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Understanding Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Understanding Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Prostate cancer evokes a wave of concern upon hearing its name, but do you know which cancer affects men the most? It’s prostate cancer. Slow-growing within the prostate gland of men, prostate cancer often doesn’t show symptoms in its early stages. However, timely detection can make treatment possible. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and various cancer research agencies, prostate cancer constitutes the highest number of cancer cases among men worldwide. Every year, millions of men fall victim to this cancer, and this number continues to rise steadily.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Difficulty Urinating

Straining while urinating or experiencing weak urine flow.

Frequent Urination

Feeling the urge to urinate frequently, especially at night.

Urinary Retention or Sudden Stopping

Experiencing sudden interruptions while urinating.

Blood in Urine

Noticing blood in urine or semen.

Pain or Discomfort in the Pelvic Area

Pain in the lower back, between the thighs, or hips.

Sexual Difficulties

Difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection during intercourse.

Weight Loss and Fatigue

Unexplained weight loss and feeling easily fatigued.

Understanding Diagnosis

Diagnosis of prostate cancer primarily involves two methods: Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test and Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). In the PSA test, the level of PSA in the blood, produced by the prostate gland, is measured. Elevated PSA levels could indicate prostate problems. DRE involves a doctor examining the prostate gland through the rectum using gloves and lubrication to detect any abnormalities or lumps. Both these tests aid doctors in identifying prostate cancer.

Treatment Options

Surgery (Prostatectomy)

Surgical removal of the prostate gland. This method is suitable for early-stage cancer.

Radiation Therapy

Using high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells. This can be external beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy (internal radiation).

Hormone Therapy

This therapy reduces the levels of male hormones, particularly testosterone, which inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

Using drugs to kill cancer cells, especially when cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Cryotherapy

Destroying cancer cells in the prostate gland by applying very cold temperatures.

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