The prostate gland in men is that which controls urine and also has a part to play in fluid production for the semen in males. This is the gland which is affected when men have prostate cancer. It has been recorded as the most typical kind of cancer amongst men in the United States of America.
What is prostate cancer?
When some cells begin to grow uncontrollably in the body, cancer has begun. There are cells throughout the human body, and any of them can become cancerous and fan out to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer starts when the prostate gland cells begin to grow without control. This male organ is located in the front of the rectum, under the bladder and is as big as a walnut even though that of older men can be even bigger. The urethra which carries sperm and urine out of the body passes right through the middle of this prostate gland while some seminal vesicles located behind the prostate gland produce fluid for sperm. Prostate cancer comes in different kinds
- Small cell carcinomas
- Transitional cell carcinomas
- Neuroendocrine tumors
The most common of all is adenocarcinomas which are developed from the prostate fluid that is produced for sperm. The other kinds exist, but they are very rare. Prostate cancer can grow quickly, but in most cases, it spreads very slowly. If you know an aged or young man who died of other causes, an autopsy might reveal the presence of prostate cancer which was growing too slowly to even manifest.
What are the causes?
The cause of prostate cancer is still unclear. Doctors are aware that it starts when cells in the prostate gland grow abnormal. The DNA of the abnormal cell or cells begin to mutate, grow and divide much faster than all the other normal cells are doing. When other normal cells have lived out their lifespan and died, the abnormal ones live on and do not die.
As this continues, the abnormal cells will accumulate over time and construct a tumour. That tumour can continue growing until invades the space of tissues close by. In some cases, these abnormal cells do not only cause problems in one place; they can break away and metastasize or spread to other segments of the patient’s body.
It is possible for prostate cancer to be treated effectively before it metastasizes. Once it spreads, it becomes more threatening to the patient. Prostate cancer typically spreads through bones.
What are the treatments?
Your prostate cancer has to be diagnosed and the stage identified before options for treatment can be discussed. You and the doctor have a lot to go over before deciding on a plan for treatment. Every treatment has its feasible side effects and risks, and so you have to compare those against e advantages before choosing. According to the particular case, here are treatment options for men who have prostate cancer:
- Radiation therapy
- Active surveillance or watchful waiting
- Hormone therapy
- Cryosurgery (cryotherapy)
- Bone-directed treatment
- Vaccine treatment
In some cases, these treatments stated above could be combined to treat your prostate cancer, but generally, they are applied one at a time.
Different doctors can treat prostate cancer, but these are the main kind of doctors who do:
- Radiations oncologists: these doctors use radiation therapy to treat cancer.
- Urologists: these surgeons treat urinary system diseases and other diseases of the male reproductive system as well as prostate cancer.
- Medical oncologists: these doctors treat cancer with medicines including hormone therapy or chemotherapy
Other medical specialists including nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutrition specialists and social workers can be part of your prostate cancer treatment team.
What is the survival rate?
The survival rates of prostate cancer will give you information about the number of people diagnosed with a certain of prostate cancer who are still alive after a stipulated time, usually a period of 5 years. This does not ensure that you will live for a certain amount of time but simply gives more insight into how possible success is for your treatment. You don’t have to know the survival rate of your stage of prostate cancer, some men know, and some do not want to know.
According to very recent data, these are the survival rates of prostate cancer across all stages:
- Respective survival rate of 5 years is 99%
- Respective survival rate of 10 years is 98%
- Respective survival rate of 15 years is 96%
When comparing the above survival rates, keep in mind that survival rate of 5 years is based on information from men that have been diagnosed and treated 5 years ago and the same for 10 and 15 years.
The survival rate of prostate cancer according to stages is as follows:
- Local prostate cancer: respective survival rate of 5 years is 100%
- Regional prostate cancer: respective survival rate of 5 years is 100%
- Distant prostate cancer: respective survival rate of 5 years is 29%