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Symptoms Associated with Prostate Cancer; and when you might need to visit a doctor

Delhi’s best prostate cancer doctors weigh in

Our Aakash Healthcare super speciality, Dwarka provides the best cancer treatment in Dwarka and is one of the best cancer hospitals in Delhi. We receive both male and female cancer fighters and try to help them reclaim their lives from this deadly disease. While most women come in for breast cancer, prostate cancer is the leading cause for male patients.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a grave disease that affects thousands if not millions of men every year who are middle-aged or older. Almost 60 percent of all cases happen in men older than age 65.

The prostate is a gland located in a man’s lower abdomen. It’s located just beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The prostate is regulated by testosterone (a hormone) and secretion seminal fluid, also called semen. Semen is the substance that contains sperm.

When a tumour; which is an abnormal and malignant mutation of cells forms in the prostate, it’s diagnosed as prostate cancer. From there the cancer can advance and spread to other areas of the body. Even these cases will be deemed prostate cancer as cancer is made up of cells from the prostate.

Prostate cancer is reported at almost 100,000 cases per year in India and is one of the most common cancers in men.

With this in mind it is important to know and detect possible symptoms of prostate cancer; it is the best way to beating the cancer. The three symptoms are urinary symptoms, sexual dysfunction and pain.

Read on to know more about these early symptoms of prostate cancer, as well as when you might need to consult a doctor.

Urinary symptoms

Prostate cancer symptoms are very similar to those of other benign diseases of the prostate. The earliest symptoms of prostate cancer are often urinary. Warning signs like frequent need to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, difficulty urinating at all, weak urine flow, or blood in the urine.

Many of these symptoms may very well be symptoms of noncancerous diseases of the prostate. These diseases are an enlarged prostate, also called a benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostatitis; an inflamed prostate gland, this usually happens because of infection.

BPH and prostatitis usually don’t cause bloody urine, which happens in prostate cancer, so in case there is blood in your urine, call the best cancer hospital in Dwarka and speak with the best doctors for prostate cancer in Delhi at Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka and come in for an evaluation right away.

Sexual dysfunction

This is also a significant symptoms as the prostate gland plays a pivotal role in the male reproductive system, so it’s only natural that prostate cancer may cause sexual dysfunction. Men may face difficulties in getting or maintaining erections, or may experience painful ejaculation. Some men who have early prostate cancer may not experience any symptoms.

Because of changes in hormone levels, sexual dysfunction becomes more apparent as men age. And it is imperative that you don’t dismiss erectile dysfunction and other symptoms as a natural result of age. Tests will help you determine whether your symptoms are cancerous or not.

Frequent pain

Once prostate cancer begins to spread, it may cause pain in and around location of the prostate gland. Men with the prostate cancer may experience pain in other areas of the body like their hips, lower back, pelvis, and upper thighs.

Pain is most probably going to occur simultaneously in multiple areas. For instance, you may experience pain while urinating along with pelvic pain. Any on and off, or chronic pain must be assessed by a doctor to clarify everything.

When you should see a doctor

We highly advise you to call a doctor if you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned here, even if they’re mild. We recommend men in their 50s or 60s see a doctor at once if they experience any prostate cancer symptoms. While these symptoms won’t mean prostate cancer, noncancerous prostate problems are actually moray likely to happen to men after the age of 50.

Symptoms like a bloody discharge or extreme pain should also warrant an immediate cancer test.

Regular cancer screening is recommended in case there’s a history of the disease in your family. Men who have brothers or fathers with prostate cancer are up to three times more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Outlook

Most prostate cancer cases are still diagnosed from routine check-ups. This can be cause for late diagnosis, and the cancer may have spread. Like all forms of cancer, the earlier the detection the better the chances of a better outcome.

The best way to protect yourself is to know these symptoms and detect them earlier rather than later. Being proactive and aware can help save your life.

Diagnosis of Prostate cancer:

Tran’s rectal biopsy of the prostate Open pop-up dialog box

If prostate cancer screening detects an abnormality, your doctor may recommend further tests to determine whether you have prostate cancer, such as:

  • Ultrasound. During a Trans rectal ultrasound, a small probe, about the size and shape of a cigar, is inserted into your rectum. The probe uses sound waves to create a picture of your prostate gland.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In some situations, your doctor may recommend an MRI scan of the prostate to create a more detailed picture. MRI images may help your doctor plan a procedure to remove prostate tissue samples.
  • Collecting a sample of prostate tissue. To determine whether there are cancer cells in the prostate, your doctor may recommend a procedure to collect a sample of cells from your prostate (prostate biopsy). Prostate biopsy is often done using a thin needle that's inserted into the prostate to collect tissue. The tissue sample is analysed in a lab to determine whether cancer cells are present.

Treatment of Prostate cancer:

Immediate treatment may not be necessary

Low-grade prostate cancer may not need treatment right away. For some, treatment may never be needed. Instead, doctors sometimes recommend active surveillance.

In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and prostate biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for a prostate cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation.

Surgery to remove the prostate

Prostatectomy incisions Open pop-up dialog box

Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes.

Surgery is an option for treating cancer that's confined to the prostate. It's sometimes used to treat advanced prostate cancer in combination with other treatments.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy options include:

  • Medications that stop your body from producing testosterone. Certain medications known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists and antagonists — prevent your body's cells from receiving messages to make testosterone. As a result, your testicles stop producing testosterone.
  • Medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells. These medications, known as anti-androgens, usually are given in conjunction with LHRH agonists. That's because LHRH agonists can cause a temporary increase in testosterone before testosterone levels decrease.
  • Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy). Removing your testicles reduces testosterone levels in your body quickly and significantly. But unlike medication options, surgery to remove the testicles is permanent and irreversible.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both.

Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for treating prostate cancer that has spread to other areas of the body. Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don't respond to hormone therapy.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die.

Targeted therapy drugs may be recommended to treat advanced or recurrent prostate cancer if hormone therapy isn't working.

Some targeted therapies only work in people whose cancer cells have certain genetic mutations. Your cancer cells may be tested in a laboratory to see if these drugs might help you.

Dr. Vikas Agarwal
(Director & HOD)
Urology, Uro-oncology and Kidney Transplant

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