How Is Cancer Of The Prostate Treated
If the cancer is found early, the options for treatment can include radiotherapy, surgery as well as medication .
In some cases, it may be a case of watchful waiting instead of surgery or radiotherapy.
The method chosen depends on your overall health, age and how early the cancer is when discovered.
Taking all this into account helps decide which is the best for your specific situation.
Remember that different options may have some complications such as side effects from medication or surgery.
How Is Bph Diagnosed And Evaluated
Early diagnosis of BPH is important because if left untreated it can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones and incontinence. Distinguishing BPH from more serious diseases like prostate cancer is important.
Tests vary from patient to patient, but the following are the most common:
Imaging Tests For Prostate Cancer
Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. One or more imaging tests might be used:
- To look for cancer in the prostate
- To help the doctor see the prostate during certain procedures
- To look for spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body
Which tests you might need will depend on the situation. For example, a prostate biopsy is typically done with transrectal ultrasound and/or MRI to help guide the biopsy. If you are found to have prostate cancer, you might need imaging tests of other parts of your body to look for possible cancer spread.
The imaging tests used most often to look for prostate cancer spread include:
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Biopsy And Gleason Score
A pathologist looks for cell abnormalities and “grades” the tissue sample from 1 to 5. The sum of two Gleason grades is the Gleason score. These scores help determine the chances of the cancer spreading. Gleason grades of 1 and 2 are not usually given in biopsies, so 6 is typically the lowest score for a prostate cancer. Cancer with Gleason scores of 8 to 10 is called high-grade, and can grow and spread more quickly. Gleason scores help guide the type of treatment your doctor will recommend.
What Are Some Common Uses Of The Procedure
A transrectal ultrasound of the prostate gland is performed to:
- detect disorders within the prostate.
- determine whether the prostate is enlarged, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , with measurements acquired as needed for any treatment planning.
- detect an abnormal growth within the prostate.
- help diagnose the cause of a mans infertility.
A transrectal ultrasound of the prostate gland is typically used to help diagnose symptoms such as:
- a nodule felt by a physician during a routine physical exam or prostate cancer screening exam.
- an elevated blood test result.
- difficulty urinating.
Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it also can be used to guide procedures such as needle biopsies, in which a needle is used to sample cells from an abnormal area in the prostate gland for later laboratory testing.
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Stages Of Prostate Cancer
If you progress through the stages of prostate cancer, the cancerous cells will eventually take over more tissue around the prostate gland.
Hopefully these prostate cancer pictures have given you a better idea of what the progression looks like.
There are a number of prostate cancer treatment options available to quickly and safely deal with the situation if it so arises.
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, the statistics are promising afterwards for living a happy and long life.
Who Interprets The Results And How Do I Get Them
A radiologist, a doctor trained to supervise and interpret radiology exams, will analyze the images. The radiologist will send a signed report to the doctor who requested the exam. Your doctor will then share the results with you. In some cases, the radiologist may discuss results with you after the exam. Some prostate ultrasound exams may also be performed by a urologist.
You may need a follow-up exam. If so, your doctor will explain why. Sometimes a follow-up exam further evaluates a potential issue with more views or a special imaging technique. It may also see if there has been any change in an issue over time. Follow-up exams are often the best way to see if treatment is working or if a problem needs attention.
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Keeping Your Prostate Healthy
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep your body well and protect against cancer.
Maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, and having a healthy diet can all play important roles in preventing disease, including prostate cancer.
- A review of research suggests that eating red foods such as tomatoes and watermelon may reduce progression and growth of prostate cancer cells. Red foods contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene.
- Eating fruit, especially citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes and mandarins may also slightly lower your risk of prostate cancer, according to some studies.
- Coffee and green tea may also lower cancer risk, but more studies need to be done to confirm this.
- A review of research done in 2014 indicated there may be a link between saturated fats and animal fats and prostate cancer risk, so it may pay to reduce intake of these types of fats.
For some ideas about looking after your health at all ages, read through the Queensland Governments guide to good health for men: Mens health through the decades.
And one last thing you may have heard that too frequent masturbation can cause prostate cancer. Its been studied, and so far there have been no links found between masturbating or having sex too often and prostate cancer. If anything, the effect may be the opposite, but more research is needed to know how and why.
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Diagnosing Benign Prostate Enlargement
You might have several different tests to find out if you have an enlarged prostate.
A GP may do some of these tests, such as a urine test, but others might need to be done at a hospital.
Some tests may be needed to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms to BPE, such as prostate cancer.
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Treatment: Drugs To Slow Prostate Growth
A class of medications known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors help stop the prostate from growing or even shrink it in some men. They lower the production of DHT, a hormone involved in prostate growth. However, these medications can also lower sex drive and cause erectile dysfunction. And it can take 6 months or more to feel the benefits.
What Is A Prostate Ultrasound Used For
A prostate ultrasound is used to check your prostate gland using ultrasound imagery. The procedure provides your doctor with black-and-white images of your prostate and the surrounding tissues. Your doctor usually wont do this as part of a physical examination, but they may recommend it if:
A prostate ultrasound can also be used to help your doctor take a tissue sample, or biopsy, from your prostate.
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How The Prostate Changes As You Age
Because the prostate gland tends to grow larger with age, it may squeeze the urethra and cause problems in passing urine. Sometimes men in their 30s and 40s may begin to have these urinary symptoms and need medical attention. For others, symptoms arent noticed until much later in life. An infection or a tumor can also make the prostate larger. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the urinary symptoms listed below.
Tell your doctor if you have these urinary symptoms:
- Are passing urine more during the day
- Have an urgent need to pass urine
- Have less urine flow
- Feel burning when you pass urine
- Need to get up many times during the night to pass urine
Growing older raises your risk of prostate problems. The three most common prostate problems are inflammation , enlarged prostate , and prostate cancer.
One change does not lead to another. For example, having prostatitis or an enlarged prostate does not increase your risk of prostate cancer. It is also possible for you to have more than one condition at the same time.
How Do I Keep My Prostate Healthy
Help keep your prostate healthy by:
- Getting regular prostate screenings. Most people should start screenings at 50. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, its a good idea to start screenings at a younger age.
- Exercising regularly. People who are more physically active are less likely to have BPH.
- Eating a healthy diet. Eating the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein may help promote prostate health.
- Quitting tobacco products. Tobacco products may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
Can supplements improve my prostate health?
Dietary supplements dont have to go through clinical trials or get approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration , so there isnt much data on them. Supplements may show minor benefits, but most people wont see an improvement in their prostate health from taking them.
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Gleason Score Vs Grade Groups
The International Society of Urological Pathology released a revised prostate cancer grading system in 2014. The grade group system seeks to simplify Gleason scores and give a more accurate diagnosis.
One of the major problems with the Gleason score is that some scores can be made up in different ways. For example, a score of 7 can mean:
- 3 + 4. The 3 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 4 is the second most common. This pattern is considered favorable intermediate risk.
- 4 + 3. The 4 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 3 is the second most common. This pattern is considered unfavorable and may mean local or metastatic spread.
So, although both situations give a Gleason score of 7, they actually have very different prognoses.
Heres an overview of how the two grading systems compare:
|grade group 5||910|
Not all hospitals have switched to the grade group system. Many hospitals give both grade group and Gleason scores to avoid confusion until grade groups become more widely used.
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Risk Factors You Can’t Control
Growing older is the greatest risk factor for prostate cancer, particularly after age 50. After age 70, studies suggest that anywhere from 31% to 83% of men have some form of prostate cancer, though there may be no outward symptoms. Family history increases a man’s risk: having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles the risk. African-American men and Caribbean men of African descent are at high risk and have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world.
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What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasiaalso called BPHis a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a mans life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retentionthe inability to empty the bladder completelycause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
What About Other Treatments I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
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Who Is At Risk For Prostate Cancer
Certain men are at higher risk than others for prostate cancer, which may affect when they should start being screened. The risk increases with age, particularly after age 50. Some risk factors include:
- African American men are twice as likely as white men to develop the disease.
- Having a family history a father or a brother diagnosed with prostate cancer, particularly if it is at a relatively early age increases the risk.
- Having a family history of breast and ovarian cancer may also be associated with an inherited risk of developing prostate cancer
- High-fat diet and/or obesity
How Is Bph Diagnosed
- A digital rectal exam is used to check the size of your prostate. Your healthcare provider will insert a gloved finger into your rectum. The provider will be able to feel your prostate. The size of your prostate may be checked with ultrasound pictures.
- Urine tests may show infection, or strength and amount of urine flow. You may need to record how often and how much you urinate for 24 hours.
- Blood tests may show kidney problems or your PSA level. PSA is a substance produced by your prostate. PSA levels increase when you have BPH.
- A postvoid residual volume test is used to measure the amount of urine left in your bladder after you urinate.
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How Is The Prostate Involved In Reproduction
The prostatic fluid accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the volume of seminal fluid .
As mentioned before, this fluid contains enzymes, proteins, and minerals that protect and nourish sperm and are necessary for the proper functioning of sperm cells.
What’s more, research, such as one paper published in July 2015 in the journal PloS One, has suggested the alkalinity of the fluid helps ensure the viability of sperm in reproduction.
What Other Problems Might An Enlarged Prostate Cause
A small number of men may find it difficult to empty their bladder properly this is called urine retention. If youve been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, your doctor will look at your test results to see if youre at risk of urine retention. You may be more likely to get urine retention if:
- youre aged 70 or over
- your prostate is very large
- you have a raised prostate specific antigen level
- you have severe urinary symptoms and a very slow flow.
Chronic urine retention
This is where you cant empty your bladder fully, but can still urinate a little. It usually develops slowly over time. Chronic means long-lasting. The first signs often include a weak flow when you urinate, or leaking urine at night. You may feel that your abdomen is swollen, or that youre not emptying your bladder fully.
Chronic urine retention is usually painless. But the pressure of the urine can slowly stretch your bladder muscle and make it weaker. This can cause urine to be left behind in the bladder when you urinate. If you dont empty your bladder fully, you might get a urine infection, need to urinate more often, leak urine at night, or get painful bladder stones. You might also see some blood in your urine. Chronic urine retention can damage your bladder and kidneys if it isnt treated.
There are treatments for chronic urine retention, including:
- passing a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to drain urine from your bladder
- surgery to widen the urethra.
Acute urine retention
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How Do I Screen For Prostate Cancer
There are two main early stage screening methods a digital rectal exam , and a blood test measuring PSA levels. PSA screening is regarded as the best method to screen for prostate cancer in men over 40 or those of a certain risk factor.
While men might be intimidated by a DRE, itâs a quick and safe screening technique used by a physician, and should cause no significant pain.
A Digital Rectal Exam is a simple, painless and quick procedure. A physician inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate to identify if the prostate is enlarged, has lumps or is an abnormal texture compared to a healthy example.
Although this procedure is a very clear indicator of prostate health, the entire prostate canât be examined during a DRE. This is why physicians will also take into account PSA blood work, health history, and other risk factors. Overall, itâs often difficult to detect prostate cancer early, itâs mostly found through PSA testing so PSA screenings should be done regularly, starting at the age of 40-50.
What Are The Common Conditions And Disorders That Affect The Prostate
Common conditions that affect your prostate include:
- Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer that affects men and people assigned male at birth .
- Inflammation . Four different prostatitis conditions cause inflammation in your prostate gland: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Its the most common urinary tract issue in men and people AMAB younger than 50, and the third most common in men and people AMAB over 50.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia. BPH causes your prostate to grow, which can cause blockages in your urethra. Almost all men and people AMAB will develop some prostate enlargement as they age.
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