Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series
We are proud to announce a new podcast series geared toward helping give support, hope and guidance to prostate cancer caregivers. The goal of this Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series is to help others connect with a diverse group of people who have felt the impact of prostate cancer in their lives and empower them on their journey.
Prostate Cancer And Sexual Health
A prostate cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling anxious, frustrated, and depressed.
It may also leave you wondering about your ability to have sex. You may also be questioning how prostate cancer treatment can affect your sex life.
Prostate cancer rarely causes problems with sex, but the treatments for prostate cancer often affect penile function and reproduction.
Prostate surgery and radiation are the two most common treatments for prostate cancer. Both of these can affect the nerves in your penis and could cause sexual problems like erectile dysfunction .
Cryotherapy and ultrasound therapy can also cause ED. Your doctor may recommend hormone therapy or radiation therapy, as well. This therapy can lower your sex drive.
Radical prostatectomy is the most effective nerve-sparing surgery for prostate cancer. It can substantially limit the duration of post-surgical ED but requires a surgeon to be highly skilled and trained in the process.
In this type of procedure, the surgeon takes care not to damage the erectile nerves that surround the prostate as it is removed.
However, if cancer has infiltrated these nerves, it may not be possible to save them.
Preventing injury to these nerves dramatically improves the chances of a man recovering erectile function within two years of the surgery.
In addition to ED, you may also find that your orgasms are different after undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.
They may not feel as strong, and you will not see as much ejaculate.
What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Your healthcare provider uses the Gleason score and Grade Groups to stage prostate cancer based on its projected aggressiveness. To get this information, the pathologist:
- Assigns a grade to each type of cell in your sample. Cells are graded on a scale of three to five . Samples that test in the one to two range are considered normal tissue.
- Adds together the two most common grades to get your Gleason score .
- Uses the Gleason score to place you into a Grade Group ranging from one to five. A Gleason score of six puts you in Grade Group 1 . A score of nine or higher puts you in Grade Group five . Samples with a higher portion of more aggressive cells receive a higher Grade Group.
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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.
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What Are Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Some prostate cancer treatments can affect the bladder, erectile nerves and sphincter muscle, which controls urination. Potential problems include:
- Incontinence: Some men experience urinary incontinence. You may leak urine when you cough or laugh, or you may feel an urgent need to use the bathroom even when your bladder isnt full. This problem can improve over the first six to 12 months without treatment.
- Erectile dysfunction : Surgery, radiation and other treatments can damage the erectile nerves and affect your ability to get or maintain an erection. Some men regain erectile function within a year or two . In the meantime, medications like sildenafil or tadalafil can help by increasing blood flow to the penis.
- Infertility: Treatments can affect your ability to produce or ejaculate sperm, resulting in male infertility. If you think you might want children in the future, you can preserve sperm in a sperm bank before you start treatments. After treatments, you may undergo sperm extraction. This procedure involves removing sperm directly from testicular tissue and implanting it into a womans uterus.
Early Stage Prostate Cancer
If the cancer is small and localized, a doctor may recommend:
Watchful waiting or monitoring
The doctor may check PSA blood levels regularly but take no immediate action.
Prostate cancer grows slowly, and the risk of side effects may outweigh the need for immediate treatment.
A surgeon may carry out a prostatectomy. They can remove the prostate gland using either laparoscopic or open surgery.
Brachytherapy: A doctor will implant radioactive seeds into the prostate to deliver targeted radiation treatment.
Conformal radiation therapy: This targets a specific area, minimizing the risk to healthy tissue. Another type, called intensity modulated radiation therapy, uses beams with variable intensity.
Treatment will depend on various factors. A doctor will discuss the best option for the individual.
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Screening For Prostate Cancer
There are no tests available with sufficient accuracy to screen populations of men for early signs of prostate cancer. However, early detection and treatment can significantly improve prostate cancer survival.
The test most commonly used to aid early detection of prostate cancer is the prostate specific antigen blood test. This is not a diagnostic test as it can only indicate changes in the prostate. If you are concerned about prostate cancer you should talk to your doctor and make an informed choice about whether to have one of the tests designed to find early signs of prostate cancer, in view of the potential risks and benefits.
There are no proven measures to prevent prostate cancer.
What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in men that helps make semen. Located just below the bladder in front of the rectum, it wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It tends to grow larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause a number of health issues.
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Causes Of Prostatitis Food Allergies
Food allergies can cause prostate inflammation and prostatitis. Symptoms of food allergy can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, as well as diarrhea. A food allergy is known as an immune system response, so its symptoms can affect the whole body. Besides, food allergy can lead to itchy skin, a sudden decrease in blood pressure, shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing.
One reason why food allergy can be a cause of prostatitis is that some patients experience a flare-up of signs and symptoms when consuming certain foods. Some products such as pasta, breads as well as baked goods are commonly associated with food allergy. So, you should try a wheat-free diet to help determine whether or not wheat is the cause of your prostatitis. Besides, some other men reported that their symptoms become worse after they consume spicy or acidic foods.
Keep reading this entire article to discover other causes of prostatitis that can make you experience some of the symptoms of prostatitis.
What Causes Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer affects mainly older men. Six out of ten cases are diagnosed in men over 65, but less than 1% in men under 50. Though uncommon, prostate cancer can be seen in men even in their 30’s and 40’s. Men with a family history of prostate cancer are more likely to develop prostate cancer than the general population.
On a case-by-case basis, doctors cannot say with certainty what causes prostate cancer, but experts generally agree that diet contributes to the risk. Men who consume large amounts of fat — particularly from red meat and other sources of animal fat cooked at high heat — may be more likely to develop advanced prostate cancer. The disease is much more common in countries where meat and dairy products are dietary staples than in countries where the basic diet consists of rice, soybean products, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cole slaw, or sauerkraut.
The underlying factor linking diet and prostate cancer is probably hormonal. Fats stimulate increased production of testosterone and other hormones, and testosterone acts to speed the growth of prostate cancer. High testosterone levels may stimulate dormant prostate cancer cells into activity. Some findings suggest that high testosterone levels also influence the initial onset of prostate cancer.
Welders, battery manufacturers, rubber workers, and workers frequently exposed to the metal cadmium seem to be abnormally vulnerable to prostate cancer.
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Drugs To Prevent Prostate Cancer
Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia are often treated with dihydrotestosterone -lowering drugs called finasteride or dutasteride. These drugs have been studied extensively to determine whether they can prevent prostate cancer, and results suggest that they could reduce cancer risk by about 25 percent. Patients who develop cancer while on the drugs are more likely to get an aggressive form of the disease, so discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your doctor.
What Is An Enlarged Prostate
The prostate is an essential gland in the male reproductive system. It contributes to the semen volume and synthesizes a substance that supports sperm cells.
This gland is below the urinary bladder, surrounding the urethra. In the bladder neck. Thus, as it grows, it can put pressure over the urethra or the urinary bladder. However, what is an enlarged prostate? Is it the same as prostate cancer?
An enlarged prostate is simply a gland that increased in size. It is not caused by cancer. Another medical term is benign prostatic enlargement, where benign means theres no cancer. Another name is benign prostatic hyperplasia .
When we talk about hyperplasia, we refer to an increase in number and not size. Thus, in prostatic hyperplasia, there are more prostate cells . However, they remain the same size as normal prostate tissue. Such an increase in the number of cells causes an enlarged prostate. It usually starts in men after the age of 40. But they typically find out when they are near their 50s .
In some cases, an enlarged prostate grows evenly. In other instances, prostate growth is more irregular. When the overgrowth is near the center, it presses the urethra on the outside.
As a result, the urethra becomes narrow, compromising the urine flow. As a result, 1 out of 3 men over 50 years old report urinary symptoms. In the majority of cases, they are caused by an enlarged prostate gland .
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Enlarged Prostate Symptoms Causes & Natural Treatments
Its perfectly normal for a mans prostate to grow throughout his adult life. For some men, this doesnt bring about any serious symptoms, but for others, an enlarged prostate can lead to issues that affect not just prostate health, but their quality of life.
An enlarged prostate affects one in five men between the ages of 50 and 60, and its even more common in older men. The symptoms can certainly be bothersome, and they can even cause problems in your personal life or at work because you cant sleep. Turning to medication or surgery can make matters worse in some cases, especially when it isnt entirely necessary, but there are some lifestyle and diet changes that can make a difference when it comes to an enlarged prostate.
Causes Of Prostatitis Bacterial Infection
Acute bacterial prostatitis can be caused by strains of bacteria. According to a study about acute prostatitis , the prostate infection can start when the bacteria in urine get into the prostate. To treat this infection, antibiotics can be helpful. If you do not eliminate these bacteria, this condition can reoccur or you can find difficult to treat. There are two types of bacterial prostatitis:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis: It often starts suddenly and includes flu-like symptoms
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis: The patients may experience minor symptoms. So it can be hard to treat it effectively.
Most commonly, E. coli is responsible for bacterial prostatitis, but some other types of bacteria can involve it as well.
If you want to know some of the best tips to help you treat bacterial infection without taking antibiotics, read 12 Tips How To Treat Bacterial Infection Naturally Without Antibiotics
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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.
Talking With Your Doctor
Different kinds of doctors and other health care professionals manage prostate health. They can help you find the best care, answer your questions, and address your concerns. These health care professionals include:
- Family doctors and internists
- Physician assistants and nurse practitioners
- Urologists, who are experts in diseases of the urinary tract system and the male reproductive system
- Urologic oncologists, who are experts in treating cancers of the urinary system and the male reproductive system
- Radiation oncologists, who use radiation therapy to treat cancer
- Medical oncologists, who treat cancer with medications such as hormone treatments and chemotherapy
- Pathologists, who identify diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope
View these professionals as your partnersâexpert advisors and helpers in your health care. Talking openly with your doctors can help you learn more about your prostate changes and the tests to expect.
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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.
Possible Cancer Protection From Prostate Drugs
Early research suggested that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors , a class of drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, might increase the risk of developing more aggressive prostate cancer. However, newer studies have found that not only do the drugs appear to pose no extra risk, they may even protect against prostate cancer.
For instance, research from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial study in 2013 showed that taking the 5-ARI finasteride for seven years could lower the chance of getting low-grade prostate cancer by 25% among men ages 55 and older. A follow-up study of almost 9,500 men, published in the Nov. 1, 2018, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also showed that finasteride lowered the risk by a similar amount , and found the protective effect lasted for at least 16 years.
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Exercise And Lose Weight
Exercising and losing weight are some of the best things you can do to promote prostate health. Many studies show that moderate or vigorous exercise reduces risk of BPH and urinary tract symptoms and helps with prostatitis as well. Exercise also benefits your cardiovascular health and can help prevent other health and sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction.
If you are overweight, losing weight is one of the most important natural changes you can make in improving your prostate health, whether your concerns are cancer, BPH or prostatitis. A study published in the Journal of Urology found that overweight men, especially men with a high amount of abdominal fat, have an increased risk of BPH. If you are looking to shrink the prostate, losing weight can help you reduce your prostate size and help relieve annoying and frustrating urinary symptoms. On top of that, weight loss can reduce your risk for prostate cancer and help relieve prostatitis, too.