Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Treatments, Data

December 5, 2009 by  

Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, DataWhat is Cancer and Prostate Cancer?

Aside from a fearsome word, cancer in general and prostate cancer in particular is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells, with unknown causes (although many are assumed) and which sounds to many like a death sentence.

Prostate cancer begins when cells in a man's prostate gland grow out of control and take over healthy cells. It is a slow-growing malignant growth that starts within the prostate.

The "C" word is one of the scariest in our language. But men with prostate "C"ancer have time on their side to experiment before going for more radical interventions, prostate cancer being the slowest growing of all cancers. One should stay optimistic: a lot of people leave with prostate cancer for a long time after being diagnosed, probably because they start being more aware of their body and start taking better care of themselves. If discovered in early stages, many prostate cancers can be cured or controlled to a degree which allows the person to have quite a normal life.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Early prostate cancer usually shows no symptoms, but as time goes on and the cancer spreads and becomes more advanced, the individuals may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • interrupted urine flow
  • inability to urinate, or simply difficulty to start/stop the urine flow
  • need to urinate frequently, especially at night (nocturia)
  • blood in urine (hematuria)
  • pain or burning with urination

Lower back pain as well as pelvic and thighs pain may be an indication that the prostate cancer has metastasized. So you should visit a doctor in case any of these symptoms are present, but remember that these same symptoms are also present in benign conditions, and some in BPG Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/enlarged prostate).

Prostate Cancer Treatments

Prostate cancer treatments depend greatly on age, stage of disease and other personal factors and should be discusses with the persona physician. External beam radiation, surgery, or radioactive seed implants (brachytherapy) may be used in early-stage prostate cancers; sometimes hormonal therapy is also applicable.

Hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, radiation or combination of these is used in cases of metastatic cancer, that is in cases where the prostate cancer has affected other parts of the body.

Careful observatrion (watchful waiting) is usually the path to follow by older men, with limited life expectancy, or when the tumor is not in an advanced state. In these cases, aggresive prostate cancer treatment options could do more damage than good.

Survival rates

More than 90% of cancer are discovered early, that is during the local and regional stages. For these people, the future looks good: relative survival rate after 5 years is 100%. Recent data indicates that the 10-year survival rate is 93% and the 15-year survival rate is 77%.

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