What Is The Prostate?
The prostate is a walnut sized-gland that sits underneath the bladder and helps to make semen. The prostate gland usually grows bigger as you get older.
Am I At Risk?
Prostate cancer main affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer. A man whose father or brother has had the disease is 2.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than a man with no family history.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Some prostate cancer grows too slowly to cause any problems or affect how long you live. Because of this, many men with prostate cancer will never need any treatment. There is a more aggressive fast spreading prostate which will likely cause more problems, hence should be screened and diagnosed early.
Signs And Symptoms
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away
- Painful ejaculation
However, most Prostate Ca patients are asymptomatic. This is why it is important for men to know their risk factors and conduct yearly medical check-ups to detect Prostate Ca early.
Screening For Prostate Cancer
The goal of cancer screening is to find cancers that may be at high risk of spreading if not treated, and to find them EARLY.
Common blood test done when screening prostate cancer is; Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. PSA is a substance made by the prostate and MAY be elevated in patients with prostate cancer. There are many factors contributing to elevated PSA level, hence a doctor will be the best person in interpreting your results.
Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) is a key diagnostic method as well. Your healthcare provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into a man’s rectum to feel the prostate for anything abnormal.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
If your PSA level and examination by your doctor is suggestive for further testing then a biopsy procedure would be needed to confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer. A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue from the prostate is taken and analysed under the microscope for cancer cells.
Subsequently a biopsy would be able to stage the disease of prostate cancer as well.
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated?
- EXPECTED MANAGEMENT: (If your doctor feels the prostate cancer will unlikely grow quickly)
- ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE: Closely monitoring the PSA level, regular biopsies and treating the cancer only if it grows or causes symptoms.
- WATCHFUL WAITING: No tests are done. Your doctor treats the symptoms that develop (recommended for men who are expected to live for 10 years more or less)
- SURGERY; A prostatectomy is an operation where doctors remove the prostate. Radical prostatectomy removes the prostate as well as surrounding tissue affected.
- Radiation therapy
What To Expect After Prostate Removal?
- GRADUAL RECOVERY
Prostate removal is a major surgery and pain along with soreness is expected. Most patients are up and moving the day of the surgery and can go home the following day.
- CHANGES IN YOUR SEX LIFE
Most men experience some decline in erectile function after their prostate is removed, but this can be managed. It can take 6 months or even up to a year for the affected nerves to recover from surgery. Most patient have good erectile function after surgery.
Another important thing patients will encounter is that men will NOT ejaculate semen during an orgasm. This is because seminal vesicles are removed during surgery.
- BLADDER PROBLEMS
Urinary incontinence is a common side effect. You might dribble or leak urine when sneezing or coughing. If patients had normal urine flow prior to the surgery then it is likely that patients regain their bladder control as per usual over time.
These problems are all able to be treated with medications or specific physio exercises as well as counselling. Hence we urge for early testing and treatment for all our patients.
DTAP Clinic puts a priority is screening our patients according to their age, sex, family history and thorough examination and investigation to ensure that our patients are well taken care of. Your health is our priority, Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment to consult with our friendly team of doctors to help ensure you are in great health.