"In a Revolution"

Learning About Prostate Cancer

In Medical Sciences on February 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

Are you a man over fifty? Do you:

  • urinate often in the night?
  • suffer pain when urinating?
  • have difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine?
  • have bloody urine?
  • have difficulty achieving an erection?
  • is ejaculation painful?

If you have many of these symptoms, you should consider the possibility that you have prostate cancer. However, cancer isn’t the only possibility danger: Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)) and prostitis have the same symptoms. Therefore, I will talk about prostate cancer and some ways to differentiate it from other, less destructive disorders.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. It occurs when cells of the prostate mutate and begin to multiply out of control. These cells may spread (metastasize) from the prostate to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may cause pain, difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, erectile dysfunction and other symptoms. However those symptoms are present only in an advanced stage of the disease.

Rates of prostate cancer vary widely across the world. Although the rates vary widely between countries, it is least common in South and East Asia, more common in Europe, and most common in the United States. Prostate cancer develops most frequently in men over fifty. However, for the incidence rates in Indonesia it rarely occurs on the men under 40 years old: incidence rates increase up to the peak in the 80’s.



Prostate Cancer

What are The Causes of Prostate Cancer?

The specific causes of prostate cancer remain unknown. A man’s risk of developing prostate cancer is related to his age, genetics, race, diet, lifestyle, medications, and other factors. The primary risk factor is age. Prostate cancer is uncommon in men less than 45, but becomes more common with advancing age. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 70.

A man’s genetic background contributes to his risk of developing prostate cancer. This is suggested by an increased incidence of prostate cancer found in certain racial groups, in identical twins of men with prostate cancer, and in men with certain genes. In the United States, prostate cancer more commonly affects black men than white or Hispanic men, and is also more deadly in black men. Men who have a brother or father with prostate cancer have twice the usual risk of developing prostate cancer. Studies of twins in Scandinavia suggest that forty percent of prostate cancer risk can be explained by inherited factors. However, no single gene is responsible for prostate cancer; many different genes have been implicated. Two genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) that are important risk factors for ovarian cancer and breast cancer in women have also been implicated in prostate cancer.

Dietary amounts of certain foods, vitamins, and minerals can contribute to prostate cancer risk. Men with higher serum levels of the short-chain ω-6 fatty acid linoleic acid have higher rates of prostate cancer. However, the same series of studies showed that men with elevated levels of long-chain ω-3 (EPA and DHA) had lowered incidence. A long-term study reports that “blood levels of trans fatty acids, in particular trans fats resulting from the hydrogenation of vegetable oils, are associated with an increased prostate cancer risk.” Other dietary factors that may increase prostate cancer risk include low intake of vitamin E (Vitamin E is found in green, leafy vegetables), omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fishes like salmon), and the mineral selenium. A study in 2007 cast doubt on the effectiveness of lycopene (found in tomatoes) in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Lower blood levels of vitamin D also may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

What are The Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Often it is diagnosed during the workup for an elevated PSA and rectal toucher noticed during a routine checkup. Sometimes, however, prostate cancer does cause symptoms, often similar to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hypertrophy. These include frequent urination, increased urination at night, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, blood in the urine, and painful urination. Prostate cancer is associated with urinary dysfunction as the prostate gland surrounds the prostatic urethra. Changes within the gland therefore directly affect urinary function. Because the vas deferens deposits seminal fluid into the prostatic urethra, and secretions from the prostate gland itself are included in semen content, prostate cancer may also cause problems with sexual function and performance, such as difficulty achieving erection or painful ejaculation. Actually detecting the cancer is least common pointer to indicate the symptoms, except in the advance stage. To exclude the BPH possibility, the irregular and hard nodules must be biopsy.

Advanced prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body and this may cause additional symptoms. The most common symptom is bone pain, often in the vertebrae (bones of the spine), pelvis or ribs. Spread of cancer into other bones such as the femur is usually to the proximal part of the bone. Prostate cancer in the spine can also compress the spinal cord, causing leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence.

How to Diagnose The Prostate Cancer?

Diagnosis must precede therapy. The biopsy technic that is recommended is a needle biopsy or core biopsy. The probability of biopsy results in United States are malignancies, about 33-50%.

The prostate biopsy is done if:

1. There are hard nodules.

2. The PSA values > 10ng/mL with PSAD ≥0,15.

How to Treat Prostate Cancer?

If it is still in early stage, regular observation is sufficient. Then in the next stage, it is suggested to do radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy. The radiation complications are related to total doses, therapy volumes, doses distribution, and fractination schemes. Commonly, found the intestines symptoms, such as: rectum bloody, tenesmus, and diarrhea; the urinary tracts, such as: increasing urination frequency, painful urination (disuria), cystitis, and urethra stricture.

If the cells are metastasizing, hormonal therapy is the recommended treatment (unless there is bone pain: this requires radiation treatment.) The purpose of hormonal therapy is to decrease or eliminate the androgen hormone which is destroying prostate tissues.

The most important next step is the PSA values checkup regularly on radical prostatectomy patients to know the relapsing or on hormonal therapy patients.

What is The Conclusion?

If you are over fifty, you should schedule a regular checkup to check your prostate: the cancer is best treated in it’s early states, when there are no symptoms. If you are over 50 and suffering the symptoms listed at the beginning of this article, please see your doctor immediately.

If you are under fifty, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to decrease the probability of prostate cancer developing in your body.

Written by: Catherine Maname Uli

Edited by : Mr. Alvin, teacher of EF Pluit

References :

  1. Prostate Cancer. Available from URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostate_cancer.
  2. Kapita Selekta Kedokteran Jilid 2. 2000. Jakarta: Media Aesculapius.

  1. […] the rest here:  Learning About Prostate Cancer   Tags: Breast Cancer, Cancer, chat-nbsproom, disease, lumping, medical, my-life-stories, […]

  2. […] Learning About Prostate Cancer […]

  3. I am searching something for the treatment of my father’s prostrate problems. Initially he had all symptoms except blood in urination and PSA, biopsy (through cystoscopy)showed no cancer and prostate has normal size. After cystoscopy frequent urination, pain and problems cured. Presently after two months prostate pain again developed especially during walk and goes with pain killer medicine. Kindly help out my father if you have any solution to it.


    Helpless son

  4. Hi,Sohail I’m still in medical college now but I will try to answer your question.
    I can’t tell your father’s problem is prostate cancer or not because the signs are not clear.
    The prostate has normal size, but are there nodules? If the nodules are hard, perharps it’s a cancer, but it’s not a certainty because there are many criterias like above.

    About the PSA, the earlier findings, recent research suggest that the rate of increase of PSA is not a more specific marker for prostate cancer because an elevated PSA can give a false negative result also. However, the PSA rate of rise may have value in prostate cancer prognosis.

    I suggest you to do a routine checkup to get more signs, consult to your father’s doctor & keep trust on your father’s doctor. I think the doctor maybe only give the symptomatic medicine to the symptoms,so the prostate pain again developed.

    I’m sorry my english is not well, I hope my answer can help you.
    Nice to meet you Sohail..

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