About Prostate Cancer Screening
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Prostate cancer screening
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a disease that develops in the prostate gland in only the male reproductive system. Prostate is an exocrine gland located below the bladder in men responsible for nourishing the sperm. This disease, therefore, affects only male individuals.
The causes of prostate cancer
The precise cause of prostate cancer has not been established. There are, however, conditions that increase the likelihood of developing this cancer.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
- Burning sensation during urinating
- Difficulty in initiating urination
- Blood stains in semen or urine
- Pain during ejaculation
- Regular urination at night
- Back pains that does not get relieved
- Interrupted urine flow
Who is at risk?
Men above 50 years of age are more likely to develop this condition than the younger population. Men who come from families with a history of prostate cancer are also likely to develop the condition.
Prostate cancer screening
Screening involves diagnosing cancer. There are two common methods of prostate cancer screening which include:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test- this antigen is produced by the prostate gland. High levels of PSA in the blood may be a sign of prostate cancer. However, high PSA levels may also be caused by other factors such as prostate infections, certain medications or even large prostrates.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE) – this procedure involves the doctor inserting their fingers into the rectum to feel and estimate the size of the prostate gland.
- The doctor will then use a biopsy to determine precisely whether you have prostate cancer.
What are the Benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening?
- Early detection of the cancer is vital in its treatment
- Easy detection of fast-growing cancers can be terminated
- PSA test may indicate that you have the disease when you actually do not have. This condition is referred to as false-positive.
- Overtreatment of mild prostate cancer may lead to the development of other major problems such as impotence, bladder or bowel problems.
- Biopsy is painful and bleeding may cause infections
- What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?
The common types of treatment include:
- Prostatectomy- this procedure involves surgical removal of the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues which may also be infected.
- Radiation therapy: involves the use of high-energy rays to terminate cancer cells and stop their development. There are two types of this therapy:
- External radiation therapy: the radiation machine focuses the energy to the cancer cells from outside the body.
- Internal radiation therapy: radioactive pellets are placed near cancer infested area
- Hormone therapy: this kind of treatment is most suited for persons whose cancer has been detected at an early stage. It involves blocking the spread of cancer cells to other uninfected tissues.
- Active surveillance- treating every symptom as it occurs.
Other treatment options for prostate cancer
- Chemotherapy- This procedure entails the use of strong drugs that are injected directly into the blood or taken orally and kill the cancer cells. There are many adverse effects that make it widely unapplied by many doctors.
- Biological therapy- conditioning of the immune system to help in fighting the cancer spread
- Cryotherapy- entails killing cancer cells by freezing them.
Learn more about Prostate Cancer Screening