Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Symptoms and Treatment

Prostate cancer is often a slow growing melanoma of the prostate gland that could take several years to develop. This disease could be there and on the rise for a long time and you might never even have a clue that it is there. Considering that it is a disease responsible for almost 30,000 deaths in the United States each year, this is an astonishing and disquieting reality; which is why the American Cancer Society has stepped in and advised that all men exceeding the age of fifty should get a complete medical workup at least once a year, during which they should at least check for tumors in the prostate.

There is a reason for the age specification: only 1 in 10,000 men under age 40 is diagnosed with the disease annually; up to 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59; and as much as 1 in 15 for ages 60 to 69. Pushing to age 70, as much as 80% of men that attain that age are doomed to feel the syndrome. As such, you realize that your risk of having the disease is very minimal before you turn 50.

While attempting to diagnose your prostate cancer, the doctor often begins with a DRE – digital rectal examination, to feel for the presence of a tumor. Even if there is a tumor to be felt, it could well be benign – BPH, which implies that the doctor has to do something a little more indicative to determine if indeed you have prostate cancer. This will lead to the PSA – prostate specific antigen – test.

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Also inconclusive, the level of PSA markers in your blood is not expected to exceed 40ng/ml; but if it does, it could be anything again besides a carcinoma in your prostate. This is why a third and final diagnostic procedure is carried out – a biopsy of the prostate gland. If you have prostate cancer, the tissue extracted from your prostate gland will show the mutated cells under the scrutiny of the microscope.

Often, the choice of treatment course for prostate cancer depends to a large extent on what is seen under the microscope (the Gleason numbers and score of your sarcoma) and on the result of the PSA test, which indicates how much the disease may have grown and spread from the prostate gland. They results are often also helpful in determining prostate cancer recurrence after treatment, especially if the disease is perceived as being high aggressive, advanced, and metastatic.

Early stage prostate cancer often yields very low Gleason scores, for which the prognosis over five years is excellent, and over ten years can be an impressive ninety percent survival rate. However beyond the ten year mark, it is difficult to say for sure if the patient will remain cancer free. The prognosis is even worse if the cancerous cells have spread from the prostate gland to other parts of the body. In such instances, the doctor recommends combined treatments but offers no guarantees about whether or not the disease will recur.

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