Friday, September 5, 2008

Prostate Cancer and Its Dangers

Prostate cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor (growth) that is made up of cells from the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and the second highest cause of deaths from cancer, after lung cancer. It is a complex disease that predominantly affects older men and is normally one of the more slowly growing cancers.

Cancer is most frequently caused by injury to one or more of a cell's genes. Cancer cells that get to be very abnormal can break off from a tumor and spread (also known as metastasize). Cancer cells that spread to other areas of the body can create tumors that can grow and squeeze other body parts. Cancer that develops in the prostate may stay localized (solely contained within the prostate) for years and cause few noticeable symptoms.

Prostate cancer doesn't occur overnight but slowly emerges over time as a result of progressive changes in cell structure and behavior. It is found more in some racial and ethnic groups than in others, though medical experts don't understand why. Prostate cancer is more commonplace among African American men than among white men. Men with a family link to prostate cancer through brothers or fathers also are at a greater risk of getting the disease under 50.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Treatment is individual to every case and some types of prostatitis can be harder to treat, especially if symptoms have been ignored over a long period of time. Treatments vary and can including antibiotics, non steroid anti-inflammatory agents, muscle relaxants and often medications for chronic pain.

Treatment can bestow extra years of life for the patients and stop the agony of the disease, but cannot ordinarily cure them. Prostate problems can usually be treated without affecting sexual performance. Treatment for prostate cancer works best as long as the disease is found early. Treatment is painless, though some men may experience diarrhea, urinary problems and dry skin. It will be up to your attending physician to choose which treatment options will work best.

Prostate Cancer Detective work

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, have found that the hormone estrogen plays a major part in about half of all prostate cancers. They have isolated the first mutant gene known to raise the risk of prostate cancer, possibly by so much as three times. Research continues to better comprehend the link between genetic mutations and prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms caused by enlarged prostate growth can embody:

* Difficulty when passing urine
* The need to urinate more often, especially at night
* Blood in the urine
* Painful sensations when passing urine
* Pain in the back and/or pelvis linked with urinary problems.
* Symptoms of prostate cancer don't normally appear until the cancer is in it's advanced stages.

Prostate cancer isn't always an aggressive disease and is very rare in men under 50. Prostate cancer is unlike any other cancer because it is relatively slow-growing and though it can kill, it often isn't lethal.

>>Article Source

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Localized Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Public health records indicate that one in six American men will be faced with the diagnosis of prostate cancer during their lifetime. On average, about 189,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year with about 32,000 cases being fatal.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein almost exclusively produced by the prostate. Initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the purpose of monitoring the status of prostate cancer in 1986, PSA has become an integral part of prostate cancer screening along with a digital rectal examination (DRE). Men with prostate cancer often have elevated levels of serum PSA which correlate with the extent of cancer spread. With the introduction of PSA screening in the late 1980s, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer; approximately 80 percent of newly diagnosed men are considered to have a clinically organ-confined disease that is potentially amenable to cure.

Once diagnosed, men with localized prostate cancer face a difficulty choosing amongst various treatment options. Several factors come into play when selecting an appropriate therapy. The stage (extent of local spread) and grade (aggressiveness) of prostate cancer, as well as competing medical co-morbidities and age at diagnosis, can all influence the decision regarding the choice of therapeutic intervention.

Source: Prostate Cancer Treatment