While prostate cancer can often be treated successfully, many men are unaware of the warning signs and may not seek medical attention until the cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage. Fortunately, you can search online to learn about the first signs of this cancer, plus the best treatment options.
What Are The First Signs of Prostate Cancer?
Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among American men. Roughly 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. The first signs of prostate cancer can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms to look out for include difficulty urinating, weak urine flow, and frequent urination, especially at night. Other signs may include blood in the urine or semen and painful ejaculation. It’s also worth noting, some men don’t develop any symptoms in the early stages.
As prostate cancer progresses, the symptoms may become more severe. Advanced prostate cancer can cause bone pain, weight loss, and fatigue. In the advanced stages, the cancer may also spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes or bones. If you develop any of these symptoms or have concerns about prostate cancer, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
Understanding the Causes of Prostate Cancer
The exact cause of prostate cancer is still not fully understood, but researchers have identified several factors that may increase the risk of developing this disease. Age is one of the most significant risk factors for prostate cancer, as the chances of developing the disease increase as men get older. Family history can also play a role, as men with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer are at a higher risk of developing the disease themselves. In addition, certain genetic mutations can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Other factors that may contribute to the development of prostate cancer include a diet high in calcium, as well as exposure to certain chemicals and toxins. Studies have also suggested a link between obesity and an increased risk of prostate cancer. However, the evidence for these factors is not conclusive, and more research is needed to understand the exact relationship between them and prostate cancer.
It is important to note that having one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop prostate cancer. Many men with no known risk factors can still develop the disease, and conversely, some men with multiple risk factors may never develop the disease. However, understanding these risk factors can help men make informed decisions about their health and take steps to reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
Prostate cancer is often diagnosed through a combination of screening tests and diagnostic procedures. The most common screening test for prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures the level of PSA in the blood. Elevated PSA levels can indicate the presence of prostate cancer, but further diagnostic tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis.
One of the most common diagnostic procedures for prostate cancer is a biopsy, which involves taking a small tissue sample from the prostate gland for laboratory analysis. A biopsy may be recommended if a digital rectal exam (DRE) or imaging tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan, suggest the presence of an abnormality in the prostate.
Common Treatment Options
Prostate cancer treatment options vary based on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and preferences. That said, some of the most common treatment options include:
- Active surveillance involves monitoring the cancer closely with regular check-ups and imaging tests, without immediate treatment unless it progresses.
- Surgery is the removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissue, which is recommended for early-stage prostate cancer.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells, used as the primary treatment for early-stage or in combination with surgery for more advanced cases.
- Hormone therapy reduces male hormones to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or bone-targeted therapy may also be recommended for advanced cases that have spread to other parts of the body. Men with prostate cancer need to discuss their treatment options with their healthcare team to determine the best course of action for their specific case.
Understanding New Treatments for Advanced Prostate Cancer
In recent years, new breakthrough treatments have been developed for advanced prostate cancer. These treatments include drugs such as Xtandi, Nubeqa, and Apalutamide.
Xtandi, also known as enzalutamide, is an oral medication that targets the male hormones that fuel the growth of prostate cancer cells. Nubeqa, also known as darolutamide, is another oral medication that targets male hormones. It has been shown to delay the progression of prostate cancer in men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Apalutamide is another oral medication that works by blocking the effects of male hormones. It has been shown to delay the spread of prostate cancer in men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
These new treatments offer hope for men with advanced prostate cancer and provide more options for their care. But again, it’s important to discuss these treatments with your healthcare provider to determine if any of these options may be appropriate for your case.