The prostate is a vital organ that located between the penis and the bladder. The prostate is involved in the release of the prostate fluid that keeps the sperm properly nourished. Prostate cancer, as the term indicates, is characterized by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the prostate. Though the incidences of prostate cancer are low in India, necessary precautions and diagnostic steps should be carried out to prevent the condition from jeopardizing our lives.
Prostate screening includes two tests known as the Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and Prostate-Specific Antigen test (PSA). PSA combined with DRE helps to identify prostate cancer at a very early stage. If any of the tests show an abnormality, a doctor might prescribe an ultrasound such as MRI Fusion or Prostate Biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
- Immediate treatment may not be necessary
- For low-risk prostate cancer, doctors often recommend active surveillance that includes periodic blood tests, rectal exam, and biopsies.
- Active surveillance helps a doctor to continuously track the growth of cancer cells and the possibility of their spread to other areas of the body.
- Surveillance is fit for those who are already suffering from a serious condition or for those patients who are above the age of 60.
- A surgical procedure to remove prostate cancer
- Surgery is considered when the cancer has metastasized to surrounding tissue and the lymph nodes. There are two kinds of surgeries that a patient can go through- a Robot-Assisted surgery and a Retropubic surgery.
- Radical Prostatectomy might have risks involved. It is, therefore, wise to discuss the pros and cons of the surgery with the doctor well in advance.
Understanding the treatment options
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves the use of high-powered and high-frequency energy beams to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often used to shrink the size of the cancer cells. There could be two types of radiation therapy-Brachytherapy and External beam radiation. Radiation therapy too can have its side effects. Doctors prescribe several medicines during therapy.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy helps to stop the production of a male hormone known as testosterone. This treatment option includes medication that completely stops the production of testosterone, the medications may also block the flow of testosterone on the cancer cells, and surgery to remove the testicles. Hormone therapy is used in advanced cancer stages.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a drug that goes into the body and kills rapidly growing and metastasizing cancer cells. It is administered through IV (intravenous), or orally as pill or both. This treatment option is employed when cancer spreads to a remote body location and does not respond to hormone therapy.
- Biological therapy: Biological therapy involves the usage of the body’s immune system to fight cancer. A type of biological therapy known as the sipuleucel-t is used to treat patients with advanced cancer stage and recurring cancer as well. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!