What Does The Prostate Do
The prostate is a male gland that releases prostate fluid, one of the components of semen.
The muscles of the prostate gland help propel this fluid into the urethra during ejaculation.
It is a muscular gland that is often described as walnut or small apricot-sized.
An enlarged prostate can be a sign of prostate cancer, the third biggest cancer killer.
Is Prostate Cancer Curable
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men, second only to skin cancer. Learning that one has any type of cancer isnt easy, but the first question on most patients minds after diagnosis is, is prostate cancer curable?
The short answer is yes, prostate cancer can be cured, when detected and treated early. The vast majority of prostate cancer cases are discovered in the early stages, making the tumors more likely to respond to treatment. Treatment doesnt always have to mean surgery or chemotherapy, either. Non-invasive radiation therapy can effectively treat prostate cancer in the case of Pasadena CyberKnife, radiosurgery treatment generally takes less than a week, and you can typically resume your normal activities the same day you receive treatment.
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How Is Each Condition Diagnosed
Youll see a specialist called a urologist to diagnose BPH or prostate cancer. Doctors use many of the same tests to diagnose both of these conditions.
- Prostate-specific antigen test:This blood test detects PSA, a protein your prostate gland makes. When your prostate grows, it produces more of this protein. A high PSA level can only tell your doctor that your prostate has grown. It cant tell for sure that you have BPH or prostate cancer. Youll need more tests to confirm the diagnosis.
- Digital rectal exam : Your doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. This test can show if your prostate is enlarged or abnormally shaped. Youll need more tests to find out if you have BPH or prostate cancer.
How To Prevent Prostate Cancer Naturally
Follow these prostate cancer prevention tips:
#1. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle ideally protects you from various diseases, including prostate cancer.
Hence, smoking and drinking should be avoided as much as one can do!
In fact, smoking is one of the major causes responsible for the widespread menace of cancer.
Hence its ideal to stay away from smoking.
And that is, obviously, independent of the fact whether celibacy can cause prostate cancer or not.
#2. Following a Proper Meal Plan
A healthy diet rich in fruits and veggies and low in refined foods is ideal for a healthy prostate.
It protects as well as promotes the healthy functioning of your gland.
According to experts, you can have a diet plan containing whole grains, fruits, veggies, tomatoes, and yogurt.
#3. Do Not Use Supplements
People usually prefer going for nutrient supplements or for supplements that boost performance.
But such supplements may have a negative impact on your glands increasing the risk of prostate cancer.
Hence, try taking foods rich in specific nutrients instead of supplements.
#4. Using Medicines Right
People often skip the medications or overdo them the wrong way.
Apart from this, it has also been seen that people take medicines without proper consultation.
For example, long usage of aspirin.
Such practices harm your glands.
#5. Have More Sex and Masturbate Less
Ejaculatory frequency has a controversial link with reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Most prostate cancers are found early, through screening. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:
- Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in the hips, back , chest , or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord
Most of these problems are more likely to be caused by something other than prostate cancer. For example, trouble urinating is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia , a non-cancerous growth of the prostate. Still, its important to tell your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Some men might need more tests to check for prostate cancer.
What Is The Controversy Surrounding Psa Screening
Using the PSA test to screen for prostate cancer may help to detect small tumors. But many of these tumors do not cause symptoms and will grow so slowly that they are unlikely to be life-threatening.
Overtreatment exposes us to potential complications and adverse effects. These include the inability to control urine flow, and loss of erections.
Another controversy surrounding prostate cancer screening, using the PSA test, is that it may give false-positive or false-negative results for prostate cancer. What that means is you may have an elevated PSA level, but no cancer is actually present.
A false-positive test result will only cause anxiety for you and your family and might lead to unnecessary medical procedures.
One study reveals that only about 25 percent of men who have a biopsy due to a high PSA level have prostate cancer. Consider this before the doctor opens up your prostate.
A false-negative PSA test result can also occur. PSA levels can be low even though you actually have prostate cancer. False-negative test results may give you false assurance.
So to sum up:
- High PSA levels do not always mean that you have prostate cancer.
- There are many factors to consider, along with your family history, to see how likely you are to have cancer.
- And if your doctor recommends that you have a biopsy, you need to know all the risk factors involved.
Do Cancers Really Disappear Spontaneously Or Are They Just Eluding Us
Cancer specialists are comfortable with the terms partial remission and complete remission when patients undergo some sort of aggressive therapy such as radiation or chemo.
But the concept of spontaneous remission is more problematic, especially with low-risk prostate cancers in patients like me on active surveillance who have had no treatment at all.
Back in May, Michael Scott, a patient advocate and layman with loads of expertise with prostate cancer, went out on a limb to suggest in his blog that spontaneous remission was real and worthy of the attention of serious researchers.
Scott, founder of Prostate Cancer International and its Active Surveillance Virtual Support Group, mentioned my case and that of a man whose name he couldnt recall.
I asked other men in two virtual support groups for men on AS if they had experienced spontaneous remission. James Simms, 72, a retired banker from Tampa, was the only one to reply. As it happens, he had described his case at Scotts group.
Simms and Scott gave me a new perspective on what might have happened with my lame cancer, as my urologist calls it.
So my cancer potentially disappeared sometime in 2011, though that was not acknowledged at that time.
My urologist, Brian Helfand, MD, PhD, of NorthShore University HealthSystem in Glenview, Illinois, joked last year that if my PHI were any lower, I wouldnt have cancer at all. Was he inadvertently on to something?
Pathologists weigh in
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Providing Your Medical History
At first, the doctor will probably ask you about your medical history. Do you have any chronic illnesses? What illnesses and operations have you had in the past? What medications are you taking, if any? Your doctor is also likely to ask about your psychological well-being and lifestyle: Do you suffer from depression? Are you under a lot of stress? Do you drink alcohol? Smoke? Use illegal drugs? Have you felt a loss of affection for your partner? Have you recently grown interested in a new partner?
As part of this health history, be prepared to tell your doctor specific details about the symptoms that brought you to the office and when they began. Your doctor might want to know how often you had sex before the problem started and if there have been weeks or months in the past when youve had erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may conduct a written or verbal screening test.
If the cause is clear a recent operation for prostate cancer, for example the conversation may move directly to your treatment options. Otherwise, you may need to answer more questions to help the doctor narrow down the possible causes and avoid unnecessary testing.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed
Prostate cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy of the prostate. A biopsy is usually done if symptoms or a screening raises concern. A prostate cancer screening is a test your doctor uses to look for the disease before you have symptoms. There are two screening tests available: a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen test. You and your doctor will decide if you need a screening. However, these tests can only tell your doctor whether or not your prostate is healthy. Abnormal test results dont always mean you have cancer. How often you should be screened depends on your age and your personal risk factors.
During a DRE, your doctor will insert his or her gloved, lubricated finger a few inches into your rectum to feel your prostate gland. A normal prostate feels firm. If there are hard spots on the prostate, your doctor may suggest additional testing to check for prostate cancer.
During a PSA test, you will get a blood test. A blood test involves inserting a small needle into a vein in your arm to take a sample of blood. The test measures the level of PSA in your blood. Men who have prostate cancer may have a higher level of PSA in their blood. However, a PSA level can also be high because of less serious causes, such as infection or an enlarged prostate.
If your screening test results are abnormal, your doctor may recommend additional other tests to check for cancer. Those tests may include:
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Can Prostatitis And Bph Be Cured
The prognosis for BPH for most patients that undergo treatment is good to fair, depending upon how well patients respond. BPH that requires surgery may result in complications such as erectile dysfunction. The prognosis for patients with more severe BPH symptoms that require surgery and medication for symptom relief is fair. There is no cure for BPH.
Most men with prostatitis may have significant symptom relief, and most men can be cured with long-term appropriate antibiotic treatments. The prognosis for prostatitis ranges from good to fair because some patients have a tendency to have recurrent bouts of the condition.
Can You Live Without A Prostate
You can live without a prostate, though there are some side-effects.
The prostate is removed to prevent the spread of prostate cancer, while it might also be removed because it has enlarged through normal ageing and is putting pressure on the uretha .
A prostatectomy is the removal of all or part of a prostate, with the most common procedure being the transurethral resection of the prostate .
Laser prostatectomies are also performed which is the least invasive type of removal.
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Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- Will I need other types of treatment, too?
- Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- What can I do about side effects that I might have?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
Individualized Prostate Cancer Screening
Coltman says that men and their doctors can no longer rely on PSA levels alone when deciding whether to have a prostate biopsy.
The situation now is that the individual man with his individual urologist will have to assess what the person feels are his risk factors, he says. In consultation with his doctor, the individual man must come to grips with the question of whether or not a biopsy should be done. It will become a more personalized interaction.
Whos at high risk? Men with the following factors have the highest risk of prostate cancer:
- Age. A mans risk of prostate cancer increases with age.
- Race.African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer and the highest death rate from prostate cancer of any men in the world, Coltman says.
- Family history. A mans risk increases if his brother or father has had prostate cancer.
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What Is Your Prostate And What Does It Do
Your prostate is a small gland that lives inside your body, just below your bladder. It sits around the urethra, which is the tube that carries pee from your bladder through your penis. Only men have a prostate.
Your prostate produces some of the fluids contained in your semen, the liquid that transports sperm. This liquid contains special enzymes and hormones that help your sperm cells function properly, which means the prostate plays a key part in your fertility. The muscles in your prostate also help push semen through your urethra when you ejaculate.
Are There Things I Can Do To Help Myself If I Have Erectile Dysfunction
Yes, there are changes you can make in your life that may help with your erectile dysfunction. Remember to speak with your doctor or healthcare team before making any of these changes.
Some changes you may want to consider are:
- Try to exercise on a regular basis.
- Try to eat a healthy diet.
- Drink responsibly. Long-term, heavy drinking lowers your ability to have an erection.
- Try to lower your stress and fatigue . Being diagnosed with prostate cancer and working in all the changes it brings to your life can be stressful. Stress and the tiredness caused by your prostate cancer treatment, can make it difficult for you to get in the mood. Many men going through prostate cancer treatment feel this way. Talking with your partner might help lower your stress. You may also speak to your doctor or healthcare team about how you are feeling. They are there to help you through this time.
- Stop smoking. Research studies show that smoking can harm your ability to have sex. If you need help to stop smoking, speak with your doctor or healthcare team.
- Practice your Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder and bowel. These muscles also help with erections. For more information, please see the IMPACT booklet, Kegel Exercises for Men.
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Pde5 Inhibitors: Viagra Levitra And Cialis
Approved by the FDA in 1998, sildenafil revolutionized the way we think about and treat erectile dysfunction, largely because it is so easy to use and effective. Since then the FDA has approved three closely related drugs, vardenafil , avanafil and tadalafil .
All four drugs work in a similar fashion, by affecting the normal physiology of the penis. In particular, they block PDE5, an enzyme that breaks down the erection-producing chemical cyclic guanosine monophosphate. This enables the penis to fill with blood and to stay erect long enough for intercourse. Of course, its important to realize that none of these drugs is an aphrodisiac. Youve got to feel sexually stimulated in order for them to work.
The main differences between the drugs have to do with timing: how quickly they begin to work, and how long their effects last . Levitra may start working slightly faster than Viagra although the FDA says that like Viagra, it should be taken about an hour before sexual activity. Some studies suggest that Levitra may help some men who dont respond to Viagra. And while some doctors are skeptical about this claim, theres no harm in trying Levitra or Cialis if Viagra doesnt work for you.
Cialis has also been approved to treat men with both erectile dysfunction and BPH. The dose is lower, usually 5 milligrams per day.
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.
Some signs of prostate cancer are trouble peeing, blood in the pee , trouble getting an erection, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.
If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:
PSA blood test: PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.
Transrectal ultrasound : For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.
MRI: This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.
Prostate biopsy: For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.
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