About the disease
This type of cancer originates in the prostate of a male patient. This gland is responsible for a variety of important bodily functions - from the synthesis of male the sex hormone (testosterone) to producing sensations during orgasm.
In most cases, prostate cancer develops in men who are over 50-60 years old. Probability of developing prostate cancer increases rapidly after the age of 50. In fact, the majority of known prostate cases were of men over 60-65 years old. For younger men, the possibility of developing prostate cancer is very low. A prostate cancer diagnosis is usually performed with tumor markers that can locate the origin of malignant cells.
- Hereditary susceptibility (the risk is doubled if a family member has had prostate cancer)
- Progression of prostatic hyperplasia
- Infectious disease
- Multiple sexual partners
- Consumption of red meat and fatty food
- Frequent urination at night
- Difficulty with urinating
- Feeling that the bladder was not emptied fully
- Absence of erection
- Reduction of semen ejaculation
Common diagnostic methods for prostate cancer are:
The most modern diagnostic method for prostate cancer is high intensity ultrasound, which can detect slight changes in the prostate and diagnose prostate cancer in its beginning stages.
Most common options for prostate cancer treatment are:
- Radical prostatectomy is the complete removal of the prostate gland.
- Da Vinci prostatectomy is a minimally invasive robotic procedure that can not only remove the prostate, but also mobilize the bladder and expedite patient
- Transurethral electro resection also aims to remove prostate tissue with a special tool that uses a strong electric current to destroy cancerous cells.
- Prostatectomy with lymphadenectomy is used if prostate cancer spreads to lymphs. In this case, cancerous cells must be resected not only in the prostate region, but also in the lymphs.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) uses strong radiation beams to destroy cancerous cells. As a rule, young men undergo radical prostatectomy and patients who are older are treated with radiation therapy.
- Proton therapy also uses radioactive substances, but this therapy is safer than radiation, as it has the minimal exit dose.
- Ultrasound ablation of tumors uses high-intensity ultrasound (HIFU), which is a non-invasive treatment method. During this treatment, doctors direct ultrasonic beams on a predetermined point to kill cancerous cells.
- If there are no metastases (the tumor is localized), treatment of prostate cancer can usually be successful. Removal of the tumor is only possible for local neoplasms. Modern treatment strategies include prostate cancer surgery, radiation therapy and in rare cases observation, if the person is older than 60. Prostatectomy is still the leading method of treatment, but as robotic surgery develops, it may soon become obsolete.
- Monotherapy suggests a lifelong use of special medicines and hormones. In the event of recovery or intolerance, the treatment may only be ceased with the approval of a doctor.
- Intermittent therapy (drugs that are taken periodically) is applied only to
the patients whose condition is not severe.
- Operative (surgical) castration is irreversible and can cause detrimental effects, such as depression. Alternatively some patients can undergo medical castration, which is reversible.
- Metastatic forms are treated only symptomatically or palliatively. Hormonal therapy can delay rapid development of the disease, prevent further complications and alleviate symptoms, but it does not increase the survival rate.
In most cases, a good medical center can substantially increase the chances of a full recovery. The best centers have proton therapy at their disposal, which cannot be performed in hospitals that do not specialize in prostate cancer. They also have such facilities as robotic prostatectomy, which is a new word in the medical world. During the robotic prostatectomy, doctors use a robotic device to assist them in the operation. Robotic surgery can enhance a surgeon’s skills during the operation. It is very precise and it requires less time.