Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor of the prostate gland.
It is the most common form of cancer in men and the second most common cause of death due to cancer after lung cancer.
- Age: 75% of diagnosed cases of cancer are in men over the age of 65
- Geographic pattern: it develops more often in the West
- Ethnic group: African-Americans are more likely than whites to get prostate cancer
- Family history: if a first degree relative has prostate cancer, the likelihood of developing the disease doubles
Prostate cancer is generally asymptomatic.
This means that there are no clear symptoms to establish the diagnosis.
Most often the symptoms are caused by benign prostate hyperplasia or an infection.
If prostate cancer is symptomatic, then this is an indication of advanced cancer.
Symptoms may include:
- Frequent urination and reduced urinary flow
- Blood in the urine
- Erection problems
- Urinary incontinence
- Pain in the hips, back, chest or legs
Bone pain may be a sign of metastatic cancer.
The most useful test in the diagnosis of prostate cancer is the measurement of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood.
Αυτή πρέπει να γίνεται σε άνδρες ηλικίας άνω των 50 ετών λόγω του ότι σε νεότερες ηλικίες ο προστατικός καρκίνος είναι σπάνιος.
At younger ages prostate cancer is rare, but all men aged 50 and over should regularly undergo the test.
PSA values, together with age, family history and rectal examination findings, are all considered to assess the likelihood of prostate presence.
If the risk is high, a prostate biopsy may be ordered.
In prostate biopsy, under ultrasound guidance, prostate tissue specimens are obtained and analyzed by the pathologist for the establishment of both the diagnosis and treatment.
Early diagnosis is feasible.
However, it requires patient education and awareness on preventive exams (check-ups).
Check-ups are necessary because patients do not manifest any symptoms in the early stages of the disease, when cancer is treatable.
The therapeutic option is determined by taking into consideration the age, disease stage, life expectancy, overall health status and personal choices of the patient.
The most significant factor in opting for a treatment is the stage and aggressiveness of the disease.
The treatment options are:
- Radical prostatectomy
- Hormonal therapy