Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one horrid disease because of the absence of symptoms in early stage disease. This is one of the reasons why it is so hard to detect and one of the reasons why the death rate from the disease is as high as it is in the United States today. But the symptoms are yet important in determining how far the cancer has spread and how aggressive treatment may have to be.

Prostate cancer symptoms:

The most common symptoms of prostate cancer when it does eventually present symptoms are often similar to those of other diseases like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP), or an enlarged prostate: frequent urination, increased urination at night, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, blood in the urine, and painful urination. In many instances, there is also urinary dysfunction and in many cases problems with sexual function and performance, especially with respect to difficulty achieving erection or painful ejaculation.

Later symptoms of prostate cancer appear in the advanced stages of the disease when the tumor has spread to other parts of the body. Bone pain is the most common, most usually in the bones of the spinal column, but also including the pelvis, ribs, and the thighs. Spine metastasis of prostate cancer can also compress the spinal cord and cause leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence, and sometimes even paralysis.

Prostate cancer diagnosis:

Diagnosing prostate cancer can be a lengthy process if there are several false positives and inconclusive tests carried out to make it happen. In stage one prostate cancer, it is in fact impossible to detect except by accident because the tumor isn’t yet detectable by a DRE. However, the same digital rectal exam will cause the growth to be felt enough to at least urge a PSA test in stage II prostate cancer.

In order to confirm diagnosis though, a prostate biopsy will have to be done on the patient. To eliminate the chances of stages III or IV, MRIs and CT scans, and bone scans to determine how much the disease may have spread across the body in a process called prostate cancer staging.

Prostate cancer treatments:

Prostate cancer can be cured if the disease is caught early enough, preferably in stage one or two. Radiotherapy, prostatectomy, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy are the most common treatments of the disorder, all with their varying strengths and weaknesses, so that they are usually most effective in the early stage of the disease.

However, because they also all have unwanted side effects like erectile dysfunction, impotence, incontinence, proctitis, and a number of others like that, more research is ongoing in order to determine find better ways to cure the disorder at reduced risk.

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