Prostate Specific Antigen Testing
Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein made by the cells in your prostate. Your PSA levels can be measured using a blood test and give an indication of your prostate health.
A PSA test isnt a test for cancer. Higher levels of PSA might indicate prostate cancer, but a high reading could also be caused by other conditions. It is also possible to have low level readings and have prostate cancer. This means that a PSA test isnt enough to definitively diagnose or rule out prostate cancer. Your PSA levels can vary, so your doctor might run this test a few times to compare your results and help determine your risk of prostate cancer.
What Are The Best Treatments For Prostate Cancer
Surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapylots of treatment options exist for prostate cancer. And, in some cases, you may need no treatment at all. Whats right for you will depend several factors:
Your PSA level
Your Gleason score
Your current health and comorbidities
The stage of your cancer, particularly whether it remains confined to your prostate or has spread to other parts of your body
Now, lets take a look at the different possibilities:
How Stress Can Affect Your Overall Health
Psychreg on Health Psychology
Stress is a normal part of life. The human body is designed to experience stress and react accordingly. However, it can have serious consequences if a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation. As a result, the individual may feel overworked and develop stress-related tension. This unrelenting strain on the body may contribute to additional health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or certain mental disorders.
According to BetterHelp, if you frequently feel frazzled and overwhelmed, there are strategies that can help you to bring your nervous system back into balance. Protect yourself by learning how to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress and take the necessary steps to manage it. Read on to learn how stress can affect your overall health.
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When Cells Listen To The Wrong Hormones Prostate Cancer Turnsdeadly
Prostate cancer escapes control andturns deadly when the malignant cells start listening to the wronghormones, Stanford researchers have discovered. The team ledby professor of medicine David Feldman, MD found that,because of a mutation, the stress hormones cortisone and cortisolcan trigger the growth of later-stage prostate cancer cells. Theresults explain why prostate cancer eventually becomes imperviousto a commonly used treatment.
Early in the course of the disease,the growth of prostate cancer cells is under the control oftestosterone and related hormones collectively known asandrogens. These hormones deliver a strong message to a prostatecancer cell: Be fruitful and multiply. As they reproduce, the cellsspill out a protein marker called prostate specific antigen, orPSA. High levels of PSA in the blood detectable with a widelyused test are often the first sign of prostatecancer.
To check this rampant growth,doctors may resort to castrating the patient eithersurgically or chemically to slash blood androgen levels.Though it sounds extreme, the treatment usually works as long asthe tumor remains “androgen-dependent,” or requires androgens togrow, Feldman said. “In the absence of androgens,androgen-dependent cancers usually shrink, the patients do well,and PSA levels fall,” he said.
How Does Stress Affect The Prostate
Stress and BPH symptoms can seem like a vicious cycle: the worse your BPH symptoms become, the more stressed you feel, and equally, the more stressed you become, the worse your enlarged prostate symptoms appear. Understanding the link, and finding effective ways of tackling stress can do wonders for your BPH.
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About Half Of Men Older Than 50 Have An Enlarged Prostate Here Are Some Of The Basic Facts You Need To Know About This Common Condition
As men age, many experience prostate gland enlargement. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia .
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine out of the body. When the prostate gets bigger, it can squeeze or partially block the urethra, which leads to problems urinating.
BPH is quite common in older men. In fact, the condition impacts about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60. For men 80 and older, the prevalence of BPH is approximately 90%, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
What Factors Can Affect Your Psa Levels
Since prostate-specific antigen is an enzyme made by healthy prostate cells, it is normal to find some in every mans bloodstream. However, PSA levels vary from person to person, as there are several factors that can increase them.
Thus, a high PSA level does not necessarily indicate the presence of prostate cancer. There are other things to consider, such as your physical characteristics, lifestyle, health, or recent medical procedures.
Your age is an important factor. PSA levels over 2.5 ng/mL would be cause for concern for men under 50. For men over 60 years of age, however, PSA levels under 4.5 ng/mL are considered normal. The amount of naturally occurring PSA in your blood gets higher as you age. Furthermore, people of certain ethnic groups may have naturally higher PSA levels.
Way of life
Certain activities are not recommended before taking a PSA test. If you exercise vigorously less than 48 hours before your PSA test, you could experience elevated PSA levels. This is especially common in people who ride bicycles for extended periods of time.
Anal sex or prostate stimulation within a week of a PSA test could lead to a high PSA number. Moreover, although not proven, ejaculation in the 48 hours before a PSA test could lead to a “false positive” test.
Any operation in the area near your prostate could cause a temporary spike in PSA levels.
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Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
CPPS is the most common type of prostatitis around 19 out of every 20 men with prostatitis have it. You might also hear it called chronic non-bacterial prostatitis, chronic abacterial prostatitis or prostate pain syndrome. Chronic means long-lasting.
Men with CPPS usually have symptoms for three months or longer. Even after treatment, you may still have prostatitis for a long time. It might come and go, causing occasional episodes of severe pain, sometimes known as flare-ups.
What causes it?
Nobody knows for certain what causes CPPS. Unlike other types of prostatitis it isnt usually caused by a bacterial infection. There could be a number of causes, which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat.
There are also a number of things that might trigger it, including:
- urine getting into the prostate
- previous infections in or around the prostate
- an infection that doesnt show up in tests
- problems with nerves, so that they send pain signals to the brain even when theres nothing physically wrong
- stress, anxiety or depression
- problems with the pelvic floor muscles .
Some research shows a link between stress, anxiety and depression and CPPS. But this doesnt mean that CPPS is all in your head. If youre feeling stressed or depressed, this may cause physical symptoms that trigger CPPS, or make symptoms worse.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The main function of the prostate is to make a fluid that goes into semen. Prostate fluid is essential for a mans fertility. The gland surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder. The bladder neck is the area where the urethra joins the bladder. The bladder and urethra are parts of the lower urinary tract. The prostate has two or more lobes, or sections, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue, and it is in front of the rectum, just below the bladder. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. In men, the urethra also carries semen out through the penis.
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What Are Clinical Trials And Are They Right For You
Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out if clinical trials are right for you.
A Link Between Stress And Cancer
A research team at Ohio State University found a link between stress and the spread of cancer cells in many types of cancer.
This includes prostate cancer. Their research shows that stress triggers a master switch gene in the body known as ATF3, which is expressed in all types of cells as a response to stressful conditions.
This gene usually causes normal and benign cells to self-destruct if they have been irrevocably damaged. But the research suggests that cancer cells coax the immune system to release ATF3 in order for them to travel around the body and infect other areas.
With stressful conditions being the most likely trigger for the release of this gene, the research shows that stress can cause cancer to worsen and even spread.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that stress can fuel tumor growth. Researchers from the Dalian Medical University in China have located a key mechanism, which chronic stress triggers. This is believed to fuel the growth of cancer stem cells that tumors originate from.
More specifically, the researchers have studied this mechanism in mouse models of breast cancer.
Their findings reported in The Journal of Clinical Investigation point the finger at the hormone epinephrine, but they also suggest a strategy to counteract the effects of stress mechanisms on cancer cells.
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Symptoms Of Benign Prostate Enlargement
The prostate is a small gland, located in the pelvis, between the penis and bladder.
If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through.
This can affect how you pee and may cause:
- difficulty starting to pee
- a frequent need to pee
- difficulty fully emptying your bladder
In some men, the symptoms are mild and do not need treatment. In others, they can be very troublesome.
Does Masturbation Improve Prostate Health
ByRajgopal Venkataraman | Submitted On July 23, 2008
Masturbation has been long associated with numerous myths and it is often a taboo subject in many parts of the world. It is as if humans are meant to derive pleasure from others and not on their own!
The world of sex has undergone paradigm shifts and masturbation is today viewed as a channel for stress relief, a tool for sexual stimulation and an outlet for a better prostate health. There is a definite risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections during sexual intercourse and masturbation is free from these dangerous consequences of sexual intercourse.
Hitherto masturbation was wrongly associated with an enlarged prostate. Research has shown a positive correlation between increased frequency of ejaculations and good prostate health. The prostate contributes to a major share of the volume of the semen. Animal studies have shown that carcinogens found in cigarette smoke and environmental toxins concentrate in the prostatic fluid and the more often one flushes out the prostate gland, seminal vesicles and the ejaculatory ducts the less are the chances of cancer of the prostate.
So go ahead, please yourself! Preventing prostate cancer and prostate enlargements can be a truly pleasurable experience!
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Effects Of Restraint Stress On Hypothalamic Neuroendocrine Pathways
Brain tissue sections containing the PVH were immunohistochemically stained for Fos as a marker of neuronal activation following restraint stress and recovery. The number of Fos-expressing cells increased significantly following acute stress when compared to control . This effect habituated with repeated stress exposure, as counts of Fos-positive neurons in the PVH in repeatedly stressed rats were not different from those seen in Con rats. The 14-day recovery period post-stress ameliorated the Fos response in Acu rats, such that the number of Fos-positive neurons returned control levels.
Stress-induced expression of Fos in the PVH. Representative photomicrographs are provided for PVH sections from each treatment group immunohistochemically stained for Fos. The bar graph displays quantitative results of the total number of Fos-positive cells in Control , Acutely stressed , Repeatedly Stressed , Control plus Recovery Acute plus Recovery , Repeated plus Recovery , and Repeated plus Recovery plus Acute animals. Bars are Mean ± SEM. n = 3 for each group, except Rep where n = 4. Symbols: *, significantly different from Con , significantly different from Acu
How Are Prostate Cancer Stages Determined
Once all testing has been completed, your doctor will tell you the stage of your cancer, or how much it has progressed and whether it has spread beyond your prostate. The stage will help your medical team decide which treatment is best for you. The higher the stage, the more advanced your cancer. The most common way to stage prostate cancer is the TNM system, developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer, which hinges on three important factors:
T : How much of your prostate the tumor affects
N : Whether the cancer has spread beyond your prostate to nearby lymph nodes
M : Whether your cancer has metastasized, or spread far beyond your prostate to your bones, to nearby organs such as your bladder or rectum, or to more distant organs like your lungs, liver, or brain.
The TNM system also includes your PSA level and your Grade Group, based on your Gleason score. With your stage designated, which is labeled in a range of T1 to T4 , a treatment plan can be developed.
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Figure : The Prostate And Its Nerves
A rich network of nerves surrounds the prostate and may explain the link between stress and prostate-related symptoms. Responding to adrenaline, muscles may tense and contract, compressing the urethra and resulting in a greater volume of residual urine.
The sympathetic nervous system may also play a role in the link between hypertension and symptoms of BPH, according to a report from Dutch scientists. Since hypertension may indicate increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, high blood pressure and stress could share a common mechanism for increasing the severity of BPH.
The MTOPS reports raise interesting questions, but they do have limitations. Since the men already had BPH when they entered the study, it might be hard to detect long-term factors that could promote BPH. And since some patients were already on BPH medication at the time of the study, the possible effects of stress might have been blunted.
Bph Treatment And Diagnosis
The prevalence of BPH diagnosis is far-reaching with men typically seeking out BPH treatment long after symptoms have become bothersome and disruptive to their lives. In some cases, due to chronic untreated BPH symptoms, irreversible damage has been done to the bladder.
Dont add even more stress to an already stressful condition. Get the best BPH treatment options in Texas at the Austin Urology Institute and get back to your life. For more information or to make an appointment with a provider call us at 694-8888 or drop us a note.
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In Men Over : Bph May Be The Cause Of High Psa
BPH is the most common prostate problem in men over age 50. It may not need to be treated unless its causing frequent or difficult urination.
Your primary care doctor may be able to tell the difference between BPH and prostate cancer by doing a digital rectal exam, but commonly this will require evaluation by a urologist and further testing, such as a biopsy or imaging studies.
How To Fend Off Stress And Bph
Studies have found that men who had experienced recent stress had more difficulty emptying their bladders than those who were not stressed. Additionally, men who had the most stress had more severe BPH symptoms than those who did not. This makes managing stress another way to help alleviate the symptoms of BPH. Below are seven simple techniques that can be easily incorporated into daily life to release stress and help ward off the adrenaline rush that makes BPH symptoms worse.
Exercise helps to burn off the hormones released during stress or stressful events. Exercises that combine physical cardiovascular activity and relaxation are especially beneficial. Twenty to thirty minutes a day of walking, yoga, tai chi, qigong or a light jog can do the trick and reduce BPH symptoms by 25%. Another added benefit is weight loss which is an overall win-win for your health.
2. Avoid the binge
When stressed, many will turn to caffeine, alcohol, food or nicotine to relax. Not only are these methods ineffective in reducing stress, but they can also actually cause MORE stress and cause a worsening of BPH symptoms alone. Obesity has also been linked to BPH while smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with BPH. Both alcohol and caffeine will irritate the bladder and the prostate temporarily increasing BPH symptoms.
3. Work on your breath
4. Train your mind to focus on your body
5. Learn to meditate
6. Chill Out
7. Strengthen your core
Additional Types Of Therapy For Prostate Cancer
A few other treatments exist for advanced prostate cancer or prostate cancer that has stopped responding well to other forms of hormone therapy. They are usually taken with one of the therapies discussed above.
Chemotherapy. For cases of very aggressive prostate cancer, or when hormone therapy isnât effective, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy. This class of anti-cancer drug, taken by mouth or injected, fights cancers that have spread beyond the prostate to other parts of your body. The schedule of your treatment will depend on the specific drugs you require, but chemotherapy is typically given in cycles that last two to three weeks. Once you finish a cycle, the next cycle begins. The length of your treatment hinges on how well it works and whether you can cope with the side effects. Chemotherapy drugs are used to help you live longer. They rarely cure prostate cancer, according to the ACS, and can cause unpleasant side effects, including hair loss, nausea, and fatigue.
Immunotherapy. This type of treatment harnesses the power of your immune system to fight cancer. While it has been used successfully in several types of cancer, it hasnt proved as effective in prostate canceryet. Researchers are working to discover the best ways to incorporate immune therapy into prostate cancer care, particularly for men whose cancer no longer responds to hormone treatment. In 2019, more than 100 such studies were underway.