What is prostate cancer?
Cancer in the prostate gland is termed prostate cancer, which is quite common in men around the age of 50 or above.
Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer are frequent urination, interrupted urine flow or pain in the pelvis area etc.
These types of symptoms are described further in this article.
But before that let us know a little more about the prostate gland.
The prostate is a small gland that is found in men, present near the urinary bladder.
The prostate gland is one of the important parts of the male reproductive organs which produces seminal fluid.
These seminal fluids work as lubricants for the sperms and help them to travel through the urethra.
Any abnormal growth in the prostate can be benign (tumour) or malignant (cancer).
Benign growth is not life-threatening and can be cured through surgery or other treatment.
Whereas malignancy in the prostate can be dangerous and can grow back even after treatment.
Hence, it is advised to go under early diagnosis if a patient suspects their condition.
How common is prostate cancer?
According to national data on cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in males.
Men in the larger and developed cities of India face the most complication of prostate cancer.
Although it can be cured if detected early, many people get to know about their condition when they reach the advanced stage.
Common signs and symptoms of prostate cancer
There are many common signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, which mainly include:
- Frequent urination –
Frequent urination is one of the most common symptoms of prostate cancer. The frequent need to urinate is observed in many patients and especially at night.
- The interrupted flow of urine –
Blockage of the tube, that carries the urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body, leads to interrupted, weak or dribbling flow of urine. The patient needs to apply pressure to urinate normally. It is also a definite sign of prostate cancer.
- Painful urination –
Trouble urination comes along with pain and a burning sensation, which makes urination more difficult. This symptom of prostate cancer is commonly observed in patients.
- Blood in urine –
Blood in the urine is a condition that is also known as hematuria. This condition is usually seen in kidney-related disorders, but it is a common symptom of prostate cancer.
- Erectile dysfunction –
Erectile dysfunction problems such as difficulty getting or keeping an erection. These types of issues come as a result of prostate cancer.
- Difficulty in holding urination –
Usually men of older age suffer from prostate cancer, as it becomes
- Painful ejaculation –
Due to blockage of the urethra as a result of an enlarged prostate gland, ejaculation becomes difficult and painful. It is also a symptom of prostate cancer.
- Pain in the pelvis area –
The enlarged prostate puts pressure on the surrounding organs causing pain as a symptom of prostate cancer.
- Pressure on the rectum –
Similarly, the abnormally growing prostate induces stress on the rectum. This is a symptom of growing prostate cancer.
- Weak flow of urine –
The flow of urine gets interrupted and becomes weak due to the blockage of the tube.
If cancer has advanced to a higher stage, it is more likely that the patient will experience more complications such as:
Unexplained sudden weight loss even after keep intaking the regular diet
Pain in the pelvis, back or hip region due to an enlarged prostate
Presence of urine or semen in the blood
New onset of difficulty in getting or keeping an erection which may occur due to prostate cancer or through its treatment.
Diagnosis of prostate cancer
Diagnosis of any type of cancer is a crucial step to identify the condition of the patient and prepare a treatment plan for them.
These diagnostic tests help your oncologist determine the stage and adversity of cancer.
Some of the tests that can be done to diagnose prostate cancer are:
- MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique to determine the position of the tumour. It helps doctors to plan treatment according to the position of cancerous tissue that has to be removed.
- Biopsy – It is a general process that is used to diagnose any type of cancer. This technique involved taking out a sample of tissue from the diseased organ and observing it for cancerous cells. Similarly, a biopsy is used to diagnose prostate cancer.
- Ultrasound – Ultrasound is also a method to get an image of the prostate gland. A small tube is inserted into the body of the patient through the rectum to get a better look at the tumour. It uses sound waves to create images of the prostate gland.
Stages of prostate cancer
To classify the tumour based on the adversity of cancer, staging is done.
It helps the doctor to plan a treatment that will help the patient live a normal life.
Staging of prostate cancer can be done in this way:
Stage 1 – The cancer is slow growing and has not spread to surrounding tissues.
Stage 2 – The tumour grows out a little but not enough to cause blockage. The tumour is small and the risk of growing is there.
Stage 3 – The tumour has grown but has not spread to other organs. The surrounding tissue may be affected.
Stage 4 – The tumour is enlarged, and cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
These stages may be furthermore divided into several sub-stages.
The staging and grading system may vary in different countries.
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer that occurs in men. There are a few risk factors that can increase the chances of a person getting prostate cancer:
- Age – Men who are in their 50s and above are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer. Therefore, the risk of prostate cancer increases with increasing age.
- Ethnicity – Black people are more prone to prostate cancer as compared to men of other races. The exact reason behind this is still scientifically unknown.
- Genetic inheritance – The risk of any cancer increases if a patient has a family history of particular cancer. Having a family history of breast cancer can also increase the risk of getting prostate cancer in men.
- Obesity – People who are overweight are at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer. That’s why people are advised to maintain a normal weight to decrease the risk of prostate cancer.
When to see a doctor?
If you feel that you or your beloved one is experiencing any kind of distress or issues as mentioned above, contact us at cancer rounds.
Our team will guide you and help to get the best treatment possible.