Prostate cancer develops when the cells in the prostate gland change, begin to divide uncontrollably and concentrate in a derivative called a tumor. The tumor can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A malignant tumor can spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor. Some prostate tumors grow very slowly, so a person does not feel any symptoms or signs for a long time. Many prostate cancer cells begin to produce too much of a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). However, excess PSA levels are found not only in prostate cancer but also in other prostate diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) and prostatitis (inflammation or infection of the prostate).
Prostate cancer is significantly different from other cancers because it has almost no spread from the prostate. Often, even an advanced prostate tumor can be successfully treated and give men with the disease the opportunity to enjoy good health and life for several more years to come. If the cancer spreads (metastasizes) to other organs and the disease is not effectively controlled, it can cause pain, fatigue, or other symptoms.
Types of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer can be of different types. The type is determined by the cells and tissues from which the primary prostate tumor developed.
More than 90 percent. all diagnosed prostate tumors consist of prostate adenocarcinoma. Thus, almost every man diagnosed with prostate cancer has prostate adenocarcinoma. The cancer begins to develop in the cells of the prostate glandular epithelium. Many prostate adenocarcinomas grow very slowly and are prone to spread. But there are some that grow pretty fast.
Symptoms of non-cancerous and cancerous prostate diseases
Benign prostatic hyperplasia. With age, the prostate gland in men often increases. This is usually not due to cancer. This disease is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostatic hyperplasia.
Prostate cancer does not cause any symptoms at first. Many prostate tumors begin to form on the outside of the prostate gland, away from the urethra. As long as the tumor is small, it does not press on the duct (urethra) and does not prevent urine from leaving the body, so the person does not feel any change. When symptoms begin to appear, a later stage of prostate cancer is often diagnosed.
The symptoms of non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) prostate tumors are very similar:
- sudden urge to urinate;
- more frequent than usual urge to urinate, especially at night;
- difficulty urinating, urinary felt urge, effort required to start and finish the action;
- feeling that you still fail to empty your bladder completely;
- after finishing urinating after a few minutes, some urine may drip again and contaminate the underwear;
- discomfort while sitting, cycling due to an enlarged prostate.
Prostate cancer risk factors
Risk factors are any environmental factors, inherited traits, lifestyles or habits that increase the risk of cancer. Although risk factors influence the onset of cancer, many do not directly cause cancer.
What specifically causes prostate cancer is not yet well known, but some common risk factors have been identified that may increase the risk of developing this male disease.
- Age. People over 50 are at higher risk for prostate cancer. About 80 percent. cases of prostate cancer are found in men over 65 years of age.
- Family predisposition. Prostate cancer is thought to be caused by one or more altered or damaged cell genes. About 75 percent. cases of prostate cancer are sporadic. This means that genetic changes occur randomly after a person is born. About 20 percent. cases of prostate cancer are familial, i. y. cancer develops due to changes in genes that predominate in families and their interactions with environmental factors. About 5 percent. cases of prostate cancer are inherited. Hereditary prostate cancer develops due to genetic alterations. Altered genes are passed on to offspring. If a first-degree relative (father, brother or child) has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the risk of prostate cancer increases 2-3 times for other men in this family.
- Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. It is caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and / or BRCA2 genes. Although this syndrome is generally associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women, mutations in these genes in men may also increase the risk of prostate and breast cancer. Mutations in the HPC1, HPC2, HPCX genes may also increase the risk, but at least one of them has not been shown to cause prostate cancer or to be a specific marker of prostate cancer.
- Nutrition. Although there is no evidence that malnutrition or certain products can directly cause or prevent prostate cancer, many researchers see links between eating habits and the incidence of oncological diseases. Fatty foods, especially animal fats, are considered one of the risk factors for prostate cancer. To prevent prostate cancer, fatty foods should be abandoned and instead of animal fats, it is better to choose vegetables, eat more vegetables, fruits and legumes. Healthy eating should be the norm from a young age, but changing your eating habits in later years is only for the benefit.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Which treatment methods to apply to a man with prostate cancer are usually decided by a team of doctors: a surgeon (urologist), an oncologist, a radiotherapist, and an oncologist, a chemotherapist. The treatment plan is tailored to each patient, so it’s no surprise that your colleague or neighbor has been treated for prostate cancer in a completely different way than recommended to you. In order to select the most appropriate treatment, specialists take into account many factors:
- the general state of health of the man;
- whether the patient has any other illnesses;
- cancer stage and degree of differentiation;
- whether there are distant metastases;
- Serum PSA levels;
- the likely side effects of the treatment;
- what purpose of treatment is acceptable to the patient and what benefits he expects from the treatment.
The main methods of treating prostate cancer are hormone therapy, radiation therapy and surgical treatment, less commonly chemotherapy.
In addition to basic treatment to maintain a good quality of life, doctors often recommend adhering to the principles of a healthy lifestyle, moving more and using those phytopreparations that scientists have found to inhibit the progression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate cancer.