Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the common problems in old age and in certain cases it may need extensive support and close doctor observations which will help in its deterioration. There are certain elders which may need support even for their activities of daily living and at such times a home care service like Healthabove60 could play a vital role. The continuous nursing services and the effective follow up of the Doctor visits which are important for the elders to come out of the problem before getting worsened. Now we can see in detail about the prostate cancer which will help us to know the facts and help our elders at home.

The prostate is an organ which is found only in men and it is a walnut sized gland which is located in front of rectum and under the urinary bladder. It contains gland cells which produces some of the seminal fluid which provides nourishment to the sperm cells and also it gives protection for the sperm cells in the semen. Prostate cancer is made up of cells which are not normal cells. The cells will divide and create new cells that the body does not need and forming a mass of tissue which is called tumor. These type of tumor cells may spread to other parts of the body and multiply and could cause even death.

It is also a leading cause of cancer deaths amongst men in the western countries. The incidence appears to be less in Asia which is probably related to less diagnosis and very low awareness among patients. Many people are not aware in doing screening for the prostate cancer hence most of the prostate cancer cases which we usually see are in a very advanced stage.

SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER:

  1. Blood in the urine
  2. The need to urinate frequently especially at night
  3. Weak or interrupted urine flow
  4. Pain or burning feeling while urinating
  5. The inability to urinate
  6. Constant pain in the lower back, pelvis or upper thigh

PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING:

Prostate screening means looking for signs of disease in people who have no symptoms. Treatment may be more effective if we identify the disease in the early stages. The main screening tools for prostate cancer are DRE (Digital rectal examination) and PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. These tests will not tell if you have cancer they can only suggest the need for further tests.

DRE:

Digital rectal examination is a quick exam for checking the health of the prostate. Here the doctor will insert the gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum. This helps the doctor to feel the back portion of the prostate for size or any irregular or abnormally firm areas.

PSA TEST:

PSA is a substance produced by cells from the prostate gland and it will be released into the blood stream. The PSA test helps to measure the PSA level in the blood.

The following factors may affect the PSA:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Certain medical procedures
  • An enlarged prostate
  • A prostate infection

Since these factors can affect PSA levels DOCTORS are the best person to interpret your PSA test results.

BENEFITS OF CANCER SCREENING:

If the test is NEGATIVE it gives a peace of mind.

If the test is positive, as with most cancers early detection of prostate cancer will enable a better chance of an effective treatment.

TREATMENT OF PROSTATE CANCER:

The treatment of prostate cancer depends upon the various factors like patient’s age, the extent of the spread of disease, the presence of associated medical conditions and also the patient’s overall health.

When prostate cancer is detected in the early stage and if it hasn’t spread beyond the prostate then the following options are available:

  1. Watchful Waiting :

 Monitoring the patient’s general condition along with the specific investigations like PSA test and DRE regularly and treating it only and when the prostate cancer causes symptoms or shows the signs of growing.

  1. Surgery (Radical Prostatectomy):

 Removing the prostate gland.

  1. External Radiation Therapy:

 Destroying cancer cells by directing radiation at the prostate

  1. Internal Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy):

A minimally invasive procedure to place small radioactive pellets inside or near the cancer area to destroy the cancer cells.

  1. Hormone Therapy:

Here they will give certain hormones to the person to keep prostate cancer cells from growing.

  1. Cryotherapy:

Here they will be placing a special probe inside or near the prostate area to freeze and destroy the cancer cells.

The treatment options completely depend upon the patient condition and the choice will be discussed with the patients by the treating doctor and is the best person to provide the options of treatment.

 

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