Prostate Cancer

—Specialisation

Prostate cancer is also named carcinoma of the prostate. It is caused from the development of the cancer cells in the prostate. Prostate is a gland developed in the productive system of the male. Most of the cancer cells in the prostate are the slow growing, however quick growing cells are also quite possible. The additional risk with the prostate cancer is that the cancer cells are possibly spread to the surrounding parts of the body, especially the lymph nodes and bones.

Signs & Symptoms

When the prostate cancer is not developed and in the earlier stages, there will be no clear symptoms. However, when the cancerous cells are grown, the signs and symptoms that are experienced, will be as the following.

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Frequent urination

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Difficult to start the steady stream of the urine

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Difficult to maintain the steady stream of the urine

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Nocturia, which is increased urination, especially during the nights

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Blood found in the urine, called hematuria

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Painful urination, called dysuria

According to the research done, about two third of the prostate cancer patients have not experienced any of the symptoms, whereas one third of the patients have experienced one or more of the above symptoms.

When the condition goes beyond the acceptable levels and go with the advanced levels, there will be additional following symptoms, like the following.

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Bone pain

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Pain in ribs

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Pain in pelvis

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Leg weakness

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Urinary incontinence

Diagnosis

The important diagnosis done for the prostate cancer is the biopsy. This is the only test that is performed and can confirm the problem completely. The test involves small pieces removal from the prostate. These small pieces are examined under microscope. But, before biopsy is done, there is another test importantly conducted is the less invasive test.

Apart from the above two tests, there are also other tests done to confirm by gathering some more information relative to the urinary tract and prostate. It includes the test called DRE or Digital Rectal Examination that could reveal the abnormalities related to the prostate. Another test is the cystoscopy that could reveal the condition of the urinary tract, viewed from inside the bladder. Transrectal ultrasonography is another test that could provide a clear picture of the prostate, through the sound waves.

Prostate Imaging

Prostate imaging is done by either of the methods, like Magnetic Resonance Imaging or ultrasound.

Gleason Score

The tissue samples that are extracted from the diagnosis procedure called biopsy, are examined for the presence or absence of the cancer cells. The evaluation is done through Gleason score or microscopic features. The score reveals the presence and over-expressive protein called prostate specific membrane antigen.

Tumor Markers

Tumor markers is the test conducted to test the tissue samples to test the prensec of the tumor markers like PSA.

Staging

In addition to the finding of the cancerous cells in the prostate, the following important diagnosis to be done is the staging to understand and determine, what the criticality of the condition is. It can reveal how far and how wide the cancer cells have been spread. It is a key point to define the prognosis and help to select the necessary therapies to treat the condition. The stages will be TNM or Tumor/Nodes/Metastases. Other important aspects are size of the tumor, presence of the metastases, in addition and number of lymph nodes found.

Treatments Available

The treatment for the prostate cancer depends on the multiple factors, in which staging is an important factor. So, the treatment is recommended mostly based on the stage of the cancer.

Early Stage

When the cancer is in the initial stages, the treatment recommended will be the following.

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A-Watchful Waiting

In this treatment, treatment is not recommended immediately, instead blood levels of PSA are monitored regularly.

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B-Radical Prostatectomy

In this treatment, the removal of the prostate is performed surgically.

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C-Conformal Radiotherapy

The treatment is performed by the radiation beam. The shape of the beam is shaped in the exact shape of the affected region in the organ and then overlapped with the radiation beam. The cancer cells in the affected area will be removed and the surrounding healthy tissues will be preserved with the same healthy condition.

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D-Brachytherapy

The treatment involves radioactive seeds to be implanted to the affected region of the prostate.

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E-Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy

Radiation beams are focused on the affected region in the prostate. It makes use of the conformal radiotherapy, assisted by the linear accelerator that is controlled by the computer.

Advanced Stage

For advanced staged prostate cancer, advanced treatment options are available like hormone therapy, radiotherapy or sometimes in combination.