Prostate cancer is a very common type of cancer in men, especially after the age of 50. In general, this cancer grows very slowly and most often does not produce symptoms in it's initial phase, but may manifest itself through signs such as difficulty urinating or dark urine, for example, which is also common to other problems such as benign hyperplasia prostate.
Usually, the treatment can be done with surgery, radio therapy or chemotherapy, depending on the stage of the disease. So, when it is discovered in the initial phase, there are greater chance of cure.
In many cases prostate cancer does not manifest symptoms in the initial phase, but in a later stage the disease can manifest itself with:
- Difficulty in urinating, often with a weak jet or in drops;
- Pain or burning when urinating;
- Frequent urge to urinate, waking at night to urinate;
- Feeling that the bladder is still full, even after urinating;
- Dark urine due to the presence of blood;
- Pain during ejaculation pain and darkened semen.
When the cancer is in an advanced stage infections and pain in the bones may appear and in some cases these symptoms are common to a benign infection in the prostate, which can make difficult the diagnosis of the disease.
How to confirm the diagnosis
Since this cancer does not cause symptoms early on, it is recommended that men after the age of 50 have regular exams to evaluate changes in the prostate, such as rectal examination or PSA examination.
If during the rectal examination the doctor palpates a nodule, the prostate should be further investigated by ultrasonography, ultrasound guided biopsy, and urinalysis.
Stages of prostate cancer
If it is confirmed you have prostate cancer is essential to identify the stage of the disease, because this will guide the treatment, being that:
- Stage A - Tumor that is not visible or palpable to the touch;
- Stage B - Tumor inside the prostate that is palpable to the touch and visible in imaging
- Stage C - Tumor that has reached the seminal vesicles, which are close to the prostate;
- Stage D - Tumor that has already reached other organs and metastases already exist, and can affect the urethra, rectum, bladder, for example.
The stage of the cancer allows to define the best treatment and to see if there is cure for the disease.
How to reach a cure
Prostate cancer, in most cases, is curable and the treatments used include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, and treatment costs vary depending on your insurance and the hospital you choose. If you have financial problems or your insurance isn't enough to cover the costs of treatment, you can resort to Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition, because they offer financial assistance, giving you useful information on which organizations and government programs can help with the costs.
In most cases, there is a greater chance of cure when the disease is diagnosed early on and usually treatment may include:
- Surgery: removal of the prostate and in some cases of the groin;
- Radiation therapy: usually it is used when the tumor has not yet reached other organs or has reached only the nearest organs;
- Chemotherapy: Treatment is done with intravenous medication or through pills.
In many cases, these treatments can cause side effects such as urinary incontinence, impotence and infertility, but if not treated the disease can spread throughout the body and is potentially fatal.
In some cases, prostate cancer is only diagnosed when it spreads to other regions of the body, which decreases the possibility of curing the disease.
What can cause prostate cancer
There is no specific cause for the development of prostate cancer, but some factors that may increase the risk of the disease are a high-fat diet, hormonal dysfunction and a polluted environment, as well as the use of fertilizers are under suspicion.
How to prevent prostate cancer
To avoid prostate cancer it is necessary to avoid exposure to factors such as pollution, fertilizers and chemicals.
In addition, in order to detect the disease early, it is recommended that all men over the age of 50 years have a rectal exam and PSA blood test at least once a year. This is because, the faster prostate cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chances of a cure, especially when there is history of family members, because family history of this disease makes it more likely that you may develop the disease.