Prostate cancer is one of the most common type of cancer affecting 1 in every 6 males. In it’s early stages, prostate cancer has few symptoms and many of the symptoms associated with this disease are also symptoms found in other less serious illnesses. Prevalent symptoms of prostate problems which may or may not signal cancer include: frequent urination, bloody urine, burning urination, lower back pain or pain in the pelvis or upper thighs, blood in semen, pain during ejaculation, stopping and starting urination along with not being able to urinate.
The treatment course for prostate cancer differs depending on the location and size of the tumor as well as the patients health. In some cases, if the cancer is a slow growing one and you are advanced in age, the treatment may simply be that of watchful waiting. If the cancer is not causing any symptoms, then your physician may opt to simply keep and eye on it’s growth. This will entail a PSA blood test every few months as well as biopsies every year to see if and how fast it is growing. If it starts to grow faster, additional treatment may be recommended.
Some treatments for prostate cancer include:
A surgical procedure called a radical prostatectomy may be done to remove the cancer provided it has not spread outside of the prostate. The whole gland and surrounding tissue is removed in the hopes of removing all the cancer.
Radiotherapy employs x-rays to treat cancer and is relatively pain free. During this course of treatment, radiation is pointed towards your prostate in the hopes of shrinking or even eliminating the cancer. This technique can have adverse effects such as impotance and diarrhea.
Brachytherapy, is a method of radiotherapy on which something is implanted in the patient to treat the cancer. This method of treatment involves less visits to the hospital as opposed to radiation therapy (which is typically done every day) although it does require a little external radiotherapy also.
Hormone therapy is used to lower the level of androgens which cause prostate cancer to grow. This treatment is mostly used in men whose cancer has spread or returned after earlier treatments. While it will not cure the cancer, it can shrink it or slow it’s growth and may be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Chemotherapy is typically not effective against prostate cancer although newer drugs developed in recent years have shown the ability to relieve symptoms in men with advanced prostate cancer. Chemotherapy may be employed if the cancer has spread outside the prostate in order to shrink the cancer or slow it’s growth.
While many prostate symptoms indicate a problem other than cancer, it is vital that you see your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. Prompt treatment is your best chance for a cure.