Prostate Cancer

  • Overview

  • Symptoms

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatment

Overview

Prostate is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder. It makes the semen that nourishes the sperm. Nerves and blood vessels responsible for erectile function can be affected by prostate cancer or its treatment. Most prostate cancers occur in men older than 50 and are not life-threatening.

Early Symptoms

 Most men do not exhibit any noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer and the first sign is often an abnormality during a routine screening. You may consult your doctor if you experience any of the following, but they do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer.

  • A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night.
  • Inability to urinate or holding back the flow.
  • Chronic pain or stiffness in the hips, lower back or upper thighs
  • Erectile dysfunction or painful ejaculation

Diagnosis

  • Medical History
  • Blood Tests
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Biopsy

Treatment

Active Surveillance: If the tumour is small, growing slowly or not aggressive, the patient is monitored but receives no treatment.

Surgery: Radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure where the prostate is removed along with some surrounding tissues and small glands that help in semen production. Sometimes, a number of surrounding lymph nodes are also extracted.

Radiation Therapy: This treatment may be offered alone or in combination with hormone therapy. If there are signs of the cancer resurfacing it may given after surgery.

Brachytherapy: This is an internal type of radiation therapy, wherein radioactive seeds are implanted near the tumour site.

Focal Therapies: Focal therapy is an umbrella term for various non-invasive treatments for killing small tumours of the prostate without affecting the gland and most of the normal tissue.

Systemic Therapy: Systemic therapy uses drugs to fight the cancer, and includes hormone therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and bone metastasis therapy (if the cancer has spread to nearby bones).