Causes, symptoms, and treatments for prostate cancer

There are several diseases that are yet to be eradicated from the face of the world. Cancer, in every form, is an ailment that cannot be cured unless it is diagnosed in its initial stages. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the country, which is followed by prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is known to affect thousands of men every year, especially those who are middle-aged or older. Moreover, 60 percent of total cases that occur are diagnosed in men older than 65 years of age. In fact, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that about 174, 650 men will be diagnosed with this condition this year.

Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate which is a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces seminal fluid that is responsible for nourishing and transporting the sperms. In the initial stages, prostate cancer is limited to the prostate gland and doesn’t cause any prominent harm. There are different types of prostate cancer, some are harmless and need no or minimal treatment, whereas, the other types are aggressive and tend to spread quickly.

Causes of prostate cancer
Like most types of cancer, even the causes of prostate cancer remains unknown. Doctors have asserted that prostate cancer begins when some of the cells in the prostate become abnormal. The mutations in these abnormal cells’ DNA causes the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than the cells actually do. These abnormal cells have a longer life than the other cells, and they continue to live while the other cells die. The abnormal cells continue to override the healthy cells and then accumulate to form a tumor that grows to invade the nearby tissue.

Symptoms of prostate cancer
The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • Trouble while urinating
  • Blood in semen
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area

Treatment for prostate cancer

  • Surgery– Surgery for treating prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland. This surgical process is called radical prostatectomy and it involves removing the surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. Radical prostatectomy can be performed in several ways, and these include using a robot to assist with surgery and making an incision in the abdomen. Though this form of treatment is quite effective, there are risks of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
  • Radiation therapy– This form of treatment makes use of high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is delivered in two ways, radiation that comes from outside, which is also known as the external beam radiation, and the radiation that is placed inside the body, which is called brachytherapy.
  • Hormone therapy– Hormone therapy involves using medications to stop the body from producing the male hormone testosterone which are the carriers of prostate cancer cells. So, this form of treatment involves cutting out the supply of testosterone and this inhibits the growth of the cancer cells or causes them to die.
  • Chemotherapy– Chemotherapy makes use of medications to kill the rapidly growing cells, and is often administered in the form of pills or through the vein in the arm. At times, chemotherapy can be the last resort for patients if the prostate cancer has spread to remote areas.