Prostate Cancer

Introduction
The prostate is an important glandular organ in the male reproductive system. In prostate cancer, normal cells undergo a transformation wherein they grow and multiply without control. Tumors overwhelm surrounding areas and can eventually invade the bloodstream. The most common type of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 95% of cases.

Symptoms
Most men with prostate cancer usually have no symptoms. Symptoms usually only appear when tumors cause urinary blockage.

Usual symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in starting/stopping urination
  • Increase in frequency of urination
  • Pain while urinating
  • Diminished urinary stream

Occurrence of these symptoms also occurs in men with benign enlargement of the prostate, a more common affliction. A physician is needed to rule out cancer in this case and provide treatment in either case.

Diagnosis
Your doctor will perform a detailed medical interview and physical exam. As part of the exam, a digital rectal examination will be performed. Men with swelling, asymmetry, or nodularity of the prostate will require further diagnostic studies. Many symptoms of prostate cancer can indicate a variety of afflictions; so undergoing further testing is usually required to pinpoint the exact illness.

Other blood tests may include complete blood cell count (CBC), hepatic transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, and BUN and creatinine.

Treatment
Prostate cancer treatments are usually effective in most men. A patient’s treatment will be tailored to his individual case.

Treatment for localized prostate cancer includes:
Active surveillance
Radical prostatectomy
Radiation therapy
Cryotherapy and HIFU

Treatment for advanced disease includes:
Hormonal therapy
Chemotherapy

Prognosis
As with any cancer, the prognosis for prostate cancer depends on the degree and stage of the cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 92% of men with prostate cancer survive at least 5 years. Early diagnosis is crucial for curing prostate cancer. If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms, see a physician today.

Resources
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Prostate Nomogram
Prostate Cancer Education Council
Prostate Cancer Foundation
US TOO International