Prostate Cancer is one of the main diseases that affects men over 40 years of age. It only takes one minute to a diagnose that can change your life. Like any other cancer, early prevention is always the perfect choice. Our expert on the subject, Dr. Raúl Meza, provides a helpful guide for anyone with interest to a deeper understanding about this awful ailment. Prostate Cancer it’s a man’s thing. But it doesn’t have to be. Approach our specialists.
What is Prostate Cancer and how does it start?
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system, which produces, stores, and secretes the liquid called semen during ejaculation. In men over 40 years of age, the prostate begins a natural growth called hyperplasia. This is a direct response to the masculine hormone testosterone.
During this natural growth, healthy prostate cells can suddenly begin to change into a different type of cell, with a different aspect and a more rapid growth. This is known as cancer, and it can spread and invade nearby and far away organs.
Some of the causes of these cellular changes are hormonal, genetic, and nutritional effects, such as some inflammatory or infectious processes, as well as other unknown causes.
Signs and Symptoms
In the beginning stages of prostate cancer, the patient does not show any symptoms. When a cancerous tumour grows, then obstructive symptoms in the urinary tract can show:
- Frequently urinating during day and night.
- A decrease in the thickness and strength of the urinary stream.
- Feeling like the bladder cannot be emptied completely.
- Total obstruction of the urinary flow.
The definite and exact diagnosis for prostate cancer is done through a transrectal biopsy guided by ultrasound. Another study to conduct is the blood test called Prostate-Specific Antigen. The urologist can suspect the presence of cancer when the level is beyond ordinary, and the gland in the rectal tract is hardened.
When the antigen is above 30 points (extremely high), and the digital rectal examination shows a very hardened prostate, it is safe to diagnose advanced cancer, and biopsies are not necessary.
Once diagnosed through the histopathological result of the prostate biopsies, the next step is staging the disease. There are four generic stages: I, II, III y IV. When the stage is identified, the best treatment option is assessed.
When prostate cancer is located in early stages, it is highly treatable. The treatment you can receive depends on the stage of cancer and on each individual patient:
- Focused Ultrasound.
- Total Androgenic Blocking.
The development of Prostate Cancer is very unpredictable, and there is no single formula to prevent it. However, the most important recommendation is cancer’s early detection.
The urological check-up for Prostate Cancer is recommended once a year in men aged 40-60, and twice a year in men over age 60. Patients who are considered to be at a high risk because of physical and laboratory findings are recommended to a more stricter check-up: every 3 months; and in some cases, biopsies must be repeated.