Prostate Cancer

The specific cause of Prostate Cancer cannot be isolated; however, it can be attributed to increasing age, familial history and race. During old age, most men may develop it. Death is usually attributed to other health conditions. A family history of cancer increases the person’s risk of having it. The third and probably most controversial risk factor  is race. Studies reveal that African-Americans have a higher risk compared to Asians for developing this type of cancer. The root cause of prostate cancer is still unknown; however high levels of testosterone, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle and lesser access to healthcare may increase your risk for this cancer type.

Prostate Cancer survival rate has increased in the past years due to increasing awareness of early symptoms of prostate problems. Recent studies found out that there is nearly 100% 5-year survival rate and almost 91% for the 10-year survival rate. As more years are added, the lesser survival rate becomes, for instance the 15-year survival rate is currently 76%.  These numbers can be attributed to the improvement of information dissemination and conscientious annual screening for prostate cancer.

The symptoms can be confused with symptoms of other prostate problems; therefore, consulting your doctor is suggested to get an accurate prostate cancer diagnosis. Early symptoms of prostate cancer are mostly related to changes in urinary pattern, while later symptoms signal an advanced stage. The danger is that the cancerous cells may have already metastasized to surrounding tissues. For instance, low back pain or hip pain would indicate metastases to the backbone and pelvic bone. Other symptoms noted are extreme weight loss, and increased fatigability.

Testicular cancer is an abnormal growth of cancer cells in the testicles. This type of cancer is highly curable. While prostate cancer afflicts older men, testicular cancer afflicts younger men. The most common symptom reported is feeling a suspicious painless lump when the scrotal sac is felt. Early diagnosis of testicular cancer can be done by increasing awareness on the importance of regular self-examination of the testicles.

Prostate Cancer Treatment depends on the age, overall health condition, and the preference of the patient. The three most common options are the following:

  • Surgery is valuable during the early stages of the disease. The most common surgery is prostatectomy – the removal of prostate. In advanced stages surgery is not indicated because of possible metastases to surrounding lymph nodes. However, prostatectomy may still be done to relieve urethral obstruction.
  • Radiation may be done externally, through radiation beams, or by internal implants of radioactive seeds. For younger men, internal radiation is better since is has a lesser risk of impotence and rectal damage.
  • Since the growing tumor is androgen-dependent, hormonal treatment is done to lower blood levels of androgens (testosterone). However, others types of cancer cells found in the prostate may also be unaffected by this treatment, so the pros and cons should be considered before undergoing such treatment. The variations of hormonal treatment range from orchiectomy, or removal of sex glands, or oral medications of estrogen compounds.

This particular cancer is highly treatable but usually not preventable since its cause is not yet identified. However, considering the risks factors discussed, a change in lifestyle and diet can be done to increase the well-being of that person.