Posts Tagged ‘Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Symptoms – Benefits Of Early Diagnosis

 

 

 

Prostate CancerCancer of the prostate is typically a slow progressing cancer and symptoms often do not arise for many years. If the cancer is caught at an early stage, there might be no noticeable symptoms. Some men, however, will experience symptoms that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These might include:

* A need for frequent urination, particularly at night
* Difficulty starting urination
* Weak or interrupted urine flow
* Pain or a burning sensation during urination
* Difficulty in obtaining an erection
* Pain during ejaculation
* Blood in the urine or in semen
* Recurring pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

Sometimes the first symptoms will be lower back, hip or pelvic pain caused by cancer which has already spread.

It is important to be aware that the symptoms of both benign enlargement of the prostate gland (i.e. non-cancerous) and malignant tumours (cancer) are similar and might include any of the following symptoms:

* Difficulty starting urination
* Frequent urination, particularly at night
* Pain during urination
* Blood in the urine

Also, men over 50 years of age often have an enlarged prostate gland due to the non-cancerous condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or hypertrophy.

Therefore if you notice any of the above symptoms it is important that you see your doctor and have them investigated. But note that most enlargements of the prostate are not due to cancer and can regularly be dealt with quite effectively.

EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer can often be discovered at an early stage by testing the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. Prostate cancer can also be detected early by your doctor performing a digital rectal examination (DRE). Since the prostate gland is situated close to the rectum, a doctor can physically detect if there are any cancerous signs in your prostate.

Unfortunately the PSA and DRE tests are not totally accurate and conclusive. This can lead to anxiety and confusion, or even to a false sense of security. So important things to consider are your age, your general health and your lifestyle. If you are young and develop prostate cancer, if not caught early enough, it could shorten your life. If however you are older or in poor health, then prostate cancer might never become a serious problem due to its slow-growing nature.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men commence having the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE) annually from the age of 50. Those at higher risk, such as African Americans and those with close relatives who developed prostate cancer at an early age are recommended to commence testing at 45.

The prognosis for prostate cancer sufferers has improved dramatically in recent years. In the past twenty years the overall survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer has increased from 67% to 97%. Thus more men are living significantly longer after diagnosis. In all likelihood this is due to early detection programs, increased public awareness, particularly of prostate cancer symptoms, and the adoption of healthier lifestyles.

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Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer

 

 

 

The diagnosis of prostate cancer can be made on clinical suspicion of the disease, following screening, or as an incidental finding during transurethral resection for suspected benign disease (TURP).

Clinically suspected prostate cancer Prostate cancer can be completely asymptomatic or present with symptoms similar to benign prostatic enlargement (see symptoms). It can also present with the symptoms of metastatic disease. On digital rectal examination prostate cancer feels rock hard and nodular. Invasion into the surrounding structures may be palpable as a hard mass. Spread to the lymph glands may be palpable in the groins or pelvis. Bony metastases to the lumbar spine or pelvis are often tender to palpation. PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a substance excreted by all prostate cells. The blood level of PSA is elevated in prostate cancer and the level of elevation correlates with the extent of disease. The PSA level can also be elevated by benign diseases such as prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The normal range for PSA is 0 – 4 ng/ml. The higher the PSA the greater is the chance of having prostate cancer. Somebody with a PSA of 4 – 10 ng/ml has a 25% chance of having prostate cancer, while a PSA of greater than 10 carries a 50% risk of the disease. Very high levels of PSA (>100ng/ml) almost invariably indicate widespread metastatic disease. The diagnosis of prostate cancer is confirmed by needle biopsy and histological analysis of the biopsy specimens. A transrectal ultrasound scan is performed via a probe inserted into the rectum, and ultrasound guided needle biopsies of the prostate are taken. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic.

Screening All healthy men over the age of 50 years should have annual prostate cancer checks. Black men and men with a positive family history should start at age 40. The aim of screening is to diagnose the disease at an early stage while it is still potentially curable. By the time prostate cancer becomes symptomatic it is usually beyond cure. The screening tests consist of a digital rectal examination and a PSA blood test. The prostate gland may feel entirely normal despite the presence of an early cancer. The combination of PSA and digital rectal examination is more sensitive than either test alone. If one or both of these tests are abnormal a transrectal ultrasound and needle biopsies of the prostate gland are performed.

Incidental finding following TURP Whenever a transurethral resection of the prostate gland is performed for suspected benign disease the removed tissue is sent for histological analysis. Occasionally evidence of unsuspected prostate cancer is found in the tissue. In a young man with an otherwise long life expectancy this is obviously significant. A tiny focus of cancer in an elderly man is probably not significant, since the prostate cancer will not have sufficient time to become bothersome.

With our next information – we will inform you about the “Diagnosis of prostate cancer” – so you should have a look on this site in the next 2 weeks! If you have any question sends us your e-mail.

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A Holistic Approach To Good Prostate Health

 

 

 

I have come to believe that there are some good things associated with getting older. For one thing, I am much wiser than when I was younger. I know this because I am able to admit I don’t know very much about a lot of things at 52 years old. When I was 19, I knew everything. For me, it is now all about awareness. Awareness of my surroundings, the potential dangers of lifestyle choices, my attitude towards those choices and the motivation to do something about the way I live.

In my late forties, early fifties, I started experiencing the changes that aging brings about. I noticed I got tired more easily and didn’t recover as quickly. I also had aches and pains in places where there were none before. Being a typical male, one of the things I was totally ignorant about was prostate health. I didn’t know, for example, that prostate disease affects one out of every two men at some point in their lives. The prostate is a gland located in the male reproductive system. The prostate produces and holds a component of the semen. It is found near the bladder and the rectum. The prostate encapsulates a portion of the urethra, the tube that delivers urine from the bladder. An average prostate is the size of a walnut. If the prostate enlarges, the urine flow can be diminished or completely cut off.

I guess I shouldn’t feel too foolish about my ignorance as only fifteen percent of Americans have even heard of a serious and painful condition known as prostatitus. I didn’t hear about it until I started experiencing discomfort and urgency at times and incontinence at other times. Becoming concerned when the symptoms didn’t go away, I naturally scheduled an appointment with my physician. He, in turn referred me to an urologist. I learned about the possible causes of prostatitus:

* Bacteria driven infection
* Yeast infestation
* Virus
* Food allergy
* BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
* Auto-immune response
* Possible rare tumor in or around the prostate
* Physical injury
* Uric Acid disorder
* Prostate stones
* Prostate cancer
* Urethral stricture

Yes it is a long list of possible causes. It sounds complicated and it may well be. I did find out that there are a number of things I can do to address prostate problems. It starts with diet and exercise, limiting my intake of caffeine and alcohol, giving up extreme habits such as smoking, and getting a prostate exam at least once a year. Diet turns out to be of primary importance and a large intake of fiber was recommended. It was also strongly suggested that I start a regular regiment of mild daily exercise. An annual PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) test was recommended and administered. This test measures the levels of a specific protein in the blood, which, along with a digital rectum exam is used to help detect prostate cancer in men over fifty. It is also used to monitor any recurrence of cancer. The effectiveness of the PSA test is still controversial but my urologist suggested it was a good idea to have the test.

I learned a bit about prostate cancer. If it is detected early, the treatment is highly effective. Nevertheless, 30,000 men die from prostate cancer annually. There is strong evidence that a dietary supplement of certain vitamins, herbal extracts and minerals can do much to prevent this type of cancer. In several studies it was found that men that had high intakes of the following, had much lower incidences of prostate cancer diagnosis: Boron, Daidzein, Grape seed extract, Green tea, Lycopene, Vitamin E, Selenium, Kohki leaf, Pygeum Africanum and Nettle root. In addition, Saw Palmetto berry has been widely documented as an effective treatment to lessen pain, swelling and irritation of the prostate. This is usually recommended for prostate cancer treatment, possibly inhibiting dihydrotestosterone, and slowing cell growth.

In learning about BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), I found that Saw palmetto has a long history of use. It is thought by some to have a very mild aphrodisiac effect. It is thought to boost the body’s manufacturing ability of sperm and increase sexual energy. Saw palmetto extract is still used by many as the primary treatment for both short-term and long-term treatment of BPH. It also appears to be devoid of side effects.

Also recommended for good prostate health are:

Zinc & Copper, Stinging Nettle, Golden Flax Oil, Active AminosTM, Pygeum Bark, Beta Sitosterol , Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine HCl), Pumpkin Seed, Burdock Root, Cayenne Fruit, Goldenseal Root, Gravel Root, Juniper Berry, Marshmallow Root, Parsley Leaf and White Pond Lily Root.

There are a number of packaged combinations that are available that can supply these necessary vitamins, herbs and minerals for good prostate health. They are not as exotic and hard to find as in the past. There are some excellent sources of not only supplements for prostate health but a great source of information on holistic health.

As it turns out, I have a mild case of BPH. It is very common in men over fifty. I have taken my primary care physicians’ and urologists’ advice in all areas. Along with regular check-ups and tests, diet and exercise and my new supplemental intake plan. BPH is something I can live with. I’ve started to make healthier lifestyle choices and I feel good about it. My BPH doesn’t seem to be a big deal anymore.

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