The prostate, a walnut sized gland in the pelvic area, is a male gland that surrounds the urethra. It is also a source of some of the urinary and other problems that men face after forty. Cancer is a serious prostate condition that affects nearly 16% of men in America.
As men advance in age the risk of developing a prostate cancer increases. Genetics and race are factors that have been known to increase the probability of developing the disease. Diet and lifestyles too have an effect on overall prostate health.
There is no single treatment that can suit all cases of prostate cancer. Upon detection there are a few factors that require careful consideration before any decision is taken with regards to the way forward. These decisions should be based on knowledge and deep understanding of the specific condition of the individual. It needs to be based on the extent to which it has spread.
The first decision that needs to be made is to ensure that there is a regular monitoring that takes place with the help of laboratory blood tests. These tests monitor Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. A regular Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) may also be required. Close observation helps in monitoring the progress of cancer so that surgery can be avoided till the last moment. In some cases surgery can be totally avoided in cases where the cancer is localized. It is also necessary for cases where surgical incision is ruled out due to prevalence of heart disease, high blood pressure or uncontrolled diabetes.
There are various prostate cancer treatments:
* Prostatectomy is the surgical incision of the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues. It is usually performed in cases where there has been early detection or in cases where the cancer is restricted to the prostate.
* Radiation Therapy normally does not involve hospitalization. The location of the tumor is pin pointed with the aid of computerized programs. A high dose of radiation is then targeted to destroy the cancer cells within the gland and the surrounding tissues.
* Hormone therapy works on the principle that like all cells, cancer cells also need a catalyst to grow. In the case of prostate cancer cells it is believed that the male hormone testosterone helps in cell multiplication. Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer includes drugs that attempt to deprive this male hormone to the cancerous cells.
* Chemotherapy involves the use of prostate medicine that kills or restricts the growth of cancer cells.
* Cryotherapy is a literal freezing of the cancer cells in the prostate with the aid of argon gas or liquid nitrogen.
The high level of incidence of prostate disorders is leading to newer treatment option. Emerging therapies that target cancer cell growth, cancer cell spread and toning up of the immune system are currently awaiting FDA approval. However, in the race to find newer treatment options it should not be forgotten that diet modification and herbs for halting prostate enlargement can play a significant role in preventing prostate cancer.
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