Living With Prostate Cancer
As;prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, you can live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment.
Nevertheless, it can have an effect on your life. As well as causing physical problems such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence, a diagnosis of prostate cancer can understandably make you feel anxious or depressed.
You may find it beneficial to talk about the condition with your family, friends, a family doctor and other men with prostate cancer.
Financial support is also available if prostate cancer reduces your ability to work.
Read more about living with prostate cancer
Pain In Your Hips And Upper Thighs
In addition swelling in your lower body, pain in your hips or upper thighs can also be potential symptoms of prostate cancer, according to Robert J. Cornell, MD, a urologist in Houston, Texas. And for other discomforts you should address with your doctor, check out 25 Common Pains You Should Never Ignore.
Blood And Lymphatic Vessels
The prostate receives blood through the inferior vesical artery, internal pudendal artery, and middle rectal arteries. These vessels enter the prostate on its outer posterior surface where it meets the bladder, and travel forward to the apex of the prostate. Both the inferior vesical and the middle rectal arteries often arise together directly from the internal iliac arteries. On entering the bladder, the inferior vesical artery splits into a urethral branch, supplying the urethral prostate; and a capsular branch, which travels around the capsule and has smaller branches which perforate into the prostate.
The veins of the prostate form a network the prostatic venous plexus, primarily around its front and outer surface. This network also receives blood from the deep dorsal vein of the penis, and is connected via branches to the vesical plexus and internal pudendal veins. Veins drain into the vesical and then internal iliac veins.
The lymphatic drainage of the prostate depends on the positioning of the area. Vessels surrounding the vas deferens, some of the vessels in the seminal vesicle, and a vessel from the posterior surface of the prostate drain into the external iliac lymph nodes. Some of the seminal vesicle vessels, prostatic vessels, and vessels from the anterior prostate drain into internal iliac lymph nodes. Vessels of the prostate itself also drain into the obturator and sacral lymph nodes.
Microscopic glands of the prostate
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Gene And Protein Expression
About 20,000 protein coding genes are expressed in human cells and almost 75% of these genes are expressed in the normal prostate. About 150 of these genes are more specifically expressed in the prostate with about 20 genes being highly prostate specific. The corresponding specific proteins are expressed in the glandular and secretory cells of the prostatic gland and have functions that are important for the characteristics of semen. Some of the prostate specific proteins, such as the prostate specific antigen , and the Prostatic acid phosphatase.
In the developing embryo, at the hind end lies an inpouching called the cloaca. This, over the fourth to the seventh week, divides into a urogenital sinus and the beginnings of the anal canal, with a wall forming between these two inpouchings called the urorectal septum. The urogenital sinus divides into three parts, with the middle part forming the urethra; the upper part is largest and becomes the urinary bladder, and the lower part then changes depending on the biological sex of the embryo.
So What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Unfortunately, there usually arent any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. Thats why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.
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In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor for an evaluation if you experience any of the following:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.
That said: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter whats most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.
Download or order your free copy of the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide now with COVID-19 Appendix.
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Important Information About The Prostate
The prostate is a golf-ball sized reproductive organ in males that surrounds the urethra. Its main purpose is making seminal fluid to assist in the fertilization of female eggs. As we mentioned, the prostate continues to grow throughout your entire life and can suffer from problems like benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostate cancer. Luckily, when prostate cancer is caught early, it has close to a 99% cure rate. However, this usually means that you will need to have either some or all of your prostate removed. Prostate cancer is extremely common and hundreds of thousands of prostate surgeries are performed every year.
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Prostate Cancer: Where Can You Find A Helping Hand
This is your one-stop source for information on prostate cancer. You can easily search for support groups, doctors, and clinical trials. And, your donation to the PCF funds prostate cancer research, with 84 cents of every dollar going toward their research mission.
PCRI focuses on improving the lives of prostate cancer patients and caregivers. We love that you can take a prostate cancer staging quiz to find out more about your prognosis. To take it, youll need to know the results of your PSA, biopsy, digital rectal exam, bone scan, and CT scan.
The American Cancer Society is considered the go-to source for reliable cancer information. Their site offers news releases, clinical trial opportunities, online support groups, and more. We especially like their Understanding Health Insurance page, which navigates you through the often complex process of utilizing health insurance for cancer treatments.
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What Is The Likelihood Of Prostate Cancer Spreading
Cancer behaves like a species competing for survival, similar to Darwinian evolution. More and more subclones of cancer emerge in the primary tumor. The more aggressive cells survive for a longer time and continue creating subclones.;
Among these, the most aggressive continue surviving. This is how the disease progresses into a more dangerous stage in every step.
Thus, the question is not if cancer will spread but when. All cancers may ultimately spread, but since prostate cancer tends to progress very slowly, older men usually dont live through this process.;
They may die for unrelated causes, especially if prostate cancer is diagnosed after age 70 years. Considering patients who die for unrelated reasons, extra-prostatic disease risk is very high .
Younger prostate cancer patients are more likely to live through the initial and intermediate stages. The younger you are at the moment of diagnosis, the more likely it is to experience metastasis. Youre giving cancer more time to reach that stage. It also depends on the genes involved in the process and your risk factors .
According to recent statistics, the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer is rising. The spread of this type of cancer is becoming more common with passing years to an alarming degree.;
What About Trans People
People assigned male at birth can develop prostate cancer whether they remain male or not.
Anyone assigned male at birth should speak to their doctor about screening for prostate cancer.
Knowing the stage of prostate cancer can help a person understand what to expect, and it will inform decisions about treatment. We list the stages below:
Stage 0: Precancerous cells are present, but they only affect a small area and are slow growing.
Localized : Cancer is only present in the prostate gland. Effective treatment is possible at this stage.
Regional : Cancer has spread to nearby tissues.
Distant : Cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or bones.
If a male has symptoms that may indicate prostate cancer, the doctor will likely:
- ask about symptoms
- ask about personal and medical history
- conduct a blood test to assess PSA levels
- carry out a urine test to look for other biomarkers
- carry out a physical examination, which may include a digital rectal exam
During a DRE, the doctor will check manually for any abnormalities of the prostate with their finger.
Learn more about prostate exams here.
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Tests Used To Check The Prostate
This first step lets your doctor hear and understand the “story” of your prostate concerns. You’ll be asked whether you have symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and how much they affect your lifestyle. Your personal medical history also includes any risk factors, pain, fever, or trouble passing urine. You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing.
Prognosis For Prostate Cancer
It is not possible for a doctor to predict the exact course of a disease, as it will depend on each person’s individual circumstances. However, your doctor may give you a prognosis, the likely outcome of the disease, based on the type of prostate cancer you have, the test results, the rate of tumour growth, as well as your age, fitness and medical history.
Prostate cancer often grows slowly and even more aggressive types tend to grow more slowly than other types of cancer. If diagnosed early, prostate cancer has one of the highest five year survival rates.;
Us Preventive Services Task Force Issues New Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
Prostate cancer is usually though not always a very slow-growing cancer that takes a long time to start affecting the body.
Most often, it only causes symptoms when it grows to pinch the urethra or invade the sphincter or other body parts.
In fact, some men with prostate cancer don’t show any signs or symptoms of their illness, the CDC notes.
Favorite Online Support Networks And Advocacy
PHEN is an organization geared toward African-American men a group that has the nations highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates. It offers support groups, survivor networks, and a monthly newsletter that features new treatments and clinical trials. Their annual Fathers Day Rally event takes place at churches nationwide.
Advanced Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Men with advanced prostate cancer may experience additional symptoms. Thats because the cancer has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, such as the bones or lymph nodes.
A wide range of treatment options are available for managing advanced cancer. These treatments kill cancer cells, but they may also help patients manage pain.
Signs of metastatic prostate cancer may include:
- Swelling in legs or pelvic area
- Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet
- Bone pain that persists or leads to fractures
The Symptom Overlap From An Enlarged Prostate And Prostate Cancer Are Nearly Identical As Far As Urine
Prostate cancer can masquerade as a benign enlarged prostate if the malignancy is still localized rather than spread.
First of all, the majority of patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have absolutely no symptoms, says Michael D. Lutz, MD, board certified urologist; Partner at Michigan Institute of Urology; President, MIU Mens Health Foundation.
The typical prostate cancer is diagnosed by the judicious use of the serum prostatic specific antigen blood test, continues Dr. Lutz.
Based upon this blood test result and a digital rectal examination, additional tests to confirm the diagnosis would be considered.
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Does Prostate Cancer Have Any Symptoms
Most men with early prostate cancer dont have any signs or symptoms.
One reason for this is the way the cancer grows. Youll usually only get early symptoms if the cancer grows near the tube you urinate through and presses against it, changing the way you urinate . But because prostate cancer usually starts to grow in a different part of the prostate, early prostate cancer doesnt often press on the urethra and cause symptoms.
If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an;enlarged prostate, or another health problem. But its still a good idea to get it checked out. Possible changes include:
- difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasnt emptied properly
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
- a sudden need to urinate you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet.
If prostate cancer breaks out of the prostate or spreads to other parts of the body , it can cause other symptoms, including:
- back pain, hip pain or pelvis pain
- problems getting or keeping an erection
- blood in the urine or semen
- unexplained weight loss.
These symptoms can all be caused by other health problems. But its still a good idea to tell your GP about any symptoms so they can find out whats causing them and make sure you get the right treatment, if you need it.
Soreness In The Groin
When prostate cancer spreads, its common for cancer cells to go to your lymph nodes and then move to more areas of your body. The lymph nodes are a network of glands that help your body filter fluids and fight infections.
There are several lymph nodes in your groin. These are the ones closest to your prostate, so its common for the cancer to spread to them first. Cancer cells prevent your lymph nodes from draining fluid and working properly. When this happens, your lymph nodes swell. As a result, you might experience pain or soreness in the area.
Why Does Prostate Cancer Spread
Medical treatment of metastatic prostate cancer is challenging and not appropriate for all patients. Luckily, prostate cancer is usually very slow to progress.;
Many patients will remain stagnant in a stage of localized prostate cancer. Others will continue rapidly, spreading locally and to other organs.;
Why is cancer progression so different among patients? Why does prostate cancer spread?
In this article, were covering the topic of prostate cancer metastasis. After considering the incidence and why it happens, we talk about prevention and how you know prostate cancer is spreading locally or to distant organs.
Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer From Spreading
The only 100% reliable way to prevent cancer from spreading is by taking it down while it is still localized. Other than that, we can only slow its progression or keep a careful look at it for any alarming sign.;
Some patients treat their prostate cancer with a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and other treatments.;
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Tests For Prostate Cancer
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 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.
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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