The prostate gland is located directly beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. Many men, especially those later in life have made the decision with their doctors to simply watch and wait. Detected in its early stages, prostate cancer can be effectively treated and cured.
About 80 percent of men who reach the age of 80 have prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the U.S. Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over 75 years old.
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease are bone pain or tenderness, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms might include unintentional weight loss and lethargy. Some men will experience symptoms that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
One of the most common symptoms is the inability to urinate at all. If cancer is caught at its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms. There are a number of symptoms to be aware of.
A chest x-ray may be done to see if there’s a spread of cancer. A prostate biopsy usually confirms the diagnosis. What is called a free PSA may help tell the difference between BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), an enlargement of the prostate gland, and prostate cancer.
A number of tests may be done to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Another test usually used when prostate cancer symptoms are present is the digital rectal exam (DRE) performed by the doctor. The decision about whether to pursue a PSA test should be based on a discussion between you and your doctor.
Hormone manipulation is mainly used as a treatment to relieve symptoms in men whose cancer has spread. Surgery, radiation, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy all have significant side effects; know fully what they are before you proceed. Medications can have many side effects, including hot flashes and loss of sexual desire.
The conventional treatment of prostate cancer is often controversial. An oncology specialist will usually recommend treating with a single drug or a combination of drugs. If chemotherapy is decided upon after the first round of chemotherapy, most men receive further doses on an outpatient basis at a clinic or physician’s office.
Medicines can be used to adjust the levels of testosterone; called hormonal manipulation. Other medications used for hormonal therapy, with side effects, include androgen-blocking agents, which prevent testosterone from attaching to prostate cells. Thoroughly discuss your treatment options and concerns with your doctor and other health professionals; it never hurts to get a second or even third opinion or more if necessary.
The approaches to treatment include: ever watchful waiting to see whether the cancer is growing slowly and not causing any symptoms. Some men choose to do nothing but change their diet to a more natural diet of living foods. Surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy can interfere with libido on a temporary or permanent basis. Radiation therapy is used primarily to treat prostate cancers classified as stages A, B, or C.
Many men simply want the best treatment they can get but what’s important is choosing the best treatment for you. Side effects of chemotherapy drugs depend on which ones you’re taking and how often and how long they’re taken.
As new research comes out adjust your treatment options accordingly. While the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer remains high, survival rates are also improving. The outcome of prostate cancer varies greatly; mostly because the disease is found in older men who may have a variety of other complicating diseases or conditions, such as cardiac or respiratory disease, or disabilities that immobilize or greatly decrease their activities.