Drugs To Prevent Prostate Cancer
Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia are often treated with dihydrotestosterone -lowering drugs called finasteride or dutasteride. These drugs have been studied extensively to determine whether they can prevent prostate cancer, and results suggest that they could reduce cancer risk by about 25 percent. Patients who develop cancer while on the drugs are more likely to get an aggressive form of the disease, so discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your doctor.
Thinking About Taking Part In A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies that are done to get a closer look at promising new treatments or procedures. Clinical trials are one way to get state-of-the art cancer treatment. In some cases they may be the only way to get access to newer treatments. They are also the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat cancer. Still, they’re not right for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about clinical trials that might be right for you, start by asking your doctor if your clinic or hospital conducts clinical trials.
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated
Through a virtual conversation, Nathan can help you get ready to talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Different types of treatment are available for prostate cancer. You and your doctor will decide which treatment is right for you. Some common treatments are
- Expectant management. If your doctor thinks your prostate cancer is unlikely to grow quickly, he or she may recommend that you dont treat the cancer right away. Instead, you can choose to wait and see if you get symptoms in one of two ways:
- Active surveillance. Closely monitoring the prostate cancer by performing prostate specific antigen tests and prostate biopsies regularly, and treating the cancer only if it grows or causes symptoms.
- Watchful waiting. No tests are done. Your doctor treats any symptoms when they develop. This is usually recommended for men who are expected to live for 10 more years or less.
Other therapies used in the treatment of prostate cancer that are still under investigation include
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Where Prostate Cancer Spreads
If left untreated, diagnosed prostate cancer can grow and possibly spread outside of the prostate to local tissues or distantly to other sites in the body. The first sites of spread are typically to the nearby tissues.
The cancer can spread down the blood vessels, lymphatic channels, or nerves that enter and exit the prostate, or cancer could erode directly through the capsule that surrounds the prostate.
The seminal vesicles are a site of particularly common early spread. More extensive local spread can occur with cancer invading the nearby bladder or rectum.
Further advancement of cancer can occur when cancer cells enter the blood vessels and lymphatic channels. Once cancer has entered into these vessels, prostate cancer cells can seed into virtually any other part of the body.
Prostate cancer is known to have a particular affinity for spreading or metastasizing to the bones especially the lower spine, pelvis, and femur. Other organs such as the liver, brain, or lungs can also be the sites of spread, but these are much rarer.
Figure 1 Location Of The Prostate Gland
The prostate gland, about the size of a walnut, produces fluid that forms part of the semen that is ejaculated during sexual activity. The prostate is located adjacent to the rectum and just below the bladder, and wraps around the upper part of the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
This location creates challenges in both diagnosis and treatment. During a digital rectal exam, for example, a doctor is able to feel only the back portion of the prostate. If cancer has developed in the apex, base, or deep inside the prostate, it may not be palpable.
Surgeons and radiation oncologists also face challenges in eradicating a tumor without causing lasting damage to surrounding organs and structures. When removing a tumor from the breast or colon, a surgeon is able to remove enough surrounding tissue to ensure clean margins, meaning that all the cancer has been removed. But when treating prostate cancer, a comparable amount of tissue cannot be removed surgically or targeted. It takes a skilled surgeon and radiation oncologist to eradicate diseased tissue without harming portions of the rectum, bladder, and penis, thereby minimizing the likelihood of complications.
Its also important to understand the limits of current medical knowledge about prostate cancer.
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How Do You Feel About It
You most likely will have many different emotions as you learn more about your diagnosis and begin to learn about treatment options. Its normal to wonder, Why me? or to feel sad, angry, or afraid. Physical and chemical changes from the treatment or the cancer itself can also affect your emotions. The first step is to admit to yourself how you feel. Its OK to let yourself feel the way you do.
Are Prostate Problems Always A Sign Of Prostate Cancer
Not all growths in the prostate are cancerous, and not all prostate problems indicate cancer. Other conditions that cause similar prostate cancer symptoms include:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia : At some point, almost every man will develop benign prostatic hyperplasia . This condition enlarges the prostate gland but doesnt increase cancer risk. The swollen gland squeezes the urethra and blocks the flow of semen and urine. Medications, and sometimes surgery, can help.
- Prostatitis: Men younger than 50 are more prone to prostatitis, inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. Bacterial infections are often the cause. Treatments include antibiotics or other medications.
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What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men.
About the size of a satsuma, it’s located between the penis and the bladder, and surrounds the urethra.
The main function of the prostate is to produce a thick white fluid that creates semen when mixed with the sperm produced by the testicles.
Surgery For An Enlarged Prostate
For most men with very enlarged prostates, surgery can relieve symptoms but there are both risks and benefits with each type of operation. Discuss them with your doctor. After a careful evaluation of your situation and your general medical condition, your doctor will recommend which is best for you.
TURP : This is the most common surgery for an enlarged prostate, and considered to bring the greatest reduction in symptoms. Only the tissue growth that is pressing against the urethra is removed to allow urine to flow easily. The procedure involves an electrical loop that cuts tissue and seals blood vessels. Most doctors suggest using TURP whenever surgery is required, as it is less traumatic than open surgery and requires shorter recovery time.
With the TURP procedure, patients can expect to have retrograde ejaculation afterwards, says Westney. This is a condition in which a man ejaculates backward into the bladder instead of through the urethra. Retrograde ejaculation generally isnt painful, she tells WebMD. It shouldnt be an issue unless fertility is a concern. Other possible side effects include blood loss requiring transfusion , painful urination, recurring urinary tract infections, bladder neck narrowing, and blood in the urine.
After TURP, the odds of erection problems range from 5% to 35%. However, this is often temporary and the ability to have an erection and an orgasm returns after a few months.
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Things To Know About Prostate Cancer
Symptoms of prostate cancer are often absent in the early stages, and when they do appear, they can be confused with signs of other diseases. Luckily, this cancer is frequently slow-growing, making survival rates quite high. Read on to learn about some of the signs of prostate cancer, along with how to diagnose and treat it.
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Side Effects Of Prostate Surgery
The major possible side effects of radical prostatectomy are urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction . These side effects can also occur with other forms of prostate cancer treatment.
Urinary incontinence: You may not be able to control your urine or you may have leakage or dribbling. Being incontinent can affect you not only physically but emotionally and socially as well. These are the major types of incontinence:
- Men with stress incontinence might leak urine when they cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise. Stress incontinence is the most common type after prostate surgery. It’s usually caused by problems with the valve that keeps urine in the bladder . Prostate cancer treatments can damage this valve or the nerves that keep the valve working.
- Men with overflow incontinence have trouble emptying their bladder. They take a long time to urinate and have a dribbling stream with little force. Overflow incontinence is usually caused by blockage or narrowing of the bladder outlet by scar tissue.
- Men with urge incontinencehave a sudden need to urinate. This happens when the bladder becomes too sensitive to stretching as it fills with urine.
- Rarely after surgery, men lose all ability to control their urine. This is called continuous incontinence.
After surgery for prostate cancer, normal bladder control usually returns within several weeks or months. This recovery usually occurs slowly over time.
There are several options for treating erectile dysfunction:
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Who Is At Risk For Prostate Cancer
Certain men are at higher risk than others for prostate cancer, which may affect when they should start being screened. The risk increases with age, particularly after age 50. Some risk factors include:
- African American men are twice as likely as white men to develop the disease.
- Having a family history a father or a brother diagnosed with prostate cancer, particularly if it is at a relatively early age increases the risk.
- Having a family history of breast and ovarian cancer may also be associated with an inherited risk of developing prostate cancer
- High-fat diet and/or obesity
Why Does Prostate Cancer Happen
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. But certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men aged 50 or older.
For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent, and less common in Asian men.
Men whose father or brother were affected by prostate cancer are at slightly increased risk themselves.
Recent research also suggests that obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer.
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Considering Complementary And Alternative Methods
You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasnt mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.
Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctors medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be harmful.
Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known about the method, which can help you make an informed decision.
Foods That Help Fight Prostate Cancer
If you are looking for information about the best foods to fight prostate cancer, youve come to the right place. This section of HealWithFood.orgs presents 15 awesome prostate cancer fighting foods that may help reduce your risk of developing this dangerous disease which affects millions of men around the world .
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Questions And Answers About Pomegranate
The pomegranate is made up of the following:
Pomegranate fruit and juice may be taken as food, drink, or a dietary supplement.
See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using pomegranate.
In a 2015 study, 183 men with recurrentprostate cancer were randomly assigned to receive either pomegranate juice, pomegranate extract, or a placebo. The study found no difference in how fast the prostate-specific antigen level rose between the 3 groups. There is not enough evidence to know whether pomegranate can prevent or treat prostate cancer.
No serious side effects have been reported from the use of pomegranate.
Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
Some risk factors have been linked to prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that can raise your chance of developing a disease. Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will get prostate cancer. It just means that your risk of the disease is greater.
- Age. Men who are 50 or older have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Race. African-American men have the highest risk of prostate cancerâthe disease tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in men of other races. After African-American men, prostate cancer is most common among white men, followed by Hispanic and Native American men. Asian-American men have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.
- Family history. Men whose fathers or brothers have had prostate cancer have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of prostate cancer than men who do not have a family history of the disease. A man who has 3 immediate family members with prostate cancer has about 10 times the risk of a man who does not have a family history of prostate cancer. The younger a man’s relatives are when they have prostate cancer, the greater his risk for developing the disease. Prostate cancer risk also appears to be slightly higher for men from families with a history of breast cancer.
- Diet. The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat high-fat diets.
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Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented
There are no clear prevention strategies for prostate cancer. There is some conflicting evidence that a healthy diet composed of low fat, high vegetables and fruits may help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Routine screening, with PSA blood test and physical exam, is important to detect prostate cancer at an early stage. A healthy diet and regular exercise are also critical in maintaining good health and preventing disease in general.
Living With Prostate Cancer
As prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, you can live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment.
You may find it beneficial to talk about the condition with your family, friends, a family doctor and other men with prostate cancer.
Financial support is also available if prostate cancer reduces your ability to work.
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Surgery To Remove The Prostate Gland
In this type of surgery, the surgeon removes the prostate gland and seminal vesicles . The prostate gland surrounds the upper part of the urethra . So, that part of the urethra must be removed as well. The remaining urethra is reattached to the bladder. The surgeon may also remove lymph nodes or other tissues around the prostate gland to check if the cancer has spread.
Before surgery to remove the prostate gland
After surgery to remove the prostate gland
What Tests Check For Prostate Cancer
Common tests to check for prostate cancer include:
- Digital rectal exam: Your doctor inserts a finger into your rectum and touches your prostate gland. The doctor feels the shape of the prostate gland and checks for any hard spots.
- PSA blood test: This blood test tells how much PSA is in your blood. Many men with prostate cancer have PSA levels that are higher than normal or that have gotten higher over time.
- A high PSA level does not always mean a man has prostate cancer. As men get older, their prostate gland may grow larger over time. This growth, and other health conditions, can cause a high PSA level in men who do not have prostate cancer.
If the test results are not normal, your doctor may recommend more tests, such as a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor uses a needle to take out a tiny piece or pieces of the prostate gland. An ultrasound probe may be used to guide the needle. Another doctor called a pathologist looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
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