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What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate — which is a small walnut-shaped gland found in men that produces the seminal fluid which nourishes and helps transport sperm. It begins from the cells in the prostate gland and can also spread to other surrounding organs. This is one of the most common types of cancers that affects men.

Possible Causes:

Prostate cancer affects the prostate, a walnut-shaped gland in men responsible for producing seminal fluid. Prostate cancer causes and genesis can be traced to cells in your prostate that become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells' DNA cause the cells to grow rapidly. These form a tumour and can metastasise to other parts of the body.

Risk Factors:

The following factors increase the risk of getting prostate cancer:

  • Age: ageing is a big factor for prostate cancer, and older men are more prone to getting it.
  • Race: black men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than other races.
  • Family history: your risk may increase if men in your family have had prostate cancer or have genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2).
  • Overweight: the risk of getting prostate cancer increases if you are obese.

Signs & Symptoms: 

In its early stage, prostate cancer may not show any signs or symptoms. However, in the advanced stage, the symptoms may be:

  • Blood in the semen.

  • Difficulty while urinating and less force in the stream of urine.

  • Erectile dysfunction and pain in the pelvic area.

  • Pain in the bones.

Diagnosis: 

Prostate cancer diagnosis starts with a digital rectal exam (DRE), and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to check for prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.
If a DRE or PSA test detects an abnormality, further prostate cancer tests like ultrasound, prostate biopsy or MRI fusion are recommended to enable more-precise targeting for follow-up treatment.

Treatment Options: 

At Medcare, you can discuss prostate cancer symptoms and treatment with our urologists. Depending on how fast the cancer is growing, the prostate cancer treatment is decided. Treatment options also vary depending on the prostate cancer stages. 

  • Regular blood tests, rectal exams and biopsies are required to monitor the progress of your disease. Surgery or radiation may be recommended, if necessary.
  • Surgery called radical prostatectomy may be recommended for removal of the prostate gland, tissue and lymph nodes. The kind of surgery our experts recommend is dependent on your age, your body type and your overall health. It could be a robot-assisted surgery which is more precise than a traditional minimally invasive surgery, or others options like retropubic surgery.
  • Prostate cancer radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. It could be (i) external beam radiation or (ii) brachytherapy. 
  • Hormone treatment stops the supply of testosterone, thereby killing the growth of cancer cells. These may be: (i) medications called luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) or (ii) anti-androgens to prevent testosterone from reaching your cancer cells.
  • Orchiectomy to remove the testicles so that testosterone levels in your body are reduced.
  • Cryosurgery or cryoablation which freezes tissue to kill cancer cells. This is used only when radiation is not successful.
  • Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, like cancer cells. 
  • Immunotherapy uses your body's immune system to fight cancer cells. 
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What is the diet to be followed when one gets prostate cancer?

    A: Avoid fat from red meat, as it may boost male hormone levels which in turn encourages the growth of cancerous prostate cells. Increase fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily intake.

  • Are there other diseases with similar symptoms as prostate cancer?

    A: Enlarged prostate problem called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or another problem called prostatitis may have symptoms similar to prostate cancer. At Medcare, you can consult a specialist and get the necessary diagnostic tests to identify what the problem is exactly.

  • Can prostate cancer spread to other parts of the body?

    A: If the cancer spreads beyond the prostate, it may either spread to the area just outside the prostate, called ‘locally advanced prostate cancer’, or it may spread to other parts of the body, called ‘advanced prostate cancer’.

  • Is it advisable for healthy men to get themselves screened for prostate cancer?

    A: You should discuss this with your doctor. Depending on your age and health, your doctor may advise regular screening for prostate cancer. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test and can help to detect prostate cancer early. Early detection greatly increases the chances of a full cure.

  • What are the 5 warning signs of prostate cancer?

    A: Five of the most common signs of prostate cancer are:

    Hesitancy or difficulty in urinating – It is a late symptom because cancer in later stages exerts pressure on the urethra which impedes urine flow.

    Blood in the urine, sudden urge to urinate and frequent urination, pain while urinating and loss of urine flow, and blood in semen are some other symptoms of prostate cancer you must keep an eye on.

    These symptoms do not establish whether or not you have prostate cancer and must be taken up with your doctor. A precaution that you should take is to start annual PSA tests, especially after the age of 45.

    Facing one or a combination of these symptoms? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today for a consultation.

  • What is a dangerous PSA level?

    A: PSA levels are deemed suspicious if they are above four ng/mL and anything below 2.6 ng/mL is considered safe. The in-between stage calls for caution and 10.0 ng/mL and above is alarming and most probably a sign of prostate cancer.

    However, determining the accuracy of PSA testing has proved difficult. This is due to the fact that most men with average PSA values avoid such tests unless their Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), which is a cancer test comes out abnormal.       

    Also, sometimes, a man with no prostate cancer symptoms may exhibit high PSA levels in a random prostate cancer screening. If that happens, doctors might recommend further PSA tests with DREs.

    Want to get your PSA levels checked? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • Can prostate cancer be cured?

    A: The first thing to remember about prostate cancer is that not everyone may need treatment; active surveillance works for many men. Secondly, prostate cancer can be cured if it is detected early and happens to be localised.

    There are two ways to cure it, surgery or radiation therapy. Other methods like microwave heating or laser ablation are not cures by themselves but are used when cancer recurs after primary treatment.

    Hormone therapy is also suggested sometimes, but it can only stop the progression of prostate cancer and reduce PSA levels. It cannot cure the disease entirely. Its benefits are also temporary.

    Need a permanent cure for your prostate cancer? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • How can I lower my PSA level quickly?

    A: While age and genetics play a significant role in managing Prostate-specific antigen or PSA levels, lifestyle changes can be crucial for maintaining them. You can reduce your PSA levels easily if you enrich your diet with tomatoes which are rich in antioxidants, lean proteins and Vitamin D; these are known to lower the risk of prostate cancer. 

    You can get more protein from fish, chicken, soy, while Vitamin D can come from fish, eggs and cereals. Drinking green tea and exercising are also crucial as a high BMI can upset PSA readings. Lastly, manage your stress level as it can impact your PSA as well.

    Want to manage your PSA effectively? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.

  • What is the best treatment for early stages of prostate cancer?

    A: If prostate cancer is detected early, we usually recommend either watchful waiting or surgery and radiation therapy.

    This is because, during the first two stages, cancer has not spread outside the prostate glands. Treatment at an early stage can often backfire as the cancer is small and grows slowly, which is why watchful waiting is usually recommended. 

    Surgery and radiation therapy, on the other hand, can efficiently target cancer, which is still limited to the prostate gland, by killing the cancer cells. However, factors such as the patient’s age, health, life expectancy and personal preferences are also considered when weighing treatment options.

    Not sure what the correct treatment for prostate cancer is? Book an appointment and consult a Medcare specialist today.

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