specific area, minimizing the risk to healthy tissue. Another type, called intensity modulated radiation therapy, uses beams with variable intensity.
Treatment will depend on various factors. Your doctor will discuss the best option for the you.
Advanced radiation therapy.
As cancer grows, it can spread throughout the body. If it spreads, or if it comes back after remission, the treatment options will change.
This can kill cancer cells around the body, but it can cause adverse effects.
Androgens are male hormones. The main androgens are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Blocking or reducing these hormones appears to stop or delay the growth of cancer cells. One option is to undergo surgery to remove the testicles, which produce most of the body’s hormones. Various drugs can also help.
Surgery is mostly not recommended by doctors in the later stages, as it does not treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Effect on fertility.
The prostate gland plays an important role in sexual reproduction. Prostate cancer and many of its treatments affect fertility in several ways.
For example, if a male has surgery to remove either the prostate gland or the testicles, it will affect semen production and fertility.
Also, radiation therapy can affect prostate tissue, damaging sperm and reducing the amount of semen for transporting it.
Hormonal treatment can also affect fertility.
However, some options for preserving these functions include:
-A doctor might decide to Bank your sperms before surgery.
-For artificial insemination purposes, sperms are extrated directly from the testicles .
However, the chances that fertility will remain intact after treatment for prostate cancer is not guaranteed. Anyone who would like to have children after treatment should discuss fertility options with their doctor when they devise their treatment plan.
Content created and supplied by: Rahmed (via Opera News )