Prostate cancer in men is a disease that most have to expect and plan for early. It is one of the most common causes for death of men who are over the age of 75 and most men will already have an increased risk for the disease when they hit 60. This is especially true for men who have a family history of prostate cancer.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer in Men
It’s advisable that men who come close to the age of 60 start scheduling regular tests. In fact it’s even better for younger men, 20-30, to schedule an exam every couple of years. The older they get the more frequent the tests will become. Prostate cancer is dangerous at its later stages but treatable if detected early.
Here are a couple of common symptoms of prostate cancer and or pancreatic cancer in men:
• Blood in your urine
• Blood in your semen
• Dribbling urine (droplets of urine come out even if you aren’t peeing)
• Partial or total loss of bladder control (incontinence)
• Frequent need to urinate (every one or two hours even if you aren’t drinking that much fluids)
• Being woken up from sleep because of the need to urinate (nocturia)
• Difficulty in urinating (you know you have to go but you need to apply a lot of pressure to release)
• Inability to urinate
• Burning sensation when urinating
If you experience one or a combination of these symptoms it’s best that you consult a physician and schedule a checkup. Even if it ends up not being prostate cancer, most of these are still symptoms of other prostate or bladder related dysfunctions.
Medical Tests to determine if there is causes of prostate cancer in men
There are several tests available to medical practitioners that they can use to determine the existence of prostate cancer in men. Some involve high tech machinery while others only require a simple glove.
Digital rectal examination – involves the insertion of the doctor’s finger into the rectum to detect lumps or enlarged prostate. The existence of lumps hints at an abnormal development although this does not necessarily have to be cancer.
PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen – is a simple blood test that checks the levels of PSA in your blood. The antigen is produced by the prostate and large concentrations in our bloodstream can mean that cancer or another abnormality is developing.
Prostate Biopsy – involves taking multiple samples of the prostate tissue. Cells from the tissue samples will then be checked for the existence of cancer cells. It is an outpatient procedure and is performed only when previous tests such as the PSA test hint at the existence of cancer.
Treatment for Prostate Cancer in Men
Medical science has advanced to a point where we now have several options available for treating prostate cancer in men. It is important however that all the options available are thoroughly discussed with a doctor before selecting a particular treatment and receiving a prostate cancer overview.
For some instances, the more invasive treatments aren’t necessary or even practical. The level of development of the cancer has to be considered as well as the possible inconveniences that will come with the form of treatment chosen.
This treatment involves the removal of the cancer cells through surgical means. The type of surgery you will have to undergo will depend on your age and the cancer’s development. The operation can however lead to several inconveniences such as incontinence and erection problems.
There are two forms of radiation therapy, internal and external.
External radiation therapy normally lasts only several minutes although you will have to undergo the treatment several times. It is non-invasive and requires no anesthetic.
Internal radiation therapy entails the planting of radioactive “seeds” in your prostate. The purpose of the “seeds” is to kill off the cancer cells internally. This requires only one hospital visit and you can normally leave right after or in some cases, the next day. It will require the use of anesthesia though.
Prostate cancer in men can also be treated by lowering the production of certain male hormones. This is normally done to control the growth of cancer cells especially if they have spread beyond the prostate. The therapy involves the ingestion of pills as well as taking shots for several months or years.
Chemo therapy destroys cells that are rapidly dividing (cancer cells) but its effect cannot be limited to one area of the body. Because of the dangers that come with chemo therapy, it is not often used for the treatment of prostate cancer in men. However if the cancer has advanced and spread to other tissues/organs then chemo becomes an option.