Everything you need to know about prostate cancer

Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is one of the most common diseases in men.[1] Different risk factors lead to the development of prostate cancer in men, such as family history, ethnicity, lifestyle, diet, and more. Prostate cancer is usually detected by conducting different tests such as prostate biopsy, digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen, and more.

The symptoms of prostate cancer usually vary depending on the severity of the condition. The prostate is an important part of the reproductive stage. If prostate cancer is detected in the early stages, it will eventually become easy to treat it. According to reports, one out of every nine male has prostate cancer, while only one out of every 41 dies.

The death rate is very low in the case of prostate cancer because it is easily treated. Regular checkups from the doctor will not only make it easy to treat prostate cancer but will also prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body.

What is prostate cancer?

Although prostate cancer is often confused with benign prostatic hyperplasia, it is not the same. Prostate cancer is a cancerous condition that can eventually be a risk to your lifestyle. Unlike enlarged prostate, prostate cancer becomes big and eventually spreads to other parts of the body.[2]

Prostate cancer may affect other body parts such as lymph nodes and more. Although it can be removed after surgery, it may eventually grow back if proper care is not taken of the prostate cancer. Being a malignant growth will prove to be a threat to life.

Prostate cancer usually develops from a prostate tumor and moves through lymph nodes and blood, thereby spreading it all across the body.[3] Cancer may get covered in the body and cause damage to other underlying parts, which can eventually be harmful in the long run.

If prostate cancer starts to spread to other parts of the body, the abnormal cells remain the same. Therefore, it is necessary to determine that no matter where the prostate cancer cells travel to, they will still be cancerous prostate cells. In some cases, it will be referred to as metastatic prostate cancer. Depending on where it arises, it will eventually be treated.

What causes prostate cancer?

Depending on time, prostate cancer will change and develop. Often prostate cancer grows in the epithelial cells.[4] The cancerous and precancerous cells of the prostate gland are referred to as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).

According to the reports, nearly 50% over the age of 50 suffer from PIN. Initially, the changes and development in prostate cancer will be slow and won’t be considered to be cancerous. However, in the later stages, prostate cancer will eventually become cancerous.

Depending on the severity of the condition, the prostate cancer cells may either be of low grade or high grade.[5] With the changing times, the higher grade cancerous cells will change, grow, and spread across the body. Nonetheless, the low-grade cancerous cells do not grow at a rapid scale, thereby causing less harm.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

The symptoms of prostate cancer eventually become prominent with time. Initially, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms.[6] The symptoms of prostate cancer will eventually become prevalent in the later stages.

It is only the screening that can help to detect the presence of prostate cancer. PSA will be conducted to check the presence of cancer cells in the blood. If it is of high grade, it will eventually indicate the presence of cancer.

  • Men who have mild prostate cancer usually suffer from symptoms such as
  • Inability to maintain urination
  • Blood in urine and semen
  • The problem in maintaining an erection
  • Enlarged prostate leading to discomfort while sitting
  • Frequent urge to urinate mostly during the night
  • Pain while urinating

The presence of blood in urine isn’t the only sign of prostate cancer. There are other symptoms too.

However, with further moving stages, the symptoms may advance, thereby leading to more problems. Some of the most prominent symptoms in the advanced stages of prostate cancer include the following

  • Loss in weight
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Bone fracture
  • Edema
  • Sudden changes in bowel movement

Some people may also experience back pain in the advanced stages of prostate cancer.

Treatment of prostate cancer

The treatment of prostate cancer varies on a significant basis depending on the early and advanced stages.[7]

In the early stage

In the early stages of prostate cancer, the developed cell will only be small and localized. Based on this situation, the doctor may recommend the following treatments.

  • Surgery
  • Watchful waiting
  • Radiation therapy (Conformal Radiation Therapy and Brachytherapy)

Advanced stage

The growth of cancerous cells will lead to the spread across the body. Even after certain conditions, the spread will become prominent and affect the other parts of the body. There are high chances for the cancerous cells to come back even after treatment.[8]

The prominent treatments for prostate cancer in the advanced stages include the following.

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal treatment

Modern approach

Over the years, several new treatments have been developed to treat advanced-stage prostate cancer. The newer approaches to treat prostate cancer include the following.

  • Ultrasound
  • Cryotherapy

Does prostate cancer affect fertility?

The prostate gland plays an important role in improving fertility. Hence, it is one of the essential parts of the reproductive system of the body. As a result, prostate cancer and other parts across the prostate will eventually affect the fertility of the body.

Moreover, treating prostate cancer will require undergoing radiation therapy that will affect prostate tissue and lowering or damaging the sperm quality.[9] It also lowers the semen from being transported.

Apart from that, hormonal therapy will also affect fertility treatment. To avoid the disadvantages of prostate cancer, many men opt for the following.

  • Store the sperm.
  • Opt for artificial insemination.

Nonetheless, it is necessary to determine that there will be no guarantee whether fertility will improve after a certain time or not. You must consult the doctor about fertility issues.

It is always suggested to recommend the doctor before proceeding with the treatment. It is suggested that you report to the doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK284958/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470550/

[3] Harvey CJ, Pilcher J, Richenberg J, Patel U, Frauscher F. Applications of transrectal ultrasound in prostate cancer. Br J Radiol. 2012 Nov;85 Spec No 1:S3-17. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

[4] https://erectiledoctor.com/health-news/shift-work-not-increase-prostate-cancer-risk

[5] Gann PH. Risk factors for prostate cancer. Rev Urol. 2002;4 Suppl 5:S3-S10. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

[6] Lin PH, Aronson W, Freedland SJ. Nutrition, dietary interventions and prostate cancer: the latest evidence. BMC Med. 2015 Jan 08;13:3. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

[7] https://erectiledoctor.com/prostate/diet-exercise-help-prevent-deadly-prostate-cancer

[8] Bashir MN. Epidemiology of Prostate Cancer. Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev. 2015;16(13):5137-41. [PubMed]

[9] Abate-Shen C, Shen MM. Molecular genetics of prostate cancer. Genes Dev. 2000 Oct 01;14(19):2410-34. [PubMed]