General Article

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Screening for prostate cancer Naperville IL is common among men over 50, especially since this form of cancer is prevalent, and the risks are high. Read more about Prostate Cancer below.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a tumor that is formed in the prostate gland of men. This walnut-shaped gland is part of the male reproductive system, produces the seminal fluid (the substance that joins the sperm forming the seed) and surrounds the urethra, that is the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to the external of the body.

What Occurs Within Our Body?

In some cases, prostate cancer has a slow development that can last many years. In other cases, it can quickly form and spread to other parts of the body. Its cells can also form metastases through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream and through the nerves.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of the Disease?

In some men, prostate cancer is asymptomatic. Other patients are subject to the following symptoms:

  • Presence of blood in the urine or in the semen.
  • Inability to urinate or causes pain
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Urinary incontinence

What are the Causes and Risks of the Disease?

Nobody knows the causes of prostate cancer. The hormones, including testosterone, control the development of the prostate gland and may contribute to the formation of prostate cancer. Even viruses or chronic infections can lead to the disease. Recently, researchers have identified a gene linked to some cases of prostate cancer. So far, the onset of the disease has not been linked to any carcinogenic substance present in the environment.

These are the main risk factors:

  • Advanced age. Prostate cancer manifests itself especially in people over 55. The diet. Fruits, vegetables and fish rich in omega 3 can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. In contrast, a high fat diet can increase it.
  • The ethnic background. Prostate cancer occurs more frequently in cultural groups of Africa and northern Europe. It is instead less frequent in North American Indians and Asians.
  • Cases of cancer in the family. The risk is higher if an individual’s father or brother has had prostate cancer.
  • Individuals who have undergone vasectomy, who smoke or who have been exposed to a metal called cadmium are at high risk.

For the moment there is no definitive cure for prostate cancer, but prostate screening, along with other tests and blood tests, can help to make an early diagnosis.

How is the Disease Diagnosed?

Prostate cancer diagnosis starts from the patient’s clinical background and medical examination. First, the healthcare professional will perform a rectal digital exam, possibly followed by other investigations.

The PSA test, especially in a perfected version of it, can help in the diagnosis. In fact, high levels of PSA suggest, but do not prove with certainty, that the patient has developed cancer. However, very high levels of PSA indicate a high risk. The PSA reference values increase with age and are different depending on the ethnic group they belong to.

Depending on the degree and stage of the tumor, treatment options vary from chemotherapy and radiation to hormonal therapy and surgery. Diagnosis of prostate cancer begins with a checkup, and every man over the age of 45 should visit a urology doctor for testing.