Prostate Cancer Information
Prostate cancer is a disease that develops over many years in the prostate gland of men. Over time, prostate cancer information has shown that the cancer will spread from the prostate to other tissues including lymph nodes, bones, the liver, and the lungs. The first symptoms of this cancer are generally pain upon urination, difficulty urinating, and erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer responds well to many forms of traditional cancer treatments including surgery and radiation. Because its develops so slowly, early stages are generally monitored rather than treated. Additional treatments such as cryosurgery, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy are also available. These alternative treatments are usually reserved for late stage of this cancer rather than instituted as an initial treatment.
Early of this cancer generally has no noticeable symptoms. However, some patients experience frequent urination both during the day and at night, difficulty in starting urination or maintaining a steady stream, or blood in the urine. It is estimated that only one third of cancer sufferers will experience any symptoms during the early stages.
According to available prostate cancer information, risk factors include age, familial history, and obesity. this cancer is not diagnosed in patients younger than 45, with the average age of diagnosis being 70 years of age. It is currently believed that heredity is the strongest known risk factor for the development of cancer. Scientists have shown that men with a father or brother (first-degree relative )who has been diagnosed with cancer have two times the risk of developing the disease and those that have two or more first-degree relatives with the disease have a five times greater risk.
The most important part of a prostate cancer diagnosis is a classification or stage of the disease. There are four stages currently recognized. These include:
• Stage I: The cancer cells are only found in the prostate. The tumor cannot be detected through digital rectal examination and would not be seen on any imaging diagnostic test.
• Stage II: The cancer cells are only found in the prostate. The tumor has begun to grow in size. It may or may not be detected through digital rectal examination however; it may show on an image during diagnostic testing.
• Stage III: The cancer cells have begun to invade surrounding tissues. In this stage the seminal vesicles may show signs of cancer cell invasion; however the pelvic lymph nodes are clear. The tumor can now be detected through digital rectal examination.
• Stage IV: The cancer cells have metastasized to other tissues including the lymph nodes, the lungs, the liver, and bones.
Prostate cancer screening is an essential part of managing prostate cancer. The earlier the cancer is detected; the sooner treatment and management plan can be instituted. Starting at age 50, man with a familial history should discuss cancer screening with their doctors. Currently, the only fully conformational test is a biopsy. However, other screening methods include digital rectal examination, prostate imaging, and testing for tumor markers.