Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer happens when cancerous cells get into a man’s prostate gland, which is a small gland shaped like a walnut and located beneath the bladder in the pelvis. The function of the prostate is to make seminal fluid as part of the ejaculated semen.  It is one of the more common cancers in men.  It usually grows extremely slowly and needs no treatment.

While certain types are slow growing, some are aggressive and spread quickly within the pelvis.  Prostate exams are the mainstay of detection of prostate cancer and can determine who lives and who dies from this disease. If the cancer is detected while it is still confined to the prostate gland, there is a much greater chance of survival.

There may be no initial symptoms and later, the symptoms are similar to an enlarged prostate.  Symptoms include the following:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Decreased force in urine
  • Aching pain in the lower back, hips or thighs
  • Discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Bony pain anywhere in the body
  • Erectile dysfunction

The exact cause of prostate cancer isn’t clear.  Certain DNA mutations cause some cells to divide more rapidly and grow out of control.  When a cell should die, a cancer cell doesn’t die and keeps on dividing. Factors that increase one’s riskfor prostate cancer include:

  • Being older than age 65;
  • Being black; African-American men are at higher risk than those of other races;
  • Having a family history of breast or prostate cancer. If you have a family history of the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, you have  greater risk for prostate cancer,
  • Obesity increases one’s risk for prostate cancer

There are risks and complications of prostate cancer and treatment.  These include having the cancer metastasize to nearby or distant locations, such as distant boney areas. You can become incontinent of urine or have erectile dysfunction, which is likely permanent.

Screening healthy men for prostate cancer is controversial.  Some organizations recommend a digital rectal examination starting at age 50.  Prostate screening can include:

  • Digital rectal exam or DRE. This is when the doctor puts on a glove and examines the posterior wall of the prostate through the rectum.
  • Doctors can check the blood for a prostate specific antigen or PSA, which can be markedly elevated in prostate cancer. The two tests can be done together with an interpretation of probable prostate cancer, probable BPH or equivocal given at the end of the evaluation.

Diagnosing prostate cancer depends on an ultrasound to see if a person has prostate cancer. The ultrasound is a transrectal ultrasound.  Then an ultrasound direct biopsy is obtained to confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is then graded to determine the aggressiveness of the tumor. The higher the grade, the more aggressive is the tumor. The Gleason score is done for cancer 0f the prostate and goes from 2 to 10.                                                                                                                                                                                         You need to understand how far the cancer has spread.  This depends on doing bone scans, pelvic ultrasounds, CT scan of the body and MRI of the body.  I some cases, a PET scan can look for areas in the body of increased activity.

There are several stages of prostate cancer.  They include:

  • Stage I: Cancer is confined to a small part of the prostate and are not aggressive.
  • Stage II: The cancer is small but the cells are considered aggressive. They may involve both lobes of the prostate.
  • Stage III. The cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissue.
  • Stage IV. The cancer has spread to nearby or distant places.

For More Information Visit: Prostate Cancer Medical Negligence Solicitor