Side Effects Of Treatment
Treatment for prostate cancer can cause a variety of side effects which can affect your mind, your body and your relationships. All of this can impact your sex life, some more than others. You can read about sex and prostate cancer here.
Some men experience urinary problems after prostate cancer treatment, including leakage of urine . You can read information about this here.
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The Psa Blood Test Explained
PSA is prostate specific antigen, a substance produced by the prostate sometimes but not always in higher quantities in men with prostate cancer. Other causes of a raised PSA blood test include benign prostatic hyperplasia in men with a large prostate gland and infection or inflammation in the prostate . A raised PSA blood test does not mean that you have prostate cancer but that you may have an increased risk of developing the disease. If the PSA is raised, your doctor will talk to you about your options. Men in Ireland are not routinely offered PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer. There are many reasons for this, the most relevant being that although the PSA is prostate specific, it is not cancer specific. In other words the PSA can be raised for reasons other than cancer.
Prostate cancer treatment will depend on:
The type of cancer cells found at the time of diagnosis.
The test results.
The age of the patient.
General health of the patient.
Some of the treatment options include: active surveillance , surgery, radiotherapy , hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Some of these treatments may be used alone or together to treat some prostate cancers. It is often useful to have a friend or relative with you when the treatment is explained. Some patients find it helps to write down a list of questions before going to the appointment.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed
A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope.
A biopsy is a procedure that can be used to diagnose prostate cancer. A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells.
A Gleason score is determined when the biopsy tissue is looked at under the microscope. If there is a cancer, the score indicates how likely it is to spread. The score ranges from 2 to 10. The lower the score, the less likely it is that the cancer will spread.
A biopsy is the main tool for diagnosing prostate cancer, but a doctor can use other tools to help make sure the biopsy is made in the right place. For example, doctors may use transrectal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging to help guide the biopsy. With transrectal ultrasound, a probe the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum and high-energy sound waves are bounced off the prostate to create a picture of the prostate called a sonogram. MRI uses magnets and radio waves to produce images on a computer. MRI does not use any radiation.
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What Are The Risks Of Breast Cancer
The following put you at higher risk: 1 A personal history of breast cancer or some noncancerous breast diseases 2 A family history of breast cancer, particularly in a mother, daughter, or sister 3 History of radiation treatments to the chest before age 40 4 Having a specific genetic defect such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation 5 Getting your period before age 12 6 For some women, your age when you had your first child
Who Is More Likely To Develop Prostate Cancer
Anyone who has a prostate can develop prostate cancer. But certain factors can make you more likely to develop it:
- Age. Your chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you get older. Prostate cancer is rare in people under age 50.
- Family health history. Your risk of prostate cancer is higher if you have a parent, sibling, or child who has or has had prostate cancer.
- Race. African Americans are more likely to get prostate cancer. They’re also more likely to:
- Get prostate cancer at a younger age.
- Have more serious prostate cancer.
- Die from prostate cancer.
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Other Factors That Increase The Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Besides the above-discussed causes, there are a few other factors that increase the risk of getting affected by prostate cancer:
- Old Age The risk of prostate cancer increases with the increase of age. More commonly, it is diagnosed in men aged 50 or above. Around 60% of prostate cancer occurs in men above 65 years.
- Family History The risk of prostate cancer increases if someone from your family such as your brother, sister, or parents, or child is affected by prostate cancer.
- Geographical Location An increasing number of people around Caribbean Islands, Australia, North-Western Europe, and North America are affected by prostate cancer. South America, Central America, Africa, and Asia are the least common areas where people get prostate cancer.
- Racial Background For some unknown reasons, the risk of prostate cancer is higher in Black race people than other races. There can be a more advanced or aggressive type of this cancer in Black people.
- Obese It is considered that people who are overweight are more prone to get prostate cancer. A person with a healthy weight has a lower chance of getting it. Prostate cancer can also return and be more aggressive in obese people. Therefore, maintaining a proper weight is important to avoid this type of cancer.
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What Percentage Of Breast Cancer Is Inherited
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to inherited gene mutations. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 and breast cancer gene 2 . If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest testing your blood for these specific mutations. Breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been
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Does Undergoing A Vasectomy Cause Prostate Cancer
The link between prostate cancer and vasectomy is controversial. A 2020 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that undergoing a vasectomy may result in a small increased risk of prostate cancer that persists for at least three decades, regardless of the age at vasectomy. However, other studies have not found this to be true and more research is needed, according to the American Cancer Society.
People With Limited Information On Family Medical History
You may not know your family medical history.
Risk assessment tools such as the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool can estimate your breast cancer risk without this information. However, it will be less accurate without your family history details.
Talking with your health care provider about other risk factors for breast cancer can help you learn about your risk even if you dont have information on your family medical history.
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If The Biopsy Shows Cancer Is There A Way To Find Out If Its The Dangerous Fast
Doctors use a method called the Gleason system to estimate how aggressive a prostate cancer may be. Malignant cells are examined under a microscope and graded on a scale of 1 to 10 according to how different they look from normal cells. The Gleason score is far from conclusive still, the higher the score, the more likely the cancer will grow and spread rapidly. Doctors may also look at changes in your PSA level over time to gauge the cancers aggressiveness.
Prostate Cancer: Psa Tests And Diagnosis
Though most cases of prostate cancer have a good prognosis, the disease is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
As with other cancers, early detection and treatment may be important for surviving prostate cancer, at least for advanced forms of the disease.
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What Is Prostate Cancer
Cancer can start any place in the body. Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland. It starts when cells in the prostate grow out of control.
Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells in the prostate can sometimes travel to the bones or other organs and grow there. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis. To doctors, the cancer cells in the new place look just like the ones from the prostate.
Cancer is always named for the place where it starts. So when prostate cancer spreads to the bones , its still called prostate cancer. Its not called bone cancer unless it starts from cells in the bone.
Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is.
The prostate is a gland found only in men, so only men can get prostate cancer.
The prostate is just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . The tube that carries pee goes through the prostate. The prostate makes some of the fluid that helps keep the sperm alive and healthy.
There are a few types of prostate cancer. Some are very rare. Most prostate cancers are a type called adenocarcinoma. This cancer starts from gland cells. Your doctor can tell you more about the type you have.
How Can I Help My Loved One When He Doesnt Want To Talk About It
Many men with prostate cancer value being able to talk to those close to them about how they are feeling. It can help get things out in the open and to lift their spirits. But some men prefer to cope on their own, and dont want to talk about things, or want any outside help. You might find this frustrating or upsetting. But try to remember that he might not see things the same way as you. Even if you think that he needs some practical help or should be talking about his emotions, he might feel that hes coping fine.Try to help him think about what he wants, rather than telling him what he should do. You can do this by asking questions or saying what you think and asking for his response. Let him know that you are there for him if he needs anything. Be specific about the kind of support you can offer practical as well as emotional. You might need to give him space to come to terms with things in his own time or deal with things in his own way.
For some men just having family and friends around is enough. You dont have to talk about prostate cancer. Just chatting about normal things and doing some everyday activities together might help. Encourage your loved one to see family and friends and to keep up with social activities and hobbies if he feels up to it.
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What Are The Symptoms
In early stages, prostate cancer generally has no symptoms, so most cases are detected by screening tests. Some men do notice that they have to urinate more often or that their stream of urine is weaker. But those changes can also arise from a less serious condition like an enlarged prostate. Advanced prostate cancer may result in swollen lymph nodes in the groin, problems maintaining an erection, and pain in the groin area, spine, hips, or ribs. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor.
Is Breast Cancer On The Rise
And certain kinds of breast cancer are on the rise among young women. While breast cancer is most typically diagnosed in post-menopausal women, this is a condition that can and does happen in young women, too, says Yale Medicine radiologist Liva Andrejeva-Wright, MD, who specializes in breast imaging. I have diagnosed women in their 20s
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What Type Of Follow
If prostate cancer recurs, follow-up treatment depends on what treatment you have already had, the extent of your cancer, the site of recurrence, other illnesses, your age, and other aspects of your medical situation.
One possible treatment might include hormone therapy. Researchers are working on new drugs to block the effects of male hormones, which can cause prostate cancer to grow, and drugs to prevent prostate cancer growth.
Radiation therapy, ultrasound, extreme cold, electrical current, or medicines may be used to relieve symptoms of bone pain. Chemotherapy or other treatments being medically researched are also options.
Now in clinical trials are several types of vaccines for boosting the body’s immune system against prostate cancer cells. Sipuleucel-T is the only vaccine available on the market for prostate cancer.
How Common Is Prostate Cancer And Who Is At Risk
Prostate cancer most often affects men between ages 55 and 69. There is a huge gap between the proportion of men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those whose health and lifespan are affected by the disease. American men have a 16 percent lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer, but only 2.9 percent of men die from it.
In fact, many prostate cancers are believed to be slow growing, with men dying from causes other than prostate cancer. Autopsy studies support this, finding that 30 percent of 55-year-old men and 60 percent of men reaching age 80 on whom an autopsy is performed have autopsy-discovered prostate cancer.
There are some factors that increase risk for prostate cancer, including:
Race Race seems to play a role in the frequency and severity of the disease. African-American men are far more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men 203.5 vs. 121.9 cases per 100,000 men. They are also more than twice as likely as white men to die of prostate cancer 44.1 vs. 19.1 deaths per 100,000 men.
Family History Positive family history of prostate cancer is another risk factor.
Elevated Body Mass Index Elevated BMI is another risk factor, linked to an increased risk of prostate-cancer-specific mortality and biochemical recurrence in men with prostate cancer.
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Current Psa Screening Recommendations
PSA-based screening refers to testing healthy men without symptoms.
Until recently, physician societies disagreed on screening recommendations, but with the publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Guideline in May 2018, all the major physician groups are broadly in agreement, including the American College of Physicians , the American Cancer Society , American Urological Association , and American Society of Clinical Oncology :
- They advise supporting men so that they make informed decisions about screening that reflect their personal preferences and values.
- Routine screening is not recommended in men between ages 40 and 54 of average risk.
- For men ages 55 to 69 years, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded with moderate certainty that the net benefit of PSA-based screening is small for some men, making the decision up to the judgment of the physician and the values of the patient.”
- For men 70 years and older, they recommend against routine screening because the expected harms are thought to outweigh the benefits.
- Your doctor should not screen you unless you express a preference for it.
- A discussion of the benefits and harms of screening should include a family history of prostate cancer, race or ethnicity, any medical conditions that affect your overall health and lifespan, and your values about risk and benefit.
- If you have less than a 10-year life expectancy, screening is not recommended.
Drugs To Treat Cancer Spread To Bone
If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it almost always goes to the bones first. These areas of cancer spread can cause pain and weak bones that might break. Medicines that can help strengthen the bones and lower the chance of fracture are bisphosphonates and denosumab. Sometimes, radiation, radiopharmaceuticals, or pain medicines are given for pain control.
Side effects of bone medicines
A serious side effect of bisphosphonates and denosumab is damage to the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw . Most people will need to get approval from their dentist before starting one of these drugs.
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Veterans & Chemical Exposure
Exposure to chemicals and defoliants can add to prostate cancer risk and severity. Studies have shown Vietnam and Korean War Veterans with exposure to defoliants like Agent Orange have a higher occurrence of prostate cancer. In fact, Veterans are about twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who have never served in the military. Read more about Veterans and prostate cancer here.
Farmers and other men who work with large amounts of pesticides can be at increased risk and those who are frequently exposed to metal cadmium like welders, battery manufacturers, and rubber workers are abnormally vulnerable to prostate cancer. There is some evidence that firefighters are also at higher risk.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
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