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  • Prostate Cancer Symptoms

    Cancer( carcinoma) of the prostate is a malignant tumor that develops due to abnormal and uncontrolled cell division of the prostate gland, the size of a walnut located directly beneath the bladder in men;this gland produces about 30 percent of the liquid part of the sperm. Damaging and destroying surrounding tissues. How to use folk remedies for this disease look here.

    Prostate cancer is observed frequently: it develops approximately in each of 10-13 men throughout life. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in men and ranks second among the leading causes of death from cancer among men. Often found in older men. These autopsies show that 60 to 70 percent of all men who have reached the age of 80 years have at least some microscopic formation of prostate cancer. Symptoms do not appear until the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, so regular examinations are very important.

    Annually from prostate cancer in developed countries, more than 200 thousand men( mostly elderly) are dying, and more than half a million new cases of this disease are being recorded.

    Carcinoma can progress very slowly, for several years. Symptoms accompanying her at this time, in fact, coincide with the symptoms of a benign prostate tumor. But the tumor nodes, formed from the glands in adenoma, only push apart healthy tissues, disrupting certain functions of the organs. Exactly the same neoplasms in cancer throw away the agent cells, which create a whole network of nodes, moving farther from the place of origin. Prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes and gives metastases to the bones.

    Because prostate cancer usually develops very slowly and it takes years for it to spread, older people do not need to undergo immediate reinforcement treatment. Such patients after the diagnosis of prostate cancer should adhere to the strategy of waiting. This means regular checks and blood tests, and treatment should be started only if there is evidence of tumor growth. The specific course of treatment depends on many factors: the age of the patient, the characteristics of the malignant cells, the size of the tumor, the indication of the onset of the spread of cancer to other parts of the body and the risk of complications. Prostate cancer can be cured by removing the gland before the cancer has spread. However, there are many disagreements about when to recommend the operation of a patient, since it is impossible to predict which cancers are spreading and which is not. Once the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, it can not be cured. In some cases, prostate cancer never spreads;in general, the prospect is good when the cancer is detected early.

    The first signs that should alert the patient:

    American scientists came to the conclusion that most often prostate cancer occurs in men with excess weight. Therefore, doctors advise all fat men, and especially those suffering from prostate cancer, to lose weight.

    First of all hereditary cellular characteristics, which in cancer cells pass from generation to generation. Normally, they are suppressed by immune mechanisms and "doze" to the opportunity. You can only talk about the factors that push cancer cells to development. On the second place - contact, especially long, with carcinogenic substances in connection with professional activities related to chemical, radioactive, etc.reagents, living in ecologically polluted areas. Harmful preferences in nutrition, addiction to alcohol, smoking also influence. And the latter does not hurt at least those who do not smoke, but are forced to stay close to smokers.

    Radiation, even in small quantities, without the necessary protection, ultraviolet radiation and other effects of this series often serve as an impetus to the growth of cancer cells.

    The hormonal dependence of prostate cancer has been established - it never appears in neuter. The viral nature of cancer is discussed, but so far it has not been confirmed experimentally.

    Some scientists believe that the growth of a prostate tumor of full men contributes to an excess of proteins and hormonal imbalance( low testosterone and high estrogen levels).

    Prostate cancer can be determined only by special examination methods. They are similar to the diagnosis of prostate adenoma. It is a definition of the blood of prostate-specific antigen( PSA), ultrasound of the prostate through the probe, fine-needle prostate biopsy. But at the forefront - the classic rectal method of finger feeling through the rectum. With this procedure, the doctor receives basic information.

    In the diagnosis of metastases, fluoroscopy, computer and magnetic resonance imaging help.

    • Case history and physical examination, including digital rectal examination.

    • Blood tests. A blood test for a specific prostate antigen is the most informative analysis for the early detection of prostate cancer. The specific antigen of the prostate, the enzyme secreted by the cells lining it, is needed to dilute the sperm after ejaculation. Usually, a small amount of antigen gets into the blood, but with prostate cancer, the levels of the antigen in the blood usually increase. However, since non-malignant anomalies such as non-malignant hyperplasia( prostate enlargement) and prostatitis can also cause an increase in antigen levels, other tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.

    • Multiple prostate biopsies are necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Ultrasound echography provides a visual display of the prostate and allows for accurate placement of the needle during biopsy to obtain tissue samples. Small tissue samples are taken with a needle inserted into the prostate through the rectum, guided by ultrasound data.

    To choose the treatment that best suits you, ask your doctor the following questions.

    1. What options can you offer me?

    2. How often does the cancer spread if it is not treated?

    3. How do you think, is it possible to cure my cancer? If so, what are the chances?

    4. What kind of treatment would you advise and why?

    5. How many times have you done this procedure?

    6. How soon will we know if treatment helps?

    7. What are the risks of side effects, such as impotence or urinary incontinence?

    8. How soon can I get back to work?

    9. What can not I do?

    10. If treatment does not help, are there other options?

    The main problem for oncologists is the late treatment of patients to a specialist. Cancer is treated successfully only in the early stages.

    • Because prostate cancer usually develops very slowly, a common strategy is to wait for a regular examination and measurement of specific prostate antigen levels to control tumor growth and move on to more aggressive treatment when necessary. Waiting is often recommended for men aged 70-80 years, who usually have cancer.

    • Complete surgical removal of the prostate gland( radical prostatectomy) is the most common treatment;it usually also includes the removal of nearby lymph nodes. The study of the location of structures important for erectile function and control of urination, greatly reduced the risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. The operation is usually recommended to men aged 50-60 years.

    • Radiation therapy for the destruction of malignant cells can be recommended for older men or for those who can not tolerate the operation.

    • In case of severe disease development, when the cancer has spread, surgical removal of the testicles or hormonal therapy( in which substances that block the production or function of male hormones are prescribed) can slow the growth of the prostate cancer and thus slow or stop the further spread of cancer. Chemotherapy is used when hormone therapy can not slow the growth of a tumor.

    The following stages of the disease are distinguished:

    Stage 1 - there is no tumor node, the tumor can be detected only by biopsy;

    II stage - there are 2-3 tumor nodes( 1.5-2 cm in size), the capsule of the prostate is not damaged, the lymph nodes are healthy;

    III stage - the tumor extends beyond the prostate, but the lymph nodes are not affected, the gland is still mobile;

    IV stage - the tumor is immobile and sprouted into neighboring organs.

    The initial stages involve surgery - prostatectomy - removal of the tumor to healthy tissues. This radical treatment is supported by radiotherapy, which at later stages is used as the only method, and at the end - for the treatment of tumor metastases in the bones.

    Recently, surgical castration has been replaced by pharmacological, that is, treatment of female sex hormones.

    Since today blood tests can detect prostate cancer at the earliest stage, many men have a wide range of treatments. One of the possible options - to refuse until the treatment and follow the signs and symptoms of tumor development. This approach is called differently, for example, waiting under supervision, or expectant therapy. You do not do anything except carefully observe the tumor, doing regular blood tests and palpation rectal examination about once every six months. Sometimes you may need to have a biopsy.

    If you are young and healthy - from 50 to 70 years - the doctor can recommend a different approach. Because of your age, cancer has plenty of time to grow and develop, and even a small, slowly growing tumor can eventually require serious treatment. Sometimes cancer cells suddenly start to grow so quickly and spread further and further that treatment becomes difficult or even impossible.

    However, if you are more than 70 years old and your tumor grows slowly, waiting under supervision may suit you. In 2002, the results of studies of Swedish scientists were published that monitored 700 men whose average age was 65 years. Studies have shown that patients who chose surgery were then less likely to suffer from advanced cancer and less likely to die from the disease than those who preferred waiting under supervision. However, after six years, the indices in both groups became approximately equal. This was because men after the operation became more likely to die for other reasons not associated with cancer.

    By carefully monitoring your condition, you and your doctor will be able to take immediate action if the cancer suddenly becomes aggressive and the treatment will be necessary to stop or slow its development.

    You may be approached under supervision if:

    is 70 years old or older and your cancer is small and grows slowly( Gleason score is less than six).

    Cancer is located only in the prostate gland and you need time to think about further actions.

    You may not be able to withstand the side effects of treatment due to age or related health problems.

    For some other reason, your life expectancy is less than 10 years.

    What are the advantages of the wait-and-see approach?

    You are not at risk for impotence or urinary incontinence associated with other treatments.

    Waiting under supervision gives you time to think about other possible treatment options. A small tumor can double in a few years, and you use this time for yourself is not a small time.

    This is the cheapest option, requiring only regular inspections and analyzes.

    While you wait, a cancerous tumor can grow. Although this happens rarely, but sometimes slowly developing cancer can suddenly turn into a rapidly developing cancer. The results of the studies published in 2001 indicate that about 13% of men in two years had a significantly different quality of cancer: Gleason's score increased from six and fewer points to seven or more. In such cases, cancer requires more radical treatment, which can give more side effects than if the treatment had been started earlier.

    You can be constantly worried about your condition, all the time worrying about the tumor and thinking about tests and tests. Although more radical treatment is more risky, it can lessen the fear that you are playing with your life.

    Surgical removal of the prostate is a direct and effective treatment for prostate cancer .This type of operation is called radical prbstatektomie. They are performed in two ways - an operative approach through the perineum( transperineal) or in a retropubic way.

    Most men from 40 to 50 years and many men under 70 choose radical prostatectomy. Most men from 70 to 80 years prefer radiotherapy to surgery, and men over 80 generally refuse treatment at all.

    New techniques and tools that have emerged over the past twenty years have significantly altered the surgical operation. Surgeons now use new technologies to remove the prostate gland, which make it possible to leave intact muscles and oligose nerve bundles responsible for urination and sexual functions. The technical solutions that control bleeding allowed to significantly reduce the loss of blood and eliminated the need for blood transfusion.

    With a retropubic approach, the prostate gland is removed through the incision in the lower abdomen. With the crotch approach, the iron is removed through the incision that is made between the anus and the scrotum.

    What is cancer?

    In simple terms, a cancer tumor is a group of "frenzied" cells that grow faster than normal cells and do not die in due time. Moreover, they, like teenage hooligans, do not "ripen" to the point where they can perform the function of the cells of the tissue to which they belong. The more they are "immature", the faster they grow. In your body, in a normal state, new cells are constantly formed, which live their intended life, and then are replaced by new cells. For example, skin cells live only a few weeks. And microscopic cancer cells grow into small nodules or pea-sized aggregations that continue to grow and grow, becoming denser and harder.

    Some average Russian man has a chance to get a diagnosis of prostate cancer at about 16%, 8% - that the cancer will show serious symptoms, and about three percent that he can from as much as prostate cancer.

    Usually, a prostate cancer grows slowly and does not go beyond the prostate. In this case, it does not cause serious problems. But not all tumors behave identically. Some forms of prostate cancer can be very aggressive and spread quickly to other organs.

    What causes cancer and why tumors behave differently is not known for certain. The researchers suggest that a combination of different factors can play a role here, such as a family history of the disease, ethnicity, hormones, nutrition and the environment, viral diseases, immunity, psychological traits, etc.

    But one thing is known for sure. If the cancer is detected, then, until it has spread beyond the prostate gland, it can in most cases be cured. When the tumor spreads to neighboring organs, the treatment becomes much more complicated - but not hopeless. The purpose of early diagnosis and treatment of cancer is, first, to prevent the spread of the tumor and, secondly, to preserve the quality of life of a man whose health is under serious test with the spread of cancer.

    Prostate cancer at an early stage usually does not give pain. However, when the cancer spreads beyond the prostate to neighboring organs and to bones, it can already cause severe pain. But this does not mean that you have to live with this pain. There are many effective methods of alleviating severe pain. The vast majority of the methods used in the world for this purpose are listed below. Not all of them have found wide application in our country, but who knows what will happen in a year or two?

    If you have pain in a specific part of the body, for example, in the lower back, you can try the following treatments:

    External irradiation. External irradiation is often used to relieve pain in areas where cancer has spread. In this case, treatment usually gives the effect of complete or partial removal of the cessation of pain in 50-80% of cases.

    Radioactive isotopes of strontium. Very often the cancer spreads to the bone tissue. In the treatment of such pain, radioactive elements such as strontium are successfully used. You are injected with an isotope, which is then carried by the blood to the bones where it is absorbed. Bones in which there is cancer, absorb more radioactive substance than healthy bones. Thus, more of the medication is at the source of the pain. Many men feel relief after the first injection. The effect of these radioactive drugs can last from a few weeks to a month. Under certain circumstances, it can last up to a year. If these injections bring you relief, you can do them again, but usually not more than once every two months. Depending on the dose received and the radioactive element used, after injection, your urine may become radioactive for several days. In this case, you will have to use special tanks for hazardous substances. As a result of treatment, you may have increased lymphocyte and platelet count in your blood, and you are at risk of contracting a serious infection. Therefore, you will most likely have to periodically give blood for analysis to monitor its composition.

    External irradiation plus strontium. Combining these two treatments is a very often used and effective way of relieving localized bone pain.

    Nervous stimulation. Some men are helped to get rid of the pain of percutaneous nerve stimulation, although it is not often used to treat pain caused by prostate cancer. To your skin near the painful place attached small electrodes. Then these electrodes are connected to a small battery-operated device, which you can hang on your belt. Through the electrodes, weak electrical impulses come to the body, which distract the nerves that are sensitive to pain.

    Nerve blockade. An anesthetist can inject you into the nerve located in the pain area, an anesthetic - a drug that blocks sensitivity. This method is especially effective for areas of the body where it is possible to accurately determine the passage of the nerve trunk.

    If you have pain associated with prostate cancer, try to assess their intensity on a scale of one to 10, where one means no pain, 10 is the worst pain you can imagine. This will help to choose the best treatment option.

    Medicinal products. If your pains are mild and do not bother you more than a headache, you can benefit from a conventional pain medication that is sold in a pharmacy without a prescription. If the pain is stronger, you may need a stronger medicine that the doctor prescribes. Discuss this with your doctor.

    Opioids are often taken to relieve pain caused by cancer. Some of them are natural compounds produced from opium. Others are synthetic drugs that act in the same way. Opioids can give such side effects as weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, lethargy and inhibited thinking. They can also cause constipation, nausea and vomiting. From constipation you can use laxatives. If it is not convenient for you to take medications through the mouth, some of them can be used in lotions. The medicine will be continuously absorbed through the skin.

    Another strong anesthetic, close to this group, is the drug tramadol( Tramal, Ultram).Like opioids, this drug prevents the passage of painful impulses. In addition, tramadol triggers a mechanism to produce natural hormones in your body that help reduce pain. Side effects are usually mild and coincide with those caused by opioids.

    Extensive irradiation. External radiation irradiates a large area of ​​the body, such as the entire pelvic region and thighs. About half of the men who underwent this treatment felt relief within two days. With an increase in the duration of irradiation, the effect increases. The side effect of this treatment may be the appearance of apathy. If the area of ​​the stomach is irradiated, it can also cause nausea.

    Radio frequency removal. Radiofrequency removal can alleviate pain in cancer that has spread to bone tissue. Previously, radiofrequency removal was used in the treatment of liver and kidney cancer. Recently, it has been found that this method can be a safe and effective way to relieve pain caused by bone cancer, when other methods of treatment do not help. At radiofrequency removal into the cancer tumor through the skin a thin needle is inserted. Through the wiring, called electrodes, an electric current flows into the needle. Electrodes create a high temperature that kills cancer tissue and can destroy the nerves through which pain signals from the tumor come.

    Additional therapy. Some men struggle with pain through techniques that do not use drugs or radiation. Non-traditional practices can be used along with home-based pain relief methods, but more often they are used as a supplement to treatment with drugs or radiation. They include a wide range of means, from distraction and relaxation through good music to acupuncture.

    The key to effective pain relief is to find the method of treatment you need in cooperation with your doctor. If one method does not help, try another one. Continue to try different means until you find one that can control your pain so much that you can rest and feel comfortable.

    Many people think that pain is something that you just have to endure, that it can not be controlled. This is not true. There are effective methods of treatment. The whole point is to find something that is right for you. Others believe that they show their weakness by not being able to cope with the pain themselves. This is also wrong. Progressing cancer can cause very severe pain, spreading to the nearest bones, including the lower spine. Finding a way to get rid of pain is not a sign of weakness.

    • Men over the age of 50 should undergo regular digital rectal examination of the prostate( using a finger in the glove) and take a blood test for a specific prostate antigen for early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Men at high risk should start checking between 40 and 45 years.

    Consult a doctor if you have difficulty, painful, or unusually frequent urination.