Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sorry for the delay in posts guys

How do I know if I'm at risk?

  • Family History - if you have an immediate relative (father or brother), the risk increases by 5 to 10 times;
  • Age - prostate cancer is seldom diagnosed before the age of 40, and more than 75% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over age 65;
  • Race - some racial groups (eg. African Americans) are at much higher risk than Asians and Caucasians;
  • Ethnicity - the disease is common in North America and North-Western Europe and is less common in Asia, Africa and South America
  • Fat intake and meat - a diet rich in fat especially smoked and burned meat, and low in fresh fruit and vegetables has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Do I have any Lithuanian followers?

How does age affect prostate cancer risk?

I saw quite a few comments posted relating to age so i thought i might do this as a topic this evening!

Prostate cancer risk is determined largely by age. As men age past 40, their chance of developing prostate cancer increases exponentially each year. Some doctors believe that all men, given the proper amount of time, will eventually develop prostate cancer, but that many die of other causes, such as disease, accidents, or natural causes, before developing the disease. Prostate cancer is so rare in young men that there are no statistics available for the disease incidence in men under 35.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
As men pass the age of 40, the prostate gland begins to enlarge. This enlargement is generally benign and may cause slight elevations in the prostate-specific antigen level. An overgrowth of prostatic tissue which is not malignant is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and does not require treatment unless difficulty in urination is adversely affecting a man’s everyday life.
Why Does Age Affect Prostate Cancer Risk?
If the prostate gland is growing, the prostatic cells are multiplying. No one is sure of the exact cause of any cancer, however, the increased age and the new growth of prostate gland make this tissue susceptible to malignancies or abnormalities.
Prostate Cancer Testing
Prostate cancer is the growth of a malignant tumor capable of metastasizing and spreading to other areas of the body such as the lymphatic system or the bones. Without yearly prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and DRE examinations, early prostate cancer is very difficult to detect. Difficulty in urination or ejaculation, which may be associated with later stages of prostate cancer may simply be attributed to the process of aging.
All men should begin yearly PSA testing by the age of 50. Men who have other risk factors, such as family history, present are encouraged to begin PSA testing at age 50. Men who have a family or racial predisposition for prostate should begin yearly diagnostic testing at age 40. Early detection is key. As prostate cancer treatments are evolving, the ability to ablate the malignant tissue and retain sexual potency as well as urinary continence is increasing. However, the success of these treatments is strongly correlated to the prostate cancer stage in which treatment begins.
Age as a Determining Factor in Prostate Cancer Treatment
Most cases of prostatic adenocarcinoma, the most common type of prostate cancer, grow extremely slowly. Young men who develop prostate cancer and catch the disease in an early stage may consider the prostate cancer treatment watchful waiting in which the tumor is carefully monitored every 3 to 6 months for changes in the rate of growth. Treatment is postponed until the tumor begins growing larger or more aggressively. Older men may also consider watchful waiting as salvage therapy if their primary treatment fails. Men who are older or who are in poor health may considered postponing treatment if the recurring is not growing or spreading aggressively.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prostate Cancer Sypmtoms

Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer

are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.
Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the

presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:
  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.
Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, such

as BPH or prostatitis,

men will undergo a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prostate Cancer Treatment

While some prostrate cancers are extremely aggressive and need to be treated, others grow slowly.
If a patient’s prostate cancer is slow growing, it may not require immediate treatment and an active surveillance approach may be taken. This option could be taken if a patient is over 70, as the cancer is unlikely to develop quickly enough to cause a problem in his lifetime, or if treatment side effects would impact greatly on quality of life. Patients under 70 may opt for treatment at a later stage if the cancer grows.
Surgery is an option if a patient has early-stage prostate cancer, is fit for surgery, expects to live for longer than 10 years and has not yet had radiotherapy. The surgeon generally removes the prostate in a radical prostatectomy procedure, as well as surrounding tissue. A sample of the lymph nodes in nearby tissue may be taken to determine whether the cancer has spread.
Prostate cancer needs the male hormone, testosterone, to grow and by slowing its production through hormone treatment, the cancer can be slowed. Hormone treatment involves injections of luteinising hormone-releasing hormone, which cannot cure the cancer.
Several kinds of radiotherapy, which allow high doses with minimum affects on nearby tissues, can be used to treat prostrate cancer.
If the cancer cannot be cured, palliative treatments for pain and other problems may involve radiotherapy, chemotherapy and pain-relieving medications.

Common Prostate Diseases

Benign prostate enlargement (BPE)

Benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is the most common prostate-related cause of urinary symptoms.
BPE should not be confused with prostate cancer - the two conditions are quite different and one cannot turn into the other.
For more details on BPE see our section on urinary symptoms.
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate and another condition which can cause urinary symptoms.
Prostatitis can also cause pain in the lower abdomen, pain urinating, chills and fever and can be a very debilitating condition.
For more information, see this information on prostatitis.
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is less common than benign prostate enlargement, but, is now the most frequently diagnosed cancer amongst Australian men, after skin cancer.
Prostate cancer most often grows in the outer section of the prostate and does not usually cause symptoms at an early stage.

Understandably prostate cancer causes a great deal of concern in the community, however, there are many features of prostate cancer which make it one of the least threatening of cancers:
  • Prostate cancer is usually slow growing.
  • After diagnosis, a majority of men live, with a high quality of life, for 10 years or more.
  • When caught early enough and treated with either surgery or radiotherapy, prostate cancer can be cured.

What is the Prostate?

The prostate is a small gland at the base of the bladder. It produces a fluid which protects and nourishes sperm. At ejaculation, the fluid mixes with sperm and secretions from other glands to produce the ejaculate.
The location of the prostate, close to the bladder and surrounding the urethra (urine outlet tube) means that conditions which affect it such as enlargement or inflammation can cause urinary systems.
As men grow older, urinary symptoms are very common, in fact about 1 in 4 men over 40 will notice one or more symptoms. These can include frequent need to urinate, slow stream, starting and stopping and urgent need to urinate. For many, such symptoms raise the question of prostate disease.

General Info

Prostate cancer develops in the walnut-sized prostate gland that makes and stores seminal fluid, a milky liquid that nourishes sperm.
The prostate gland helps regulate bladder control and normal sexual functioning. Prostatecancer develops when the cells in the prostate gland grow more quickly than they should, forming a malignant lump or tumour. Most prostate cancers grow slowly in comparison to other cancers and while the causes are unknown, fatty acids are believed to play a role.
The chance of developing prostate cancer increases with age, and if your father or brother have had the disease.
Occurring mainly in men over 65, and rarely in those under 50, prostate cancer affects more Australian men than any other.