Tuesday, March 17, 2009

By Mfani Anitche
A prostate tumour is a lump created by an abnormal and uncontrollable growth of cells. It can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Each year about 35 000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK.

The prostate is a gland that produces the liquid part of semen. It is about the size of a walnut and lies at the base of the bladder. The front of the prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine form the bladder and out through the penis. The prostate gland increases slowly with age. Any change of the size of the prostate can narrow this tube, making it difficult to urinate.

Cancerous tumours can grow through the prostate and spread to other parts of the body (through the bloodstream or the lymph system) where they may grow and form secondary tumours. This is called metastasis. The symptoms of prostate cancer include difficulty in starting to pass urine, a weak and sometimes intermittent flow of urine, dribbling of urine before and after urinating, a frequent or urgent need to pass urine, pain when passing, and blood in the urine and/or erectile dysfunction.

The prostate cancer symptoms are similar to those produced by a common non-cancerous disease where the prostate becomes enlarged (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Inflammation of the prostate(prostatitis) can also give you these symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, it's very important you visit your doctor for advice. If prostate cancer is found early, it can often be cured. It is important to note, however, that most men with early prostate cancer have no symptoms at all.

If prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body, other symptoms can develop. The most common site for prostate cancer to spread is to the lower back, pelvis and hips, causing bone pain and tenderness.

The cause for prostate cancer is not fully understood at present. The risk of getting prostate cancer gets higher as you get older. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over the age of 50. Men from the age of about 40 can be affected, but this is less common.

When you have close relatives who have had prostate cancer,you are also at higher risk.You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has been diagnosed. The risk increases more if your relative was under the age of 60 when they were diagnosed, or if more than one relative has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.There has been a suggestion that the risk is also higher if several women in your family who have had breast cancer (you may have inherited a faulty gene which may increase risk of prostate cancer).

If you are Afro-Caribbean or Afro-American you are more at risk. African Caribbean men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than white men. Researchers are looking at what may be the cause of this increased risk, but diet and genes probably play an important part.

Researchers think diet may be responsible for the higher rates of prostate cancer seen in Western countries. The risk is higher if your diet is high in fat and if you are overweight. By reducing the amount of animal fat in your diet and eating more of certain fruits and vegetables, you can improve your overall health and may lower your risk of prostate cancer developing or spreading.

For purposes of diagnosis of prostate cancer, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will examine you. He or she may ask about your medical history and may do some tests or will refer you to a urologist (a doctor specialising in the urinary system). The examination will involve a digital rectal examination (insertion of a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum) and feel the prostate through the wall of the rectum. If there is prostate cancer it may feel harder than usual and/or knobbly. A blood test called prostate specific antigen (PSA), which tests for the amount of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein which is released by both normal and cancerous cells of the prostate. A high PSA level can indicate prostate cancer but can be found in other prostate diseases as well, like prostatitis. A sample of tissue called prostate biopsy will be taken and CT,MRI and bone scans to check how far the prostate cancer has spread.

Treatment may include: Active surveillance(cancer observed and treatment offered only when or if necessary, External Beam Radiotherapy - where radiation is used to kill cancer cells, Surgery - where the prostate is removed, Brachytherapy - where radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate High dose rate Brachytherapy - Where temporary sources of radiation are targeted directly at the prostate

Dr Mfani Anitche is an Independent Medical Practitioner based in London. She works primarily in the private sector providing health services in the Corporate Sector. She currently works in Merril Lynch and worked for Lehman Brothers for four years until the organisation folded on 15th September 2008. She has a keen interest in internet marketing and her ebook website http://www.grab-an-ebook.com has wealth of information on health related subjects including prostate cancer(prostatecancer.grab-an-ebook.com), hyperglycaemia, healthy eating, fibromyalgia and pregnancy related questions. The site also covers ebooks on general subjects

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mfani_Anitche


Post a Comment


Cancer Information Headline Animator