Sunday, September 23, 2018

For Men - What do you know about prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that affect the prostate gland.

Prostate is a small gland in males that sits below the bladder near the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the passage in the penis through which semen and urine pass.

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It produces most of the fluid that makes up semen which sperm. The prostate needs the male hormone testosterone for growth and development.



What is prostate cancer? 

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.

Risk factors of prostate cancer

The following are the factors that can increase your chances of getting prostate cancer:

Age: Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.

Race: For reasons, studies have shown that black men has greater risk of prostate cancer than men from other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.

Family history: If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.

Obesity: being overweight gives you a higher chance of prostate cancer which is more likely to be advanced and more difficult to treat.

Genetics: Genes are found in every cell of the body. They control the way the cells in the body grow and behave. Every person has a set of many thousands of genes inherited from both parents. Some genes that can increase the risk of prostate cancer can be inherited from parents. Although prostate cancer can't be inherited, a man can only inherit the genes that can increase the risk.

Diet: There is some evidence to suggest that eating a lot of processed meat or food that is high in fat can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Lifestyle: There is evidence to show that environment and lifestyle can affect the risk of developing prostate cancer.


Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer





⭕️Painful urination

⭕️Decreased Urine outflow

⭕️Blood in semen/urine

⭕️Pain at the lower back/hip/upper thigh

⭕️Bone pain

⭕️Erectile dysfunction

Prevention of prostate cancer

The following can help reduce the chances of having prostate cancer:

⭕️Healthy diet: Avoid high-fat foods and instead focus on choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to your health.

Whether you can prevent prostate cancer through diet has yet to be conclusively proved. But eating a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health.

⭕️EXERCISE: Exercise improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight and improves your mood. There is some evidence that men who don't exercise have higher risk while men who exercise may have a lower risk of prostate cancer.

⭕️HEALTHY WEIGHT: If your current weight is healthy, work to maintain it by exercising most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, add more exercise and reduce the number of calories you eat each day.

Complications of prostate cancer

Complications of prostate cancer include the following:

⭕️Metastasizes: Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs, such as your bladder, or travel through your bloodstream or lymphatic system to your bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain and broken bones. Once prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body, it may still respond to treatment and may be controlled, but not likely to be cured.

⭕️Incontinence: Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Treatment for incontinence depends on the type you have, how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve over time. Treatment options may include medications, Catheterization and Surgery.

⭕️Erectile dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction can result from prostate cancer or its treatment, including surgery, radiation or hormone treatments. Medications, vacuum devices that assist in achieving erection and surgery are available to treat erectile dysfunction.


Treatment of  prostate cancer

Your prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread and your overall health, as well as the benefits and the potential side effects of the treatment.

Immediate treatment may not be necessary

For men diagnosed with very early-stage prostate cancer, treatment may not be necessary right away. Some men may never need treatment. Instead, doctors sometimes recommend active surveillance.

In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and possibly biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for a prostate cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation.

Active surveillance may be an option for cancer that isn't causing symptoms, is expected to grow very slowly and is confined to a small area of the prostate. Active surveillance may also be considered for a man who has another serious health condition or an advanced age that makes cancer treatment more difficult. Active surveillance carries a risk that the cancer may grow and spread between checkups, making it less likely to be cured.

Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways:

Radiation that comes from outside of your body (external beam radiation). During external beam radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around your body, directing high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to your prostate cancer. You typically undergo external beam radiation treatments five days a week for several weeks.

Radiation placed inside your body (brachytherapy). Brachytherapy involves placing many rice-sized radioactive seeds in your prostate tissue.

The radioactive seeds deliver a low dose of radiation over a long period of time. Your doctor implants the radioactive seeds in your prostate using a needle guided by ultrasound images. The implanted seeds eventually stop giving off radiation and don't need to be removed.

Side effects of radiation therapy can include painful urination, frequent urination and urgent urination, as well as rectal symptoms, such as loose stools or pain when passing stools. Erectile dysfunction can also occur.

⭕️Hormone therapy
Hormone therapy is treatment to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of hormones may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly.

Hormone therapy options include:

✔️Medications that stop your body from producing testosterone.

Medications known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists prevent the testicles from receiving messages to make testosterone.

Drugs typically used in this type of hormone therapy include leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard), goserelin (Zoladex), triptorelin (Trelstar) and histrelin (Vantas). Other drugs sometimes used include ketoconazole and abiraterone (Zytiga).

✔️Medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells.

Medications known as anti-androgens prevent testosterone from reaching your cancer cells. Examples include bicalutamide (Casodex), flutamide, and nilutamide (Nilandron). The drug enzalutamide (Xtandi) may be an option when other hormone therapies are no longer effective.

Hormone therapy is used in men with advanced prostate cancer to shrink the cancer and slow the growth of tumors. In men with early-stage prostate cancer, hormone therapy may be used to shrink tumors before radiation therapy. This can make it more likely that radiation therapy will be successful.

Side effects of hormone therapy may include erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone mass, reduced sex drive and weight gain.

Surgery

Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. Ways the radical prostatectomy procedure can be performed include:

Making an incision in your abdomen: During retropubic surgery, the prostate gland is taken out through an incision in your lower abdomen. Compared with other types of prostate surgery, retropubic prostate surgery may carry a lower risk of nerve damage, which can lead to problems with bladder control and erections.

✔️Making an incision between your anus and scrotum: Perineal surgery involves making an incision between your anus and scrotum in order to access your prostate. The perineal approach to surgery may allow for quicker recovery times, but this technique makes removing the nearby lymph nodes and avoiding nerve damage more difficult.

✔Laparoscopic prostatectomy: During a laparoscopic radical
prostatectomy, the doctor performs surgery through small incisions in the abdomen with the assistance of a tiny camera (laparoscope). This procedure requires great skill on the part of the surgeon, and it carries an increased risk that nearby structures may be accidentally cut. For this reason, this type of surgery is not commonly performed for prostate cancer in the U.S. anymore.

⭕️Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both.

Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has spread to distant areas of their bodies. Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don't respond to hormone therapy.


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ABUBAKAR Bukola is a passionate Registered Nurse, who loves impact and impacting lives.  She is a Writer and  Professional activist. All she cares about is your health. 👌


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