The Prostrate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located at the base of the bladder. Once you reach the age of 50 you should get checked for Prostrate cancer regularly. The basic test is a digital rectal examination (DRE), where your doctor feels for changes in the surface of your prostate gland by putting a finger up your bottom. If your GP thinks you are at risk of having prostate cancer they will refer you to a hospital for further tests. The test you are most likely to have is the transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy (TRUS). Using an ultrasound probe your doctor will take tissue samples from your prostate.
The earlier you can detect Prostrate Cancer the greater your chance of surviving it.
If you are diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer it can be treated by surgery, where the Prostrate is completely removed along with any other cancerous material. Also you can be treated with Radiotherapy which is generally carried out over a 5 week period.
Thanks to modern technology there is now a new treatment - High Intensity Focussed UltraSound (HIFS). This new procedure can be used to pinpoint small areas of cancer without affecting the surrounding areas.
HIFU uses sound waves at millimetre-level accuracy to target cancerous tissue, heating it to between 80 and 90 degrees Celsius, killing the cells. This allows surgeons to avoid damaging nerves or surrounding tissue, leaving patients without their cancer but causing little or no damage that might cause unwanted side effects.
The good news is that only one in 26 men die of prostate cancer; they are more likely to die with it than from it.
Prostrate Cancer staging is when the cancer is placed into a category depending on which stage in may be in.
T1 Stage. This is the first stage and the cancer is in its early stages of development and still quite small. The doctor will have very little to go on apart from blood samples. Prostrate Cancer cure rates are very good when its caught in its early stages so regular screening and testing is necessary.
T2 Stage. This is when the tumour will have grown to the stage where it causes noticeable signs. These are the signs that you should see as a warning and see your doctor immediately.
An intense feeling to urinate
A feeling that the bladder is still full even after urinating
Frequent urinating throughout the night
Weak urine flow
Inability to urinate at all
Blood in your urine or semen
T3 Stage. This is the first stage where the cancer would have multiplied, perhaps to the extent that it has grown beyond the confines of the prostrate. If this happens then the cancer has spread to other parts.
T4 Stage. T4 Prostrate Cancer is the final stage and the cancer would have moved into the bladder, rectum and pelvic bone and probably other parts of the body through the blood stream. There is no known cure at this stage but the disease can be slowed down by hormone therapy.
Research into cancer is ongoing and a recent study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology may provide cancer specialists with another, more reliable means of diagnosing prostate cancer. The new test looks for gene fusion – TMPRSS2:ERG – to give the scientific name. This fusion is believed to cause prostate cancer – studies of prostate tissue have shown its presence nearly always indicates cancer.
Because TMPRSS2:ERG only occurs in about 50 percent of prostate cancers, the scientists added PCA3, another marker, to their test. These combined elements were better at predicting cancer than either used on its own. Many more men have elevated PSA than actually have cancer but it can be difficult to determine this without biopsy. This test will help in this regard. The hope is that this test could be an intermediate step before getting a biopsy,
Being obese has been shown to be associated with cancers. Both obesity and prostate cancer are relatively common and many men are affected by both, so researchers at Duke University Medical Centre, US, decided to analyse data from 287 men with prostate cancer in an attempt to ascertain whether obesity had an impact on treatment success. All the study participants had had their diseased prostates removed, but had had their cancer reappear. As a result, the men had been given hormone treatment (androgen deprivation therapy) in an attempt to reduce testosterone levels in the bloodstream, thereby keeping the cancer’s progress in check.
Those men who were classified as overweight or obese were three times more likely to experience cancer progression compared to men of normal weight, even though all were given identical treatment.
Fighting obesity and getting fit can be seen as the same thing, however, the findings from a new study, published in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, was carried out by researchers at the Harvard School of Public health and the University of California, San Francisco. They found that getting physical could be a potent weapon in the fight against prostate cancer and that exercise may help prolong the life of men with prostate cancer.
The researchers studied information on 2,705 men diagnosed with prostate cancer, in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, over a period of 18 years. The men taking part in the study recorded how much time they spent each week, on average, carrying out physical activity such as outdoor work and sports including walking, running, swimming, bicycling etc.
Their results suggest that men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer progression after a diagnosis of prostate cancer by adding physical activity to their daily routine.
The study results showed that the men didn’t have to perform at the level of athletes to make a difference. Gentle and vigorous exercise was of benefit to overall survival. But as you might expect, vigorous exercise produced greater results. Men who walked for 90 minutes or more per week, at a normal to very brisk rate had a 46 percent lower risk of dying of prostate cancer than men who walked at an easy pace for less than 90 minutes a week.
And only vigorous physical activity – defined as over three hours of activity a week – was associated with a reduction in death from prostate cancer. Men who walked, cycled or did any other form of activity at a vigorous rate for three or more hours a week had a 61 percent lower risk of dying of prostate cancer than men who did less than one hour a week of vigorous exercise. And the men with the lowest risk? Those who were physically active (at a vigorous level), before and after diagnosis.
So, despite the doom and gloom modern technology and research into prostrate cancer treatments have given medical practitioners new treatments and therapies that, depending on how far your cancer has developed. Can completely cure Prostrate cancer.