Friday, April 15, 2011

Some Facts of Prostate Cancer

Prostate Disorders:
Three types of disorders can occur in the prostate gland: inflammation or infection (prostatitis), enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia - BPH), and cancer.

Normal Inflamed Enlarged:
1) Prostatitis is a clinical term used to describe a wide spectrum of disorders ranging from bacterial infection to chronic pain syndromes. It is not contagious (generally not spread through sexual contact):

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis is the least common but easiest to diagnose and treat. It is caused by bacteria and comes suddenly with chills and fever, pain in the lower back and genital area, and burning or painful urination. Additional indications are excessive white blood cells and bacteria in the urine.
Chronic (Nonbacterial) Prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is the most common, but least understood, form of prostatitis. Found in men of any age from the late teens on, the symptoms go away and then return without warning, and may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. In the inflammatory form, urine, semen, and other fluids from the prostate show no evidence of a known infecting organism, but do contain the kinds of cells the body usually produces to fight infection. In the non-inflammatory form, no evidence of inflammation, including infection-fighting cells, is present.
Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis is the diagnosis when there are no symptoms, but the patient has infection-fighting cells in the semen. It is often found when a doctor is looking for causes of infertility or is testing for prostate cancer.

2) BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is the second common problem that can occur in the prostate. "Benign" means "not cancerous" and "hyperplasia" means "too much growth." As men age, the prostate gland slowly enlarges. The gland tends to expand in an area that doesn't expand with it, causing pressure on the urethra, which can lead to urinary problems. The urge to urinate frequently, a weak urine flow, breaks in urine stream, and dribbling are all symptoms of an enlarged prostate. At its worst, BPH can lead to a weak bladder, bladder or kidney infections, complete blockage in the flow of urine, and kidney failure.

Since the prostate has propensity to grow once manhood is reached, BPH is the most common prostate problem for men older than 50. The American Urological Association assesses that by age 60, more than half of American men will have BPH. By age 70, almost all men have some prostate enlargement. By age 85, about 90 percent of men have BPH but only 30 percent will exhibit symptoms!

3) Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers in American men. There are no warning signs of symptoms of early prostate cancer. Once a malignant tumor causes the prostate gland to swell significantly, or once cancer spreads beyond the prostate, the following symptoms may be present:

A frequent need to urinate, especially at night
Difficulty starting or stopping the urinary stream
A weak or interrupted urinary stream
A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
Blood in urine or semen
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include:

Dull, incessant deep pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs or upper thighs; arthritic pain in the bones of those areas
Loss of weight and appetite

There are 4 stages of Prostate Cancer:
T1 - Tumor is microscopic and confined to prostate but is undetectable by a digital rectal exam (DRE) or by ultrasound. Usually discovered by PSA tests or biopsies.
T2 - Tumor is confined to prostate and can be detected by DRE or ultrasound.
T3 / T4 - In stage T3, the cancer has spread to tissue adjacent to the prostate or to the seminal vesicles. In stage T4, tumors have spread to organs near the prostate, such as the bladder.
N+ / M+ - Cancer has spread to pelvic lymph nodes (N+) or to lymph nodes, organs, or bones distant from the prostate (M+).
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer, and accounts for 9% of cancer-related deaths in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that during 2008, about 186,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. 30% of prostate cancers occur in men under age 65. About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 35 will die of it. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Prostate Disorder Symptoms:
Different prostate problems sometimes have similar symptoms. For example, one man with prostatitis and another with BPH may both have a frequent, urgent need to urinate. A man with BPH may have trouble beginning a stream of urine; another may have to urinate frequently at night. Or, a man in the early stages of prostate cancer may have no symptoms at all.

Common symptoms of prostate disorders are:

Sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you have finished urinating.
Frequent urination (consistently in intervals of less than 2 hours and / or multiple times during the night).
Interrupted urination (you have to stop and start several times during urination).
Difficulty in postponing urination.
Weak or limited urinary stream.
Pushing and straining required to begin urination.
A burning pain during urination.
Pain in lower back, in the area between the testicles and anus, in the lower belly or upper thighs, or above the pubic area. Pain may be worse during bowel movement.
Reduced ability to gain and hold erections, weak ejaculation, and dissatisfaction with sexual performance.
Some pain during or after ejaculation.
Pain in the tip of your penis.
Fever and chills.
Loss of appetite.
One prostate problem does not lead to another. For example, having prostatitis or an enlarged prostate does not increase the chance for prostate cancer. It is true that some men with prostate cancer also have BPH, but the two conditions are not automatically linked. Most men with BPH do not develop prostate cancer. But because the early symptoms for both conditions could be the same, a doctor would need to evaluate them. It is also possible to have more than one condition at a time. This confusing array of potential scenarios makes a case for all men, especially after age 45, to have a thorough medical exam that includes the PSA test and DRE every year.


No comments:

Post a Comment