September is prostate cancer awareness month. It is dedicated to raising awareness and support for early detection, treatment, and care of this disease. Research has revealed that breast cancer and prostate cancer may be interlinked. A family history of breast cancer may contribute to prostate cancer and certain genetic mutations that contribute to breast cancer may result in prostate cancer in men.
Several treatments are available to treat prostate cancer and treatment can be effective if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. Therefore, it is important to have regular screenings for cancer despite not having any known risk factors.
It is a disease where malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. It begins when cells in the prostate gland (found only in men) start to grow uncontrollably. The size of the prostate varies as a man ages. It is about the size of a walnut in younger men and can be much larger in older men.
The causes of this cancer are still unclear. However, here are some factors that may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer:
Age – Age increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Obesity – Obese men are more likely to have advanced prostate cancer that is difficult to treat.
Family History – You may have an increased risk of developing the condition if men in your family have had prostate cancer or if you have a family history of breast cancer.
A Sedentary Lifestyle – You may have an increased risk of prostate cancer if your lifestyle involves a lot of lying down and sitting, with little physical exercise.
Contact your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of prostate cancer:
Weak or interrupted flow of urine, sudden urges to urinate, frequent urination, or trouble starting urination flow
Trouble emptying the bladder fully
Pain or burning while urination
Blood in the semen or urine
Constant pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
Short breath, tiredness, fast heartbeat, dizziness, or pale skin caused by anemia.
The following procedures may be used to diagnose prostate cancer:
After the prostate cancer has been diagnosed, the following tests are used to determine the spread of the disease:
Your doctor will recommend any one of the following treatment options based on your age, health, the size of your tumor, how quickly your tumor is developing, and personal preferences.
Mostly, prostate cancer grows slowly, so your doctor might recommend waiting to see how your tumor grows and spreads before treating it. During the waiting period, your doctor will monitoryour condition and perform regular blood tests to check on the cancer’s progress.
Surgery is an option to treat prostate cancer if you are healthy and your cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. During the surgery, they will remove your prostate gland or also the tissue around it. Your surgeon will discuss the procedure with you and work to protect the nerves around your prostate gland and limit the damage to prevent any side effects.
This treatment uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used to treat prostate cancer that is either contained to the prostate or if has spread beyond the prostate. Sometimes, this treatment might be recommended after surgery to remove any remaining cancer cells. Your radiation oncologist will discuss the treatment procedure in detail, including possible side effects.
This is a type of radiation therapy that precisely uses small particles to destroy cancer cells in the prostate.
Prostate cancer cells require testosterone (male sex hormones) to grow. Hormone treatment can decrease the levels of testosterone and other male sex hormones, which causes cancer cells to die or grow slowly. Hormone therapy can be used with radiation if the cancer is aggressive.
Your doctor might provide you with drugs intravenously or orally. These drugs will kill and shrink cancer cells. Doctors suggest this method when your prostate cancer has spread to other parts and if hormone therapy does not work for you.
This treatment involves artificial stimulation of the immune system to treat prostate cancer. This treatment improves the natural ability of the immune system to fight the disease and it works best if hormone therapy is not working on you anymore. It is a treatment option for advanced prostate cancer.
This may be recommended to ease pain and prevent fractures if cancer has spread to your bone.
At Chesapeake Oncology Hematology Associates (COHA), we have specialists like Dr. Bhandari and Dr. Patel, to treat prostate cancer with the best results. We are pioneers in the field of oncology services within Anne Arundel County and Howard County for over 25 years. We provide the best oncology and hematology services that include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and much more. If you are looking for the best cancer treatment, contact us today or schedule an appointment with us. We are committed to providing you the most advanced treatment and highest-quality care.