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Prostate Cancer Essay

September 24th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The prostate gland is located between the bladder and in front of the rectum. The upper part of the urethra passes through the prostate gland, which can cause some serious problems if it becomes enlarged. They believe that the cancer is caused by changes in DNA. The reason for this is because some parts of the DNA give instructions to the cell about growth and division. This is where cancer comes into play, which is the division of cells gone mad. The genes that promote cell growth and division are oncogenes. When this happens, it creates a tumor. The tumor will either be benign or malignant. Benign tumors do not spread like the malignant ones. When a malignant tumor spreads, it is called metastasis. Prostate cancer is when a malignant tumor is found in the prostate gland. The severity determines what stage the cancer is in, it will be in T1, T2, T3, or T4. “T1 and T2 are limited only to the prostate gland.”(source 1) T3 is when the cancer has already made its way into the tissue. T4 is when the cancer is spread all across the body. There are three types of prostate diseases: benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, and prostate cancer.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a not cancerous and is just and enlargement of the gland. It affects half of all men younger than 50 and 80% of men older than 60. These are some of the symptoms: difficulty urinating, an urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty, frequent urination, a weak or intermittent stream of urine, and a sense of incomplete emptying when urinating. Prostatitis is when the gland is inflamed because of a bacterial infection. This disease affects men of all ages that have a sized prostate. Some of the symptoms for prostatitis are the same with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The symptoms for prostatitis are: pain or burning during urination, chills and fever accompanied with urinating problems, difficulty urinating, and an urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty.

Prostate cancer in some of its early stages may not have any symptoms but as time goes on some things may begin to show. Prostate cancer shares treatments with both of the other diseases. Some of the symptoms of the cancer are: a need to urinate frequently, especially at night, difficulty starting urination,
inability to urinate, weak or interrupted flow of urine, painful or burning urination, painful ejaculation, blood in urine or semen, and frequent pain or stiffness in the back, hips, or upper thighs.

Two test are commonly used to determine if a male has prostate cancer, which are digital rectum and a blood test. Digital Rectum is when the doctor feels the prostate through the rectum to find hard places and lumps, which are called nodules. When the blood test is performed the doctor looks for a substance called prostate-specific antigen. The test are both used to detect abnormalities in the prostate gland. The abnormalities help the doctor see whether the patient has prostate cancer. Although, men should be aware that these test, they do not detect all types of prostate cancer. Sometimes the cancer can be spotted by the symptoms the patient is having.

Radiation is a treatment option that is less dramatic and helps in the beginning stages. It can be done through beams that direct the dose to the prostate outside the body. With radiation, side effects maybe: depression, erectile dysfunction, swelling, urinary incontinence, bladder inflammation, bone marrow suppression, inflamed small intestine, and low blood count. Cryotherapy is when prostate tumors are killed by freezing. Cryotherapy is painful and expensive, but helps preserve sexual function. A side effect is urinary discomfort that will soon go away. One treatment is called watchful waiting in which nothing is done, but they are watched. They also may decide that surgery can be done to fix the problem. Chemotherapy may be used as a treatment option too. Some side effects of chemotherapy include bleeding, high risk infections, and lowered blood counts. Radioactive seed implant may be done to kill the cancer, also. A side effect is difficulty with urination, which can usually be managed with medicine and improves with time. During the procedure, radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate gland using ultrasound guidance. The implants remain active for about 10 months inside the prostate gland.

Although, scientist still do not know where the cancer originates from and how it gets started, they do know that the cancer forms in African American men more than other races. Men who have a family history of prostate cancer are, also, at a high risk for the disease. Testosterone contributes to the growth of the tumor. Testosterone is the male sex hormone.

Prostate Cancer is the second leading cause of death in today’s men. One in every six men who live to be 80 years old will experience the cancer. Prostate cancer is treatable in most cases, especially if caught in the early stages of development. Eighty-nine percent of men that have the cancer will live five years and 63% will live for 10 years or longer.

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