What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a small gland that produces seminal fluid in men to nourish and transport sperm. Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland, where it’s initially confined. If you detect prostate cancer early while it’s still confined to the prostate gland, treatment has a high rate of success. Some forms of prostate cancer are more aggressive and spread quickly to other areas of the body.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
There are often no symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer. As prostate cancer advances, symptoms include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Decreased urine pressure
- Bloody semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pelvic pain
- Bone pain
What are the causes and risk factors of prostate cancer?
The exact cause of prostate cancer is unclear. Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate become abnormal and grow and divide faster than normal cells. The abnormal cells thrive, leading to the growth of a tumor while healthy cells die.
Several risk factors increase your risk of prostate cancer include:
- Age (risk increases over age 50)
- Race (black men are at higher risk)
- Family history
To find out if you have prostate cancer, schedule an appointment with Urology Associates Of Southeastern North Carolina, P.A. by phone or the online booking tool.
How is prostate cancer treated?
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on whether the cancer has spread to other areas of your body, how quickly the cancer is growing, and your overall health. If your prostate cancer is considered low-risk and isn’t causing symptoms, your doctor may actively monitor your condition with follow-up blood tests, exams, and biopsies. If the cancer progresses, your doctor recommends treatment.
For men with prostate cancer in need of treatment, the options include:
Prostate cancer surgery involves removing the prostate gland, surrounding tissue, and some lymph nodes. Your doctor may perform robotic-assisted surgery to make more precise movements with surgical tools placed through small incisions in your abdomen, or may perform retropubic surgery, where the gland is removed through an incision in your lower abdomen.
Chemotherapy uses potent drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancerous and healthy cells. Chemotherapy is delivered through pills or intravenously, or a combination of both.
Radiation therapy kills cancer with high-powered energy delivered via a machine or by placing radioactive seeds that release radiation long-term in your prostate tissue.
Prostate cancer cells need testosterone to grow. Hormone therapy prevents the production of testosterone to slow the growth of cancer or cause cancer cells to die. Hormone therapy is used for men with advanced prostate cancer and delivered via medication or by removing your testicles (orchiectomy).
For diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, schedule an appointment online or call Urology Associates Of Southeastern North Carolina, P.A. in Wilmington.