Prostate Cancer

Is the number one non-skin cancer that men get in the United States. For some reason it is not as high in other countries. Some professionals feel that it may be the American diet that contributes to the high incidence of prostate cancer. This article will look at the symptoms, the causes, treatment and prognosis of prostate cancer.

Symptoms

There are generally no signs or symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer. When they do start to appear they are usually problems with urinating. They could be having to urinate a lot, not being able to urinate, having pain during urination or having trouble stopping and starting urination.

Other symptoms could include having blood in your urine, difficulty having an erection or having severe pain in you belly, lower back, pelvis and hips.

Causes

It is unknown what causes prostate cancer, but professionals believe that your family history and age are linked to your chances of getting it. It is also believed that what you eat also may help to cause prostate cancer. Some professionals believe that diets high in red meat and dairy cause prostate cancer. People who eat a lot of red meat and dairy do not usually consume much of the other food groups such as fruits, vegetables and grains.

Treatment

There are four factors that will influence what sort of treatment you should receive if you have prostate cancer. They are: your age, your PSA level, the kind of cancer cells you have, and any serious health issues you have (i.e. bowel, urinary or sexual function problems).

The main treatments for prostate cancer are hormone therapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Often it can be a combination of these treatments that will be used for your prostate cancer. Sometimes there may not be any treatment at all. If your cancer is determined to be “low-risk” by your doctor you may decide to wait and see what happens. This means going to your doctor frequently to keep an eye on the cancer and make sure that is does not spread.

Surgery in progress

For locally advanced prostate cancer radiation therapy, hormone therapy and surgery are the three most widely used treatments. High energy x-rays are used in radiation therapy to destroy the cancer. Radiation therapy has advanced over the years and side effects have become less and less. There are two types of radiation therapy: internal and external. There are two sub-types of external radiation treatment. They are: conformal radiotherapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy. Both use three-dimensional planning systems to target the cancer.

When it comes to surgery, there are two popular treatments. They are transurethral resection of the prostate and radical prostatectomy. The transurethral resection of the prostate involves removing some of the tumor that is blocking your urethra. This will only stop the cancer from spreading for a while. Radical prostatectomy takes out your prostate gland and all the cancer in and around it. You usually have to start hormone therapy afterwards.

Prognosis

Cancer treatments have progressed greatly over the years. This is seen in the survival rate figures. Survival rates can be in time or by stage. In time there is the relative 5-year survival rate, the relative 10-year survival rate and the 15-year survival rate. The 5-year survival rate means 5 years from being diagnosed, the 10-year means 10 years from being diagnosed and so on. Right now the 5-year survival rate is at 100%. This is if the cancer is detected sooner than later. The 10-year is 98% and the 15-year is 93%. So, as you can see the outcome is pretty good.