Mahesh Memorial Trust

Prostate Cancer

Cancer of the prostate, a common form of cancer, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the prostate which is one of the male sex glands and is located just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine).
Difficulty with urination.
Painful ejaculation.
Blood in urine or semen.
Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips and upper thighs.
Digital rectal examination (DRE) - The doctor inserts a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate, its contours, whether there are any hard or lumpy areas, which are felt through the rectal wall on the prostate.
Blood tests, which specifically include levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and its various components or/and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) in the blood.
The urine may be checked after a prostatic massage for cytology or blood.
There maybe other special tests ordered by the doctor including TRUS which stands for transrectal ultrasonography in which an ultrasound is performed by putting a special probe into the patient's rectum. This is used to map out the contours of the prostate and to look for any abnormal pictures.
IVU - Consists of a series of contrast enhanced x-rays of urinary tract organs.
Cystoscopy - The doctor uses a thin, self-illuminating, metallic or fiber optic tube to look into the patient's bladder and urethra, and to visualize the prostate at the base of the bladder.
Transrectal biopsy - Using either TRUS guidance or even without a TRUS guidance in order to establish tissue diagnosis of or confirmation of prostatic cancer.
Staging in Prostate Cancer
Stage I - Prostate cancer at this stage cannot be felt and causes no symptoms. The cancer is only in the prostate and usually is found accidentally when surgery is done for other reasons, such as for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cancer cells may be found in only one area of the prostate or they may be found in many areas of the prostate.
Stage II - The tumor may be found by a needle biopsy that is done because a blood test (called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test) showed an elevated PSA level or it may be felt in the prostate during a rectal examination, even though the cancer cells are found only in the prostate gland.
Stage III - Cancer cells have spread outside the covering (capsule) of the prostate to tissues around the prostate. The glands that produce semen (the seminal vesicles) may have cancer in them.
Stage IV - Cancer cells have spread (metastasized) to lymph nodes (near or far from the prostate) or to organs and tissues far away from the prostate such as the bone, liver, or lungs.
Recurrent - Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the prostate or in another part of the body.
Side Effects of the Treatment
The patient may develop permanent impotence, and sometimes, urinary incontinence
Removal of the prostate will result in non-production of semen and, therefore, dry orgasms.
Extreme fatigue.
Radiation dermatitis - The skin covering the radiated area becomes red, dry, itchy, and may show signs of scaling off. This will slowly settle down after radiation ceases, but there may be a permanent 'bronzing' of the skin.
Radiation also may cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, urinary discomfort and fall in the white blood cells.
Orchiectomy, LHRH agonist and estrogen all are associated with loss of libido, impotence and 'hot flashes'.
Antiandrogen and estrogen therapy are also associated with nausea and vomiting and tender gynecomastia, which is swelling of the male breast.
Biological therapy may cause low-grade fever.
Risk Factors:
People above the age of 55 years
Workers who are exposed to the metal cadmium, especially electroplaters, who make batteries, welders, and also workers in the rubber industry appear to have a greater affinity for prostate cancer.
Diet rich in fat
Benign enlargement of prostate
Viral sexually transmitted diseases