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Prostate Cancer Treatment

Prostate Cancer TreatmentMost often there are no early prostate cancer symptoms. Prostate cancer basically is a malignant tumor which begins within the prostate gland. Some of these grow extremely slowly & do not cause any problems or symptoms for years together. However prostate cancer cells make excessive amounts of protein called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)which is also found in men with various other prostate conditions including BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Quite unusual, unlike other cancers, many prostate tumors do not spread to other regions of the body from prostate. Nevertheless, when they do through a process called metastasis, they cause pain, fatigue & other symptoms of cancer. Common prostate cancer symptoms include hormonal therapy, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy. Quite often doctors recommend ‘watchful waiting’ in elderly patients. When men develop prostate cancer later in life, they generally do not cause symptoms or shorten the period of life, therefore do not require any aggressive treatments. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is one of the most common type of cancer found in American men.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate is a gland within the male reproductive system normally making most of the semen which carry sperms. It is a walnut sized gland located beneath bladder & surrounding the upper part of urethra. This slow growing cancer causes no symptoms until it reaches the advanced stage. But once they begin to grow & quickly spreading to other regions can be dangerous. If diagnosed in early stages & contained within the prostate gland, they can be effectively treated with good chances for survival. It is however incurable if it has spread beyond prostate to bones, lymph nodes & lungs. With advances in treatments, most men with widespread prostate cancer can expect to live for five years or more. Even some men with advanced prostate cancer are found to live normal lives & die of another cause like heart disease.

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

A couple of initial tests are normally utilized to diagnose prostate cancer in absence of symptoms. Digital rectal exam is one where a doctor feels the prostate gland through rectum to find hard, lumpy nodule mass. Other method is a blood test which is used to detect PSA or prostate-specific antigen. In combination, they two tests can effectively detect abnormalities which suggest prostate cancer. But then these two exams are not perfect. While the digital rectal exam will only assess the back portion of prostate gland, many men with mildly elevated PSA do not have prostate cancer or quite a few men with prostate cancer can show normal levels of PSA. Confirmed diagnosis is only possible when prostate cells can be observed in biopsy under microscope. For this a small sample of tissue is taken from prostate for testing & evaluation. Doctors will also look for changes in patient’s pattern of urinating.

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Causes of Prostate Cancer

Mainly affecting older men, about 80% of prostate cancer cases are in men over 65 years of age. Moreover, men with family history are more likely to get prostate cancer. Although medical science does not know the real cause of prostate cancer, but diet does contribute to risk. Meat for one, as cooked in higher temperatures produce cancer causing substances which affect prostate. Therefore this type of cancer is common in countries where meat & dairy products are largely used. Hormones also play a key role as eating fats raise testosterone in body which speed the growth of prostate cancer. Some occupational hazards causing prostate cancer include battery manufacturers, welders, rubber workers & workers who are frequently exposed to metal cadmium. While exercise can be a deterrent, some drugs which lower the risk of prostate cancer include finasteride, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, triglyceride-lowering drugs & cholesterol-lowering drugs. Including certain foods in diet like soybean products, tomato sauce & vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower & broccoli also help reduce risk of developing prostate cancer.

Signs & Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Signs & symptoms of prostate cancer are usually detected in the later stages. These include –

  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Need to strain to empty bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in Urine
  • Urge to frequently urinate at night
  • Blood in seminal fluid
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Sitting discomfort caused by enlarged prostrate

Some other benign conditions like BPH of prostate can also cause similar symptoms. Urinary symptoms can also be caused urinary tract infections & other conditions, while some men with prostate cancer may not show any of these symptoms.

In cases where cancer has spread beyond prostate gland, the following symptoms may often be seen.

  • Pain in back, shoulders, thigh, hips & within other bones
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight-loss

Palliative care, symptom management or supportive care is an integral part of cancer treatment. Talk to the doctor about any of these symptoms you experience, including any new signs or change of symptoms.

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Types of Prostate Cancer

Almost 90% of prostate cancers are a type called Acinar Adenocarcinoma. This starts from prostate gland cells. While many of these cancers grow very slowly & are unlikely to spread, there are other variants of adenocarcinoma like colloid, foamy, atrophic & signet ring carcinoma which are also treated as the acinar adenocarcinoma.

Rare Types of Prostate Cancer

  • Ductal Adenocarcinoma
  • Sarcomas &Sarcomatoid Cancers
  • Small Cell Cancer
  • Carcinoid
  • Squamous Cell Cancer
  • Transitional Cell or Urothelial Cancer

Ductal Adenocarcinoma starts in cells which line the ducts of prostate gland. These tend to grow & spread quickly, therefore mostly display advanced stages of prostate cancer when they are diagnosed.

Stages of Prostate Cancer

Staging describes the location of cancer, where all it has spread & whether it is affecting other areas of the body. Diagnostic tests are required to evaluate cancer stage, & therefore will not be complete until all tests have finished. Staging for prostate cancer will find out if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Staging helps doctors decide the kind of treatment which is most suitable for the patient. It can also predict prognosis or chances of recovery. There are two types of staging for prostate cancer.

  • Clinical Stage is based on results of tests done prior to surgery. This includes CT scans or MRI scans, bone scans, X-rays, DRE & Biopsy. While MRI scans, CT scans, bone scans & X-rays may not always be needed, they are recommended basing upon the level of serum PSA & the size of cancer, including volume, grade & clinical stage.
  • Pathologic Stage is normally based on information derived during surgery, including laboratory results of prostate tissue removed during surgery. Quite often, prostate surgery includes removal of entire prostate gland along with some lymph nodes.

Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

No single prostate cancer treatment is right for every man. Some typical treatment options available for prostate cancer include –

  • Hormone Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Watchful Waiting
  • Proton Beam Radiation Therapy
  • High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
  • Cryotherapy or Cryosurgery
  • Bisphosphonate Therapy
  • Biologic Therapy

Prostate Cancer Treatments in India

India offers all types of affordable prostate cancer treatments for patients from all around the world. IndianMedTrip healthcare consultants are associated with the best hospitals in the country providing a variety of cancer treatments including prostate cancer. Offering both surgical & nonsurgical options for prostate cancer, IndianMedTrip medical tourism experts will be glad please to provide a customized cost considerate package which includes an exotic vacation at a destination of your choice within the Indian subcontinent.

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