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Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer

With Kemi Olatunde
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Simply put, cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells become uncontrollably and destroy body tissue. Some types of cancer cause rapid cell growth, while others cause cells to grow and divide at a slower rate. It can develop almost anywhere in the body.

There are several types of cancer but today’s edition focuses on prostate cancer.

According to Deputy Director, Medical Services, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Tolu Ademujimi, basically, malignasy of the prostate occurs commonly in the prostate gland which is found in men. It is about the size of the wallnut, located in the pelvis area and releases a substance which joins the seminal flund to be released as semen during ejaculation.

According to him, the gland can become enlarged particularly in men above 55 years noting that enlargement of the prostate gland that is not due to cancer is commonly called Benign Prostatic Hyper-Plasia (BPH).

While speaking further, he explained that prostate cancer like every other cancer causes the prostate enlargement and added that in addition, the prostate gland will have multiple nodules making it rough.

“Above all, several clinical symptoms are seen in patients with cancer of the prostate.”

The following according to Dr. Ademujimi include; ageing, diet rich in fat, and family history among others.

Clinical symptoms for this type of cancer as explained by him include; difficult in urination, straining, hesitancy, feeling of incomplete urination, weak flow of urine, frequency of urination, urgency, nocturia (increased night urination) and blood in urine.

Specific cancer-related clinical symptoms are; weight loss, anaemia; low blood level, loss of appetite and symptoms related to spread of the cancer (prostate cancer can spread to the bone, liver, abdomen, brain, lungs and lymph flow).

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He called on the people to pay a visit to a doctor if they notice any of the above mentioned symptoms saying “the doctor will refer you to do some medical investigations Your doctor will carry out a rectal examination to access the size, nature, surface and appearance of the prostate gland.

Your doctor will also carry out other relevant clinical examination.

In addition, the laboratory investigations commonly;  PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) with normal value of 0-4ng\l per litre, prostate ultrasound scan or prostate biopsy.

Listing surgery, medications and radiotherapy as the  treatment for prostate cancer, he  advised that men who are above 50 years of age should do PSA every year for early detection and added that “dietary modification to eat more of fruits and vegetables rather than fatty and processed foods should be embraced”

Most cases of prostate cancer are a type of cancer called an adenocarcinoma. This is a cancer that grows in the tissue of a gland, such as the prostate gland according to www.healthline.com.

Prostate cancer is also categorized by how fast it grows. It has two types of growths:

. aggressive, or fast growing

. nonaggressive, or slow growing

With nonaggressive prostate cancer, the tumor either doesn’t grow or grows very little over time. With aggressive prostate cancer, the tumor can grow quickly and may spread to other areas of the body, such as the bones.

Prostate cancer causes and risk factors

There’s no known cause for prostate cancer. Like all cancers, it could be caused by many things, including a family history or exposure to certain chemicals.

Whatever the instigating factor is, it leads to cell mutations and uncontrolled cell growth in the prostate.

Prostate cancer age

As mentioned above, age is a primary risk factor for prostate cancer. The disease occurs most often in men older than age 65. It occurs in about 1 in 14 men between the ages of 60 and 69.

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Prostate cancer symptoms

Some forms of prostate cancer are nonaggressive, so you may not have any symptoms. However, advanced prostate cancer often causes symptoms.

If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. Some symptoms of prostate cancer can be caused by other conditions, so you’ll need an examination. They can make sure you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of prostate cancer can include urinary problems, sexual problems, and pain and numbness.

Sexual problems

Erectile dysfunction may be a symptom of prostate cancer. Also called impotence, this condition makes you unable to get and keep an erection. Blood in the semen after ejaculation can also be a symptom of prostate cancer.

Pain and numbness

Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread to other areas of the body from where it first occurred. When prostate cancer metastasizes, it often spreads to the bones. This can cause pain in the following areas:

pelvic

back

chest

If the cancer spreads to the spinal cord, you may lose feeling in your legs and your bladder.

Prostate cancer screening

Screening for prostate cancer often depends upon your own personal preferences. This is largely because most prostate cancers grow slowly and don’t cause any health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It’s also because the results from the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which can be part of the screening, may lead to a misdiagnosis of cancer. For both of these reasons, screening could cause unnecessary worry and unneeded treatment.

Screening recommendations

The ACS does have screening recommendations for men as they get older. They recommend that during an annual exam, doctors talk to men of certain ages about the pros and cons of screening for prostate cancer. These conversations are recommended for the following ages:

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Age 40: For men at very high risk, such as those with more than one first-degree relative — a father, brother, or son — who had prostate cancer at an age younger than 65.

Age 45: For men at high risk, such as African American men and men with a first-degree relative diagnosed at an age younger than 65.

Age 50: For men at average risk of prostate cancer, and who are expected to live at least 10 more years.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends that men aged 55 to 69 decide for themselves whether to undergo a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, after talking it over with their doctor.

The USPSTF concludes that the potential benefits of PSA-based screening for men aged 70 and above does not outweigh the expected harms.

Prostate cancer stages

Your doctor will likely use both the results from your PSA test and your Gleason score to help determine the stage of your prostate cancer. The stage indicates how advanced your cancer is. This information helps your doctor plan your treatment.

Another tool used in staging prostate cancer is the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TMN staging system. Like many other types of cancer, prostate cancer is staged using this system based on:

the size or extent of the tumor

the number of lymph nodes involved

whether or not the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other sites or organs.

Prostate cancer stages range from 1 to 4. The disease is most advanced in stage 4.

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