Cancer » Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the major and severe types of cancers occurring in males. It is the second-major cause of cancer-deaths in men and is exceeded by only lung cancer. The cancer never occurs in females. The cancer occurs usually in old age and is more common in men aged above 50-55 years and is rarely detected in young males.
About prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a kind of cancer that originates in the prostate gland located in the male reproductive system. Prostate is a small gland present between bladder and penis and surrounds the urethra. Prostate gland plays an important role in the generation of semen. Semen is vital to nourish and preserve sperms. Urethra, the tube through which the urine passes, also passes through the middle of prostate gland. Hence, prostate gland is one of the most vital glands in males.
Prostate gland grows gradually and its size keeps on varying until a man reaches adulthood. Hence, the size of the prostate normally depends on the age of the person. The size is smaller in young age and it keeps on increasing as the age progresses. Prostate gland performs another important function of controlling urine.
Cancer of the prostate originally develops in the prostate gland and may spread to other parts of the body in due course. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of cancer in the prostate and accounts for majority of the cases. The cancer develops primarily in the tissues and cells present on the gland. These tissues perform the important function of providing oxygen and blood to various organs of the body. Growth of cells mainly depends on the resources provided by such tissues. Hence, invasion of tissues by cancerous cells is dangerous for cells to survive peacefully.
The cancerous cells attack the cells and tissues having less resistant power and spread to other areas by damaging and killing healthy tissues and cells.
In cancer of the prostate, the malignant or cancerous cells force the normal cells to behave abnormally and bring about an uncontrolled division and growth of cells. Also, the tumor or the cancerous cells disallow normal cells to die the natural way. This leads to an unnecessary increase in the number of cells, most of which are malignant, in the affected area. These cells form groups and accumulate in a certain area forming a kind of lump known as tumor. The tumor has a tendency to metastasize and may spread rapidly to various locations of the body through the lymph node or bloodstream.
Tumors can be benign or cancerous depending upon the nature and intensity of the infected cells. Cancerous tumors are common in the males already into an advanced stage of the disease and are highly dangerous to the body cells and tissues. They indulge in damaging and killing healthy tissues and cells and metastasize quite rapidly. Also, such cancerous tumors are difficult to eliminate as they recur easily. Benign tumors are comparatively less harmful as they rarely invade tissues and cells. Also, they can be treated safely by surgery and usually do not grow back. In some cases, the benign tumors may be different from pre-cancerous tumors. Hence, any kind of tumor must not be taken lightly and a thorough diagnosis should be done immediately.
Pre-cancerous or benign tumors can turn cancerous if not attended in time. Positron emission tomography (PET) test, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and endoscopy are some of the advanced techniques to detect tumors in the body.
Prostate cancer is quite common in old males and hence, a regular medical check-up is beneficial to detect the disease in early stages. Family history of the disease is one of the major causes of being infected by the cancerous cells. In most of the cases, the disease is detected at the age of 70 years. Hence, treating the tumor becomes difficult, as the body becomes incapable of sustaining strong treatments. Computed tomography (CT) scans, biopsy and X-rays are the basic techniques to examine your body for presence of tumors and their nature as well as intensity.
Tobacco consumption and smoking is not directly related to the disease but may affect your internal body severely and make it more prone to the cancer of prostate. Cancer of the prostate is more common in the developed areas like Europe and North America. People residing in Asia and Africa are comparatively less prone to it. Hence, the geographical factors also play a key role in making a person prone to the disease.
Obesity is an indirect but vital cause of the cancer in the prostate. You must consume balanced diet rich in nutrients and avoid oily or fat-rich food. Regular exercise and daily consumption of salads and vegetables will make you less prone to the disease. Avoid excess consumption of alcohol. Cancer of the prostate is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in adults above 75 years of age.
Abdominal pain, frequent urination and pains in the areas adjacent to the prostate gland are some of the early symptoms of the disease. Unusual pains during urination need urgent medical consultation. Unexpected weight loss, loss of appetite and blood in the urine are some other important indicators of the presence of tumors in the prostate. Some may also experience back-pain or pain in hips or bones.
Prostate cancer is curable and can be treated safely if diagnosed properly. Radical prostatectomy is a kind of surgery recommended when the need to remove the whole prostate gland arises. Also, the tumors that are in primary stages can be treated by surgery. Radiation therapy is suggested in the cases where the disease is already into an advanced stage. Chemotherapy is another important kind of cancer treatment and is normally given depending upon the patient's ability to sustain such strong line of treatment. A thorough consultation with a cancer specialist is recommended before finalizing a particular pattern of treatment.