Urologic Diseases
Prostate Cancer


The prostate gland is an organ in male reproductive system, which also includes the penis, prostate and testicles. The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, weighing around 20 grams, about the size of a walnut. The prostate gland is made up of muscular and glandular tissue, and coarse fibrous surface. The prostate gland makes whitish liquid, which helps transport sperm. 

Prostate cancer occurs when prostate cells divide abnormally and cannot be controlled. As men age, the prostate gland tends to increase in size, this may lead to narrowing the urethra, reducing urine flow or what so called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is not prostate cancer. 

Risk Factors:
  • Age: Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.
  • Family history: If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased.
  • Obesity: Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that's more difficult to treat.

Symptoms vary from person to person; some men may not show symptoms at all, but some may notice symptoms such as:
  • Difficulty in starting to pee.
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow.
  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder.
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or pelvis.
  • Painful ejaculation.
These symptoms, or some of them, may cause diseases other than prostate cancer.

When to see a doctor?
When you feel some of the previous symptoms, the presence of a risk factor.

Diagnosis aims to detect cancer before symptoms appear, and therefore speeding up treatment before spreading to other parts of the body. There are several tests to detect it, including:
  • Digital rectal exam (DER), during which your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger to determine the prostate size. 
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The SPA is a substance produced by the prostate and its level increased when the prostate is enlarged. The high level of SPA can be attributed to other factors such as: enlargement or inflammation of the prostate or as a result of taking certain drugs. Therefore, it cannot be relied upon alone for examination. The doctor may examine a sample of prostate tissue for confirmation, which is called biopsy. 
The biopsy is still the main diagnostic tool for prostate cancer, however, the doctor may use other tools to ensure that the biopsy was done on the right place, e.g. doctors may the transrectal ultrasound. A prostate biopsy involves using thin needles to take small samples of tissue from the prostate. The tissue is then looked at under a microscope to check for cancer.

The treatment plan is determined by the doctor and his patient, including:
  • Active surveillance: regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and possibly biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of cancer. 
  • Surgery: Prostate removal or radical prostatectomy, and some of the surrounding tissues and little of the lymph nodes.
  • Radiotherapy: involves using high-energy rays to kill cancerous cells, it is of two types: internal and external (optical). 
  • Cryotherapy: Is a method of killing cancer cells by freezing them.
  • Chemotherapy: using special drugs; to reduce the size of cancer or destroy it. The drugs can be in the form of pills, needles, or both methods.
  • Biological therapy: Stimulate the immune system to help the body fight cancer or control the side effects of other treatments.
  • High intensity ultrasound waves to kill cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy: It prevents cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.

Last Update : 21 September 2021 10:26 PM
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