Prostate Cancer: Symptoms Causes and Treatment

It may live in the body for years and spread before it is discovered.

Prostate Cancer is a cancer that forms and develops within a small area of ​​the prostate gland, found only in men, and which resembles a walnut in shape. It is responsible for producing seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm cells.

Prostate cancer is arguably one of the most common cancers, and its treatment is often worrying for men, because it may cause a variety of side effects, including bladder problems and sexual dysfunction.

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In a recent research paper published by Stat Pearls (a leader in healthcare education and technology), in May 2023, it considered the most common malignant tumor in males, and the fifth leading cause of cancer death in men.

In 2020 alone, about one and a half million cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed, while 375,000 deaths recorded worldwide.

It is indeed a disease that can be life-threatening, but the diagnostic methods and treatment options available have greatly improved in recent years, which has helped limit the harm it can cause.  

Causes of prostate cancer

Cancer is a group of abnormal cells that multiply faster than normal cells and refuse to die. 

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These cancer cells can invade and destroy healthy tissue, either by growing directly on top of the surrounding tissue or after moving to other organs in the body through blood circulation or through the lymph nodes. 

Microscopic cancerous tumors that can only seen with a microscope can develop in small clusters that continue to grow and develop into denser, tougher tissue.

The truth is that the exact causes of prostate cancer are still unknown, and it is not known why certain types of cancer tumors behave differently from others. However, research agrees that this cell development caused by various factors combined.

Genetics, hormones, nutrition, and environment. All of these factors are key to understanding this disease. This type of cancer can affect any man, but certain factors increase the risk of developing it, which are:

  • Family history of prostate cancer.
  • Age: 50 years and above. 
  • Genetic changes.
  • Smoking.
  • Obesity.

Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer

While some types grow slowly and require minimal treatment, other types are more aggressive and may spread quickly. 

If prostate cancer is discovered in its early stages, when it is still confined to the prostate gland, the chances of obtaining appropriate treatment are greater. But it often grows very slowly and may live in the body for years and spread, before it is discovered. 

In other words, prostate cancer probably does not cause any symptoms until it is at an advanced stage. Once it spreads in the body, it means it poses a danger. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct early detection regularly. These are the most prominent symptoms of advanced prostate cancer:

1- Urinary tract problems

Urinary problems are common in people with prostate cancer because the prostate gland is located under the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Because of its location, if the tumor grows and develops, it can press on the bladder or urethra and cause problems.

When we talk about urinary tract problems, one of the most prominent symptoms of advanced prostate cancer, we mean the following:

  • Current that is slower or weaker than usual
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Bleeding during urination
  • Burning in urine

2- Prostate cancer and sexual intercourse

Yes, the relationship between prostate cancer and sexual intercourse troubled, because erectile dysfunction is one of the most prominent symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. This condition also called “impotence”, when you are unable to get or maintain an erection.

Blood in semen after ejaculation can also be one of the most common symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. 

3- Pain and numbness

One of the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer is that you may feel weakness or numbness in the legs and feet. You may also lose control of your bladder and bowel if the cancer spreads, causing pressure on your spinal cord.

Pain in the bones of the lower back, pelvis, or thighs can be a symptom of advanced prostate cancer, as can sudden or unexplained weight loss. 

Prostate cancer treatment

There is more than one way to treat prostate cancer. For some men, a combination of several treatments – such as surgery with radiation and hormonal therapy – may be the ideal solution. 

Prostate cancer treatment varies depending on each case. The speed or slowness of growth, the age of the man, and the extent of the spread of the tumor; All of these factors affect the appropriate treatment method. But the most common treatments include:

1- External radiation therapy

Very powerful X-rays used to destroy cancer cells. It is a very effective type, but it may also attack healthy tissues. And it has annoying side effects that often disappear after completing treatment, such as: 

  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Impotence

2- Radioactive implant

It has been a very popular treatment method in recent years to treat prostate cancer. In the radioactive implant method, the radioactive source placed at a short and close distance to the body or organ being treated, giving a high radiation dose – much higher than external radiotherapy – and over a longer period.

This treatment usually used to treat non-advanced cancer and may have side effects similar to those of external beam radiation therapy. 

3. Hormonal treatment

It aims to prevent the body from producing the male hormone testosterone, which can stimulate the production of cancer cells. Its most common side effects are: 

  • Decreased muscle mass and bone mass
  • Waves of fever 
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Impotence
  • overweight 

Also, medications, the main components of which are hormones. Can cause nausea, diarrhea, and physical fatigue, and sometimes they can cause liver damage. 

4- Surgery to remove the prostate gland

Removal of the prostate gland is often the best way to treat a cancerous tumor that is still confined within the gland. 

Through surgery, the prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes are removed. This surgery can affect the muscles and nerve groups that control urination, and also affect sexual abilities.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, prostate cancer is a complex disease with many unknown factors contributing to its development. While genetics, hormones, nutrition, and environment have identified as key factors. Researchers are still trying to understand the exact causes of this type of cancer. However, early detection and regular check-ups can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment.

Treatment options for prostate cancer vary depending on the individual case but commonly include external radiation therapy, radioactive implants, hormonal treatment, and surgery. Each treatment option has its own benefits and potential side effects. So patients need to discuss their options with their healthcare provider to make an informed decision. By understanding the risk factors and symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. Individuals can take steps to detect and treat this disease early. Leading to better outcomes and a higher chance of recovery. So, it is important for men to be aware of their health and regularly monitor their prostate health to catch any potential issues as early as possible.

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This site provides educational information only. It is important not to depend on any content here in place of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Similarly, it should not replace professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any health concerns or questions, always seek guidance from a physician or another healthcare professional.