Peculiar to Men

Common amongst men is prostate cancer which is next to skin cancer. After skin and prostate cancer come various other cancers such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, brain cancer etc. Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells of the prostate. Almost all prostate cancers develop from the gland cells of the prostate and are referred to as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancers developing from other cells of the prostate are rare: they are sarcomas, small cell carcinoma, neuroendocrine tumors and transitional cell carcinomas. While some prostate cancers grow aggressively and spread quickly, most others grow slowly and may need little or no treatment throughout one’s lifetime.

Prostate cancer occurs as a result of mutations in the genes of the prostate cells. Causes of such mutations are not clear but several factors can increase one’s risk of coming down with it. These factors could be reversible (habits) or irreversible (age, history). They are: Older age, race (blacks), family history, exposure to toxic substances etc.

Controversies surround the need to carry out test on men not experiencing the symptoms of prostate cancer. However, prostate cancer can be detected using the prostate specific antigen
(PSA) test and a digital rectal examination (DRE). In the DRE, the doctor inserts a lubricated and gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate. Any abnormality detected from the above tests can be confirmed using an ultrasound and then, a prostate biopsy.

At an early stage of prostate cancer, symptoms may not be noticed but at an advanced stage, symptoms such as the following may be observed:

·         Pain in hip and  bone

·         Problems in passing urine

·         Weakness/ Numbness in feet

·         Blood in urine/ semen

·         Erectile dysfunction

Factors such as age of the patient and life expectancy, stage of the cancer, other health conditions and possible side effects are considered in choosing a treatment option. Localized prostate cancer can be treated but metastasized forms are rarely curable. Options available are:

a)     Chemotherapy

b)     Hormone therapy

c)      Radiation therapy

d)     Active surveillance

e)     Surgery etc

To manage metastatic prostate cancer, therapy is given to relief pain and slow disease progression. Unlike the production of vaccines to prevent diseases, prostate cancer vaccines are designed to treat prostate cancer.

Scientists have found out that lycopene in tomatoes and isoflavones in soybean might help prevent prostate cancer. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of developing more lethal forms of prostate cancer.1




1 research


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