Finding the care you need for Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland, an organ, is shaped like a walnut-sized gland in men that produces the prostate fluid that transports and nourishes sperm throughout the reproductive system. Prostate cancer, due to its advanced stage, is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Most prostate cancers develop slowly over time and are confined to the prostate glands, where they can cause less severe damage if left alone. However, when these cancers spread to other body areas, they can be very dangerous.
Most men will experience some symptoms of prostate cancer at some point in their lives. These may include unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain, unintentional diarrhea or constipation, blood in urine or semen, fever, and legs' swelling. One test commonly used is called the digital rectal exam. This test consists of a small, lighted camera affixed to a thin inner tube that allows a man's prostate to be seen.
Other tests that may be performed to determine whether or not you have prostate cancer include a bone scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, CT scan or ultrasound. All of these tests will help your doctor to determine whether or not cancer is present in the area of your body in which you are experiencing the symptoms. Abnormal cells may grow in areas of your body that are not usually affected by tumors. Although most abnormal cells will not cause harm to your health, you should consult with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual growths in any of these areas.
Prostate cancer can be treated depending on the type of cancer that is present in your body. If there is just one tumor present or located very close to another or adjacent organs, surgery will be required. If your cancer has spread (metastasized), hormone therapy will probably be prescribed, and chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Surgery or radiation therapy is more effective in cases where the spread of cancer has not yet reached the lymph nodes or other areas where it may potentially spread. If your doctor believes that your cancer has spread significantly, then he may suggest that you have an operation known as a prostatectomy.
If a man develops prostate cancer while still young, he runs the risk of living just several years without learning of his cancer or being able to cure it once it has developed. Because prostate cancer often affects men who are in their forties and beyond, many men live with prostate cancer for their entire lives. Prostate-cancer patients are considered high risk because they have a family history of this disease, have sexual intercourse with a woman who has it and have the disease itself; and often because they have certain risk factors associated with prostate cancer and are unaware of them.
Anytime a tumor is present in the body, it can pose a danger. This is especially true when it has spread to areas surrounding the lymph nodes in your chest, such as the lungs, liver, or bones. Even if you do not have a tumor, it is still essential to regularly see your doctor ensure that any symptoms you might be experiencing are not related to something else. Symptoms should include blood in the urine or stool, persistent coughing that does not go away and weight loss.
It's estimated that most men will need prostate cancer treatment at some point in their lives. With all the various screening methods currently available, it's easy to get lost and confused about the best way to go. Screening for prostate cancer can be tricky but can be one of the most important decisions you make regarding your health.
Most medical organizations recommend men over their age of 50 to share their thoughts with their physicians on prostate cancer screenings' pros and cons. The dialogue should include an assessment of your lifestyle and your riskiest risks. If you are a Black man, have a family member with the disease, or are experiencing an early age onset, you may want to start the conversations earlier. Most experts recommend that men begin discussing these screenings with their physicians as soon as possible because symptoms and treatments become more readily apparent as we age. Early detection is the best way to avoid the devastating consequences that this disease can leave you with.
One of the newest and potentially most successful prostate cells to be developed is "biologic therapy." This treatment involves identifying the genetic molecules that cause the disease and then actively fighting off these cells so they can no longer attack healthy prostate cells. This therapy is producing T-cells which are new versions of the T-cells that are always present in our bodies. These new T-cells are then genetically programmed to attack prostate cells.
One of the latest PSA tests is called the Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSAT). This test measures the levels of the PSA hormone. Several newer tests combine PSA with a digital blood cell panel. Blood tests for PSA can now be taken at home rather than in the doctor's office. A home test will not only save you the cost of travel to the lab, but it will also save you time. There is no more need to drive to the lab and come back in a short time, so this option allows you to test for PSA whenever you wish.
Some of the latest medications used for treating prostate cancer include transthoracic, doxorubicin, and two newer drugs known as the platinum/ palladium (PPA) inhibitors. Transthoracic is an injectable medication that is used to treat the cancer cells within the prostate. It is commonly used for moderate to severe pain caused by enlarged prostates. The downside of this drug is that it can lead to increased risk of infection and bleeding, which may increase the risk of death. If you suffer from frequent infections or prolonged bleeding, you should inform your doctor about these concerns.
Another new treatment for prostate cancer involves molecular biology and genetic engineering to change the genetic material of the body. This technique is called targeted drug delivery. Targeted treatments using gene changes have shown promise in developing new drugs that are more effective and may one day allow men with the disease to live longer and better lives. Clinical trials are currently being conducted to determine whether this technology holds promise in the future.
As mentioned earlier, this type's treatment can involve the introduction of hormonal therapies and other surgical procedures. Unfortunately, many men who are considered high risk have been told that they cannot undergo this procedure because of the severe side effects such surgery can cause. This is not necessarily true. Prostate cancer is not like other organs in that it is surrounded by blood.
Doctors have developed some ground-breaking tests to determine if gene changes will affect the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate. Most of these tests are currently in pre-clinical development. Scientists and doctors are working feverishly to test these new drugs before they are available for general use. Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer are the most critical aspect of surviving this severe disease.