Sunday, September 25, 2022

Can You Feel If You Have Prostate Cancer

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As men get older their prostate gland enlarges. It isn’t normally cancer. But instead a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia . BPH is when the prostate gland grows and presses on the urethra. The urethra is the tube that empties out urine from the bladder.

BPH does not develop into cancer. But you can have an enlarged prostate at the same time as having areas in the prostate gland that contain cancer cells.

See your doctor if you have any of the changes described here.

The changes don’t mean that you have cancer but it is important to get them checked so your doctor can help with you cope with them.

British Columbia Specific Information

Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate gland, which is a gland that produces the milky liquid found in semen. Patients with low-risk prostate cancer have a 10-year cancer survival rate of over 99%.

You are considered a low-risk patient if you have a PSA value that is equal or less than 10 nanograms per millilitre , a Gleason score that is equal or less than 6, and your cancer stage is T1c/T2a. PSA is your prostate specific antigen measured by a blood test, the Gleason score indicates how aggressive the cancer is by looking at tissue biopsy results, and the cancer stage describes how much the cancer has spread.

Active surveillance has been developed to allow for careful management of men with low-risk prostate cancer. For more information, visit BC Cancer Agency – Prostate.

You may want to have a say in this decision, or you may simply want to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Either way, this information will help you understand what your choices are so that you can talk to your doctor about them.

Questions About Fatigue To Ask Your Doctor Or Nurse

You may find it helpful to keep a note of any questions you have to take to your next appointment.

  • Is my prostate cancer treatment likely to cause fatigue?
  • How long might my fatigue last?
  • What can I do to improve or manage my fatigue?
  • What physical activity is suitable for me?
  • Is there a local support group for men with prostate cancer-related fatigue?
  • How can I access a local exercise programme?
  • What other support is available to me?
  • Who can I speak to for advice about work?

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What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Prostate Cancer

Because prostate cancer tends to grow slowly, most men die from something other than the disease. Early detection is key to better outcomes. Almost all men 97% to 98% diagnosed with localized cancer that hasnt spread outside of the prostate live at least five years after diagnosis. When metastatic cancer has spread outside of the gland, one-third of men continue to survive after five years.

Staging Of Prostate Cancer

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer in men?

Doctors will use the results of your prostate examination, biopsy and scans to identify the “stage” of your prostate cancer . The stage of the cancer will determine which types of treatments will be necessary.

A widely used method of staging is a number staging system. The stages are:

  • Stage 1 the cancer is very small and completely within the prostate gland
  • Stage 2 the cancer is within the prostate gland, but is larger
  • Stage 3 the cancer has spread from the prostate and may have grown into the tubes that carry semen
  • Stage 4 the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes or another part of the body, including the bladder, rectum or bones about 20-30% of cases are diagnosed at this stage

If prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of survival are generally good. About 90% of men diagnosed at stages 1 or 2 will live at least five more years and 65-90% will live for at least 10 more years.

If you are diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer, you have a 70-80% of chance of living for at least five more years.

However, if you are diagnosed when your prostate cancer has reached stage 4, there is only a 30% chance you will live for at least five more years.

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How To Prevent Prostate Cancer

According to Mayo Clinic, theres no tried-and-tested way to prevent prostate cancer but steps can be taken reduce your risk of prostate cancer.

There is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet thats low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may contribute to a lower risk of prostate cancer, notes the health site.

Obesity has also been associated with prostate cancer risk so it is important to control your weight.

You can do this by reducing the number of calories you eat each day and increasing the amount of exercise you do, explained Mayo Clinic.

Studies also suggest exercising is directly associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer and provides additional health benefits, such as slashing your risk of heart disease.

When To See A Doctor

Consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms discussed on this page particularly if they have been going on for a while. You will need a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause, which may or may not be prostate cancer.

Its important to understand that other diseases or disorders can share these same symptoms. Benign prostatic hyperplasia , also called enlargement of the prostate, and are quite common. Men with these benign conditions can experience symptoms more often and more severely than men with prostate cancer.

Erectile dysfunction is relatively common, especially as one ages, and can also have causes unrelated to prostate cancer, such as smoking or cardiovascular disease. Experiencing a lower amount of fluid during ejaculation can be related to something as simple as diet or dehydration.

Its important to keep track of your symptoms, determining whats normal or abnormal for your own body. If you are worried about a particular symptom, or if its interfering with a relationship, you should discuss your concerns with your primary care physician.

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Fatigue Is The Most Common Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, bone marrow transplantation, and immunotherapy can cause fatigue. Fatigue is also a common symptom of some types of cancer. People with cancer describe fatigue as feeling tired, weak,worn-out, heavy, slow, or that they have no energy or get-up-and-go. Fatigue in people with cancer may be called cancer fatigue, cancer-related fatigue, and cancer treatment-related fatigue.

If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Breast

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If you have radiation to the breast, it can affect your heart or lungs as well causing other side effects.

Short-term side effects

Radiation to the breast can cause:

  • Skin irritation, dryness, and color changes
  • Breast soreness
  • Breast swelling from fluid build-up

To avoid irritating the skin around the breast, women should try to go without wearing a bra whenever they can. If this isnt possible, wear a soft cotton bra without underwires.

If your shoulders feel stiff, ask your cancer care team about exercises to keep your shoulder moving freely.

Breast soreness, color changes, and fluid build-up will most likely go away a month or 2 after you finish radiation therapy. If fluid build-up continues to be a problem, ask your cancer care team what steps you can take. See Lymphedema for more information.

Long-term changes to the breast

Radiation therapy may cause long-term changes in the breast. Your skin may be slightly darker, and pores may be larger and more noticeable. The skin may be more or less sensitive and feel thicker and firmer than it was before treatment. Sometimes the size of your breast changes it may become larger because of fluid build-up or smaller because of scar tissue. These side effects may last long after treatment.

After about a year, you shouldnt have any new changes. If you do see changes in breast size, shape, appearance, or texture after this time, tell your cancer care team about them right away.

Less common side effects in nearby areas

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Are There Complications Of Prostate Cancer And Treatment

Treatments can cause side effects, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction: More than 3 in every 4 men have problems with getting and keeping an erection after surgery. However, this can be minimised using nerve-sparing surgery techniques. Erectile dysfunction is also common after radiation therapy and ADT. There are effective treatments for erection problems.
  • Poor bladder control : 5% to 10% of men have problems with urine leakage within one year after prostate removal.
  • Urinary urgency: Radiation therapy can cause damage around the prostate, making you feel like going to the toilet more often.

Men who take ADT may also experience a reduced sex drive and hormone-related effects such as hot flushes, tiredness and sweating, loss of body hair and osteoporosis. ADT can also result in reduced muscle strength, an increased risk of getting heart disease and memory loss.

What Are My Treatment Options With Advanced Prostate Cancer

The treatments your doctor recommends will depend on factors specific to you, from your overall health to how advanced your cancer was when it was first diagnosed.

Many men receive ADT, a type of hormone therapy, which deprives the body of the male hormones that the cancer needs to keep growing.

For most men, however, hormone therapy stops working at some point. Alternatives to hormone therapy were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018, and Tagawa often starts men on these therapies as soon as theyre diagnosed with bone metastases. Other treatment options may be available through clinical trials.

In addition, chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy as well as radiation treatments, like external beam radiation, which directly target bone problems may be considered. Major cancer centers, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, have teams of prostate cancer specialists, as well as sophisticated radiation and other treatment equipment consolidated in one place, which can help with the coordination of care.

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Not Sleeping Well Causes Fatigue

Some people with cancer are not able to get enough sleep. The following problems related to sleep may cause fatigue:

  • Waking up during the night.
  • Going to sleep at different times every night.
  • Sleeping duringthe day and less at night.
  • Being inactive during the day.
  • The time of day that cancer treatment is given.

Poor sleep affects people in different ways. For example, the time of day that fatigue is worse may be different. Some people with cancer who have trouble sleeping may feel more fatigue in the morning. Others may have severe fatigue in both the morning and the evening. People with cancer who are inactive during the day, have restless sleep, or who have obesity may have higher levels of fatigue.

Even in people with cancer who have poor sleep, fixing sleep problems does not always improve fatigue. A lack of sleep may not be the cause of the fatigue. See the PDQ summary on Sleep Disorders for more information.

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How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

What is prostate cancer?  Prostap DCS

There are several tests your doctor may perform to check your prostate:

  • Digital rectal examination : Your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel the prostates size and check for anything unusual.
  • Prostate Specific Antigen test: A simple blood test to measure a protein produced by your prostate. A high PSA might be a sign of prostate cancer, or another condition.
  • MRI scan: A detailed scan of your prostate to help identify signs of cancer.

While these tests are helpful, a prostate biopsy is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer. A urologist, who your doctor will refer you to, removes some cells from your prostate using a thin, hollow needle. The cells are then examined under a microscope to check for cancer.

Confirmed prostate cancer is graded on a scale of 1 to 5 , based on how likely the cancer is to grow and spread to the rest of the body. Grade groups 4 to 5 are considered high risk.

An older system of grading, known as the Gleason score, grades the cancer from 1 to 10. A Gleason score of 8 to 10 is considered high risk.

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Testing Options For Prostate Cancer

There is no one age for prostate cancer testing, but the American Cancer Society makes recommendations about screenings. According to the ACS, patients in any of these groups should consider asking their doctor about testing:

  • Men age 50 or older who have an average risk of prostate cancer and a life expectancy of at least 10 more years
  • Men age 45 or older with a high risk, including African-American men and those with a first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65
  • Men age 40 or older who have a higher risk, such as more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age

Could Your Symptoms Be Prostate Cancer 11 Signs You Might Have Prostate Problems

Lets face it: Many of us put off seeing a doctor until things get worrisome. But for your own good and for the sake of the people you love, its important to take charge of your health. And knowing about prostate problems should be high on your priority list.

Prostate cancer often has not symptoms in the early stages, and those that do appear early namely problems with urination can mimic those caused by benign conditions associated with aging. What should you be on the look out for?

Lets face it: Many of us put off seeing a doctor until things get worrisome. But for your own good and for the sake of the people you love, its important to take charge of your health. And knowing about prostate problems should be high on your priority list.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men , and the second leading cause of cancer death. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 161,000 American men were diagnosed in 2017 it was the cause of nearly 27,000 deaths that year.

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Identify Your Prostate Cancer

To this point, much of what we have discussed is fairly standard and many endocrinologists and general physicians are familiar with the delivery of testosterone treatment to men without prostate cancer. The trickier situation, as noted above, is in men with active or previously treated prostate cancer. After all, testosterone reduction therapy is one of the most popular ways to counteract prostate cancer. How, therefore, can the administration of additional testosterone in men with prostate cancer not be harmful? The answer is that the type of prostate cancer needs to be clearly defined.

Active prostate cancer basically can be divided into two broad categoriesthe harmless types , and the more consequential types, which are graded from seven through ten. Additional factors such as PSA and the results of various scans may also affect decision making. In most cases, evaluation by a prostate cancer expert will probably be necessary to make a final determination about the safety of giving testosterone treatment to someone who has a history of prostate cancer.

Tests For Prostate Cancer

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There is no single test for prostate cancer. All the tests used to help diagnose the condition have benefits and risks, which your doctor should discuss with you.

The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are blood tests, a physical examination of your prostate and a biopsy.

The blood test, known as a prostate-specific antigen test, measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer. Men are not routinely offered PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer, as results can be unreliable.

This is because the PSA blood test is not specific to prostate cancer. PSA can be raised due to a large non-cancerous growth of the prostate , a urinary tract infection or inflammation of the prostate, as well as prostate cancer. Raised PSA levels also cannot tell a doctor whether a man has life-threatening prostate cancer or not. This means a raised PSA can lead to unnecessary tests and treatment.

However, you can ask to be tested for prostate cancer once the benefits and risks have been explained to you.

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Should I Make Any Lifestyle Changes Including In My Diet Or Physical Activity

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active, can help your overall health. These lifestyle changes can also have a positive effect for men with bone metastases, Tagawa says. Both diet and exercise, he says, are things that are under a mans direct control.

A healthy lifestyle can help you better manage side effects from treatment as well. Try setting small but realistic goals for yourself when it comes to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.

While no single food is likely to have a benefit for prostate cancer, smart food choices may help you feel better day to day. Start by cutting out foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and added flavorings and preservatives.

If youre not sure which healthy foods to choose, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. This specialist can help you develop a meal plan that includes foods that offer the best chance of slowing the cancers growth and keeping you as healthy as possible.

As an oncologist, Tagawa says he concentrates on treating the cancer itself, but hes aware that many of the men he sees with advanced prostate cancer are older and more likely than younger men to have health problems that can benefit from diet and exercise.

And if youre on hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about investing in some weights or elastic resistance bands to support your bone strength too.

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