Prostate is a part of the male reproductive system and this small walnut-sized structure that is located at the base or the outlet of the urinary bladder. The gland surrounds the urethra, which is a tube that carries urine out of the body. Prostate cancer is a malignant (cancerous) growth of cells from the prostate gland. To know why prostate cancer is important, we need to know prostate cancer symptoms and treatment.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Early prostate cancer shows no symptoms. As the cancer grows, the malignant tumor causes the prostate gland to swell. Once cancer spreads beyond the prostate gland, the following symptoms may be seen.
- Frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Difficulty in starting or stopping the urination process
- Experience of painful or burning sensation during ejaculation or urination
- Inability to stand and urinate
- Blood in urine or semen
- Weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs
- Dull, incessant deep pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs, or upper thighs
- Swelling of the lower extremities
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Arthritic pain in the bones of lower back, upper thighs or the ribs
- Fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
Treatment of prostate cancer
The choice of treatment depends upon age, and how much or how far the cancer has spread. There are various treatments available, the surgeon might choose one treatment or he can use a combination of treatments depending upon the severity of the cancer. For slow-growing tumours, usually no treatment is given. In such scenarios, the doctors do active monitoring or watchful waiting. The condition of the patient will be closely monitored with routine check-ups. If the tests suggest growth of cancer or if any symptoms are seen, the doctor may decide on the line of treatment.
Surgery is recommended for healthy men under 70 yrs of age, whose cancer hasn’t spread beyond their prostate. Several types of surgery used are as follows:
- Radical prostatectomy – It is a major operation that involves removal of the whole prostate and some surrounding healthy tissue
- keyhole surgery (a laparoscopic prostatectomy)- The prostate is removed through smaller incisions and robot-assisted surgery
- Orchidectomy – It is done rarely. In this procedure, the surgeon removes your testicles to destroy the main source of the male sex hormone testosterone, which is known to help the cancer grow
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is done to provide relief from the symptoms and to make the process of passing urine easier.
Radiotherapy: This treatment makes use of X-rays to destroy cancer cells.
Hormone therapy: This process can slow down the growth and spread of prostate tumours by blocking the action of testosterone. However, this therapy doesn’t kill the cancer cells. Hormone therapies include administering medicines called as bicalutamide or having injections of a medicine called as goserelin.
Chemotherapy: This therapy makes use of medicines to destroy the cancer cells. A medicine called as docetaxel combined with a steroid called prednisolone is recommended by the doctor if the hormone therapy doesn’t work.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): Heat is used to destroy the cancer cells. This treatment is an option only if the cancer is in its early stages or if your cancer has come back.
Cryotherapy: In this treatment option, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and kill the cancer cells. This option again is a part of a clinical trial and is used only if your cancer is in its early stages or if your cancer has come back.
Information about prostate cancer symptoms and treatment given here will help you know a lot about prostate cancer. Know to identify the prostate cancer symptoms to get it treated in the early stages of the cancer to prevent further complications.