Prostate cancer is also known as prostatic carcinoma. It is termed carcinoma as it starts from uncontrolled cell division in the prostate. It is a small walnut-shaped gland present in males that is responsible for producing the seminal fluid that nourishes and helps in sperm growth. This fluid also helps in the movement of sperm.
As per the survey, prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Different kinds of prostate cancers can be treated differently. Some prostate cancers grow slowly and require negligible or minimum treatment while there are also prostate cancers that continue to spread quickly to other body parts and reach the advanced stages even before the assumed time.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer depend entirely on its growth and the adversity caused by it. One only goes to seek the advice of any physician only after there are visible signs and symptoms of the breakout of any disease.
Signs and Symptoms
As we have discussed there are cancers that show early signs of their occurrence and there are also cancers with no signs and symptoms. Prostate cancers with no signs are at their earliest stages as these cancerous cells have only started dividing and have not started interfering with normal body functions. Whereas more advanced prostate cancers can show symptoms such as:
- Problems associated with urine include a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night.
- Occurrence of Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED)
- Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord
Detection of prostate cancer?
Only a few percent of the population have a piece of knowledge about this cancer and its signs and symptoms even doctors of small areas cannot easily detect it as the signs often are misunderstood by other diseases. Also one needs advanced machines to have early detection.
- Screening test
Screening is done to learn if the person is suffering from cancer much before the symptoms appear. But the results of the screening test that are discussed below are not 100 % accurate. Sometimes there are abnormal results given by either of the tests which do not confirm cancer in a person. Thus in such cases, one can also take a prostate biopsy for confirmation.
- Prostate-specific antigen(PSA) blood test
This is a protein that is made by the cell in prostate glands. This protein is formed by both normal and cancerous cells. It is mostly found in the semen but some of it is also found in the blood. It is believed that the chances of having cancer are high as the PSA level gets high.
- Digital rectal exam(DRE)
The common position of the growth of the prostate tumor is at the back of the gland that can be detected during a rectal exam. Even though DRE is not the most effective test to find out about cancer in males it can sometimes give positive results even in males with normal PSA levels.
- Other tests that can help in confirming the existence of cancer include Prostate Health Index (PHI), 4Kscore test, or percent-free PSA, or ExoDx Prostate(IntelliScore)
- An imaging test of the prostate gland, such as MRI (especially multiparametric MRI) or transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
Cancers are curable and can be successfully treated especially when it has not affected any area and is confined to one place only.