Prostate cancer is a very common cancer in men. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs of serious illness for many years. Almost 25 % of all men will get prostate cancer but only 7% will actually die from this type of cancer.
What are symptoms of prostate cancer?
Usually symptoms appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (this is called the urethra).
· Increasing need to pee
· A need to strain when peeing
· A feeling that the bladder is not fully empty
These symptoms should be discussed with a trusted medical practitioner. They do not mean you have prostate cancer. The symptoms can also be caused by something else, like prostate enlargement.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a small gland in men. It’s located between the penis and the bladder, and it surrounds the urethra.
The prostate produces fluid that creates semen when mixed with the sperm which is produced by the testicles.
Causes of prostate cancer?
The causes unknown. The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older. It is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent, and less common in Asian men.
Men with family affected by prostate cancer have an increased risk. Obesity is also considered an increased risk.
What sort of test are there for prostate cancer?
All the tests have benefits and risks that your trusted doctor should discuss.
· Blood test
· Physical examination of the prostate
· MRI scan
The blood test, is called PSA test. It is a tumor marker may help detect prostate cancer.
The PSA blood test is not specific to prostate cancer. The PSA level can also be raised by other, non-cancerous conditions. A raised PSA levels also can’t tell if it is a life threatening prostate cancer or not.
If your PSA level is raised you may be offered further tests.
Treatment of prostate cancer
For many men treatment is not immediately necessary.
Your doctor may suggest either “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance” if the cancer is at an early stage or if you do not have any major symptoms. It also depends on your age and overall health. .
· surgically removing the prostate
If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and can’t be cured, then treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms.
All treatment options can have significant side effects, like erectile disorders or urinary symptoms.
Some hospitals may offer newer treatments as an alternative to surgery, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. The long-term effectiveness of new treatments (high intensity focused ultrasound or cryotherapy ) is not known yet.
Living with prostate cancer
Prostate cancer usually grows very slowly, you can live for many years without symptoms or needing treatment.
It can affect your life and you may have side effects of treatment. The diagnosis of cancer can make you anxious or depressed. You may find it beneficial to talk about it with your family, friends, or family doctor. Any further questions? Good Practice can help you and provide you tests.
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