Friday, July 13, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
By George Anderson
Prostate cancer is a very common problem with men over the age of 80 and it starts becoming frequent with men over 50. By the time they are 80, almost half will have some form of prostate cancer which is not noticeable. Even though it is dangerous, just like any other cancer type, prostate cancer is very seldom the cause of death for the men who have it. Although this is such a common illness, doctors are still uncertain of the precise causes for prostate cancer. Ethnicity is one of the factors that offers some differentiation, with black men the highest risk and Asian men the lowest.
Curing prostate cancer is possible, but the condition has to be detected in the early stages. Many men do not even seek medical advice when the symptoms are present, partly because they are very similar to those of another disease: BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy. Most men will experience difficulties while urinating, noticing a weak or intermittent flow of urine. Other symptoms include urgent needs to urinate or the need to wake up several times a night to do this. Some patients also observe a dribbling of urine after and even before urinating.
There is no universal treatment that will work the same in individual cases. Doctors have to determine several decisive factors, such as general health condition, age, location of the tumor in the prostate, size of the tumor. The number one option for treatment is surgery. However, the main operation, known as radial prostatectomy, is extremely tiring to the body, so the patient has to be in good condition. Most surgery patients are men between 50 and 70 years of age who do not seem to have extensive cancer damage. There are some side effects involved with this procedure, mostly related to erectile dysfunctions and minor urination problems. However, modern techniques greatly reduce the side effects and the success of surgery is high.
Choosing a hormone therapy is another option. This treatment does not kill the cancer cells but it reduces the size of the prostate tumor of the majority of patients. Most doctors recommend this treatment together with surgery for best effects. Cancer growth is stimulated by testosterone, the male sexual hormone, and hormone therapies reduce its level. By reducing testosterone levels, the prostate becomes less subjected to cancer cell growth. Based on patient medical history and overall health level, doctors may or may not choose to prescribe hormone therapy.
Sometimes, the doctor might suggest an alternative treatment to surgery. Radiotherapy can work by destroying cancer cells through radiation. The method is painless and involves only out-body procedures. However, some side effects like diarrhea and impotence have been noticed. Brachytherapy is the other. It involves the implantation of radioactive elements in the prostate, which are inserted with the patient under anesthesia. In time, the radioactive elements loose their properties, but they also help diminish cancer cell growth.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
by: Fritz Frei
1. Testosterone and its active metabolite.
Dihydro-testosterone are essential for prostate cancer to develop, but does not actually cause prostate cancer. Men who are castrated at a young age do not develop prostate cancer.
2. Prevalence of prostate cancer
One in ten men will develop clinically significant prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American males with 250 000 new cases reported annually. Prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in both the USA and the UK. Prostate cancer is rare among Orientals. It is more common in black than white Americans. The disease appears to present at a younger age and behave more aggressively in American blacks. Prostate cancer is common in South Africa and probably underreported as a cause of death. The exact incidence in South Africa is not known as no large-scale epidemiological studies have been performed. It is uncertain whether prostate cancer is more common in South African blacks as compared to whites. In very old men prostate cancer is not always clinically significant. Autopsy data indicate a 70% incidence of prostate cancer in 80 year old men. The majority of these men died with rather than from prostate cancer.
3. Causes of prostate cancer
There is no single cause of prostate cancer. The cancer originates in the epithelial cells of the glandular elements of the prostate. As with most cancers defects in the DNA of the cell are central to the development of prostate cancer. Multiple DNA defects are required for cancer to develop. This multi-step process takes place over time. Some defects can be inherited, while others are acquired during the patient's lifetime. Prostate cancer is exceedingly rare before the age of 40, but 1 in 8 men between the ages of 60 and 80 years suffer from the disease. 9% of all prostate cancers are caused by a genetic susceptibility, probably inherited via chromosome 1. These genetically related cancers tend to present at a relatively younger age.
4. What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis means “inflammation of the prostate”, and is one of the most common reasons men visiting the doctor in the western world. It is most common in men over the age of 30, and particularly in men over the age of 60. While prostatitis is treatable, diagnosis can be lengthy and not all treatments are successful. This is partly because the various causes of prostatitis are not fully understood. There are three main types of prostatitis:
· Acute prostatitis, which develops suddenly and may not be permanent.
· Non-bacterial prostatitis, which may develop suddenly or follow a slower or variable course. It is now more commonly called chronic male pelvic pain syndrome because it cannot be proved to be “non-bacterial”, though a bacterial cause cannot be identified.
· Chronic (bacterial) prostatitis, which develops gradually and may only have subtle symptoms, though it often continues for a prolonged period.
· asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis - which has no symptoms at all but results in an inflamed prostate, is sometimes mentioned. It has been discovered when biopsies are conducted on the prostate to rule out cancer, and no cancer is found. This is a histological and not a clinical diagnosis. Prostatitis is often reported on the histological analysis of TURP specimens when the prostate resection was performed for symptoms of BPH. If the patient is asymptomatic this histological finding does not warrant any treatment.