Prostate Cancer: Introduction.
You will find basic information about Prostate Cancer and the parts of the body that it can affect.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located behind the base of a man’s penis, in front of the rectum and below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, the tube-like channel that carries urine and semen through the penis.
The main function of the prostate is to produce seminal fluid, the fluid in the semen that protects supports and aids the transport of sperm.
As men age, the prostate continues to enlarge over time. This can lead to a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), which is when the urethra becomes blocked. BPH is a common condition associated with aging, and can cause symptoms similar to those of prostate cancer. BPH has not been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
About Prostate Cancer:
Cancer begins when the healthy cells in the prostate change and grow out of control, forming a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, which means it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means that the tumor can grow but will not spread.
Prostate cancer is somewhat unusual compared to other types of cancer. This is because many prostate tumors do not spread quickly to other parts of the body. Some prostate cancers grow very slowly and may not cause symptoms or problems for years or never.
Even when prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it can often be controlled for a long time, allowing men with advanced prostate cancer to live in good health and quality of life for many years.
However, if cancer cannot be controlled well with existing treatments, it can cause symptoms such as pain and fatigue and can sometimes lead to death.
An important part of managing prostate cancer is monitoring it to see if it grows over time, to determine if it is growing slowly or quickly. Based on the growth pattern, your doctor can decide the best treatment options available and when to administer them.
About The Prostate – Specific Antigen (PSA)
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland and released into the bloodstream. PSA levels are measured by a blood test. Men with prostate cancer may find a higher PSA level than normal. Other non-cancerous conditions of the prostate, such as BPH (see above) or prostatitis can also lead to an elevated PSA level.
Prostatitis is an inflammation or infection of the prostate. In addition, some activities such as ejaculation may temporarily increase PSA levels. This should be avoided before a PSA test to avoid falsely elevated tests. See the Evaluation section for more information.
Histology is how cancer cells look under a microscope. The most common histology in prostate cancer is called adenocarcinoma. Other less common histologic types include neuroendocrine prostate cancer and small cell prostate cancer. These rare variants tend to be more aggressive, produce much less PSA and spread out of the prostate before.
Prostate Cancer: Statistics:
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men,
For unknown reasons, the risk of prostate cancer is 74% higher in black men than in non-Hispanic white men. The majority of prostate cancers (91%) are found when the disease is limited to the prostate and nearby organs. This is known as the local or regional scenario.
The 5-year survival rate tells you what percentage of men live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percentage means how many out of every 100. The 5-year survival rate for most men with local or regional prostate cancer is almost 100%. Ninety-eight percent (98%) is alive after 10 years. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 30%.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men in the United States. It is estimated that 29,430 deaths will occur this year due to this disease. Although the number of deaths from prostate cancer continues to fall among all men, the death rate is still twice as high in black men as in any other group. The individual survival of a man depends on the type of prostate cancer and the stage of prostate cancer.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates of men with prostate cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of men with this cancer in the United States of America. In addition, experts measure survival statistics every 5 years. Therefore, it is possible that the estimate does not show the results of a better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Men should talk to their doctor if they have any questions about this information.
Statistics adapted from the publication of the American Cancer Society (ACS), Cancer Facts and Figures 2018, and the ACS website.
Prostate Cancer: Medical Illustrations:
You will find a picture of the main parts of the body affected by this disease.
Prostate Cancer: Risk Factors & Prevention:
A risk factor is everything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the possibility of developing cancer, most do not directly or by themselves cause cancer.
Some people with several known risk factors never develop cancer, while others without known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor can help you make more informed decisions about your lifestyle and medical care.
The following factors may increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer:
- Years. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, especially after 50 years. More than 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men 65 years of age or older. Older patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer may face unique challenges, specifically with respect to cancer treatment.
- Race/Ethnicity. Black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men. They are also more likely to develop prostate cancer at a younger age and to have more aggressive tumors that grow rapidly. The exact reasons for these differences are not known and may involve genetic, socioeconomic or other factors. Hispanic men have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from the disease than non-Hispanic white men.
- Prostate cancer occurs most frequently in North America and northern Europe. It also seems that prostate cancer is increasing among Asian men living in urbanized settings, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and North American and European cities, especially among those who have a lifestyle with less physical activity and a less healthy diet.
- Family history. Prostate cancer that occurs in a family, called familial prostate cancer, occurs approximately 20% of the time. This type of prostate cancer develops due to a combination of shared genes and shared environmental or lifestyle factors.
Hereditary Prostate Cancer:
Hereditary prostate cancer, which means that cancer is inherited from a family member, is rare and accounts for about 5% of all cases.
The Hereditary prostate cancer occurs when changes in genes, or mutations, are transmitted within a family from one generation to another. This cancer can be suspected if a man’s family history includes any of the following characteristics:
- 3 or more first-degree relatives with prostate cancer
- Prostate cancer in 3 generations on the same side of the family.
- 2 or more close relatives, such as a father, brother, son, grandfather, uncle or nephew, on the same side of the family, diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 55.
This risk increases even more with the number of family members diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC) is associated with DNA repair mutations in the BRCA1 and / or BRCA2 genes. BRCA is synonymous with “breast cancer“. HBOC is more commonly associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women. However, men with HBOC also have a higher risk of developing breast cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. It is believed that mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes cause only a small percentage of familial prostate cancers. Men who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations should consider screening for prostate cancer at a younger age. Genetic tests may only be appropriate for families with prostate cancer who may also have HBOC.
- Other genetic changes in other genes that may carry an increased risk of developing prostate cancer include HPC1, HPC2, HPCX, CAPB, ATM and FANCA. However, none of them has directly shown that it causes prostate cancer or that it is specific for this disease. Research to identify genes associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer is ongoing, and researchers are constantly learning more about how specific genetic changes can influence the development of prostate cancer. Currently, there are no genetic tests available to determine the likelihood of a man developing prostate cancer.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States lists prostate cancer as a disease associated with exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical used during the Vietnam War. If you are a veteran who may have been exposed to Agent Orange, talk to your doctor in the VA system.
- Feeding Habits. No study has shown that diet and nutrition can directly cause or prevent the development of prostate cancer. However, many studies that analyze the links between certain eating behaviors and cancer suggest that there may be a connection. For example, obesity is associated with many types of cancer, including prostate cancer, and a healthy diet is recommended to avoid weight gain.
Different factors cause different types of cancer. Researchers continue to investigate what factors cause this type of cancer. Although there is no proven way to completely prevent this disease, you may be able to lower your risk. Talk to your doctor to find out more about your personal cancer risk.
A class of medications called 5-alpha-reductase (5-ARI) inhibitors, which include dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar), are often used to treat BPH. They can also lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. While some earlier clinical trials implied that 5-IRAs were related to more aggressive prostate cancers, more recent studies have suggested that this is not true. Interestingly, according to the results of a long-term follow-up study published in 2013, 78% of men taking finasteride or placebo alive still 15 years later.
These results suggest that taking finasteride does not decrease the risk of death in men with prostate cancer. This issue remains controversial, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved these medications for the prevention of prostate cancer.
However, a 5-ARI is approved by the FDA for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH. Because the decision to take a 5-ARI is different for each patient, any man who is considering taking this class of medications should discuss the possible benefits and side effects with their doctor.
There is not enough information at this time to make clear recommendations about the exact role that eating behaviors play in prostate cancer. Changes in diet may need to be made many years earlier in a man’s life to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Here is a brief summary of the current research.
- Regular consumption of foods high in fat, especially animal fat, can increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, no prospective study, which means that studies that analyze men who follow diets high in fat or low in fat and then measure the total number of men in each group diagnosed with prostate cancer, have shown that diets high in animal fat increase the level Risk of prostate cancer.
- A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and legumes, such as beans and peas, can lower the risk of prostate cancer. It is not clear which nutrients are directly responsible. Although lycopene, the nutrient found in tomatoes and other vegetables, has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer, the data so far have not shown a relationship.
- Currently, it has not been conclusively proven that vitamins, minerals or other specific supplements in clinical trials prevent prostate cancer. Men should talk with their doctors before taking any supplement to prevent prostate cancer.
Specific changes in eating behaviors may not stop or slow the development of prostate cancer. It is possible that such changes must be made at an early stage of life for them to take effect.