How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure: read these article to best treat yourself from any future prostate cancer, signs, prevention and best food to eat to avoid it.

Prostate cancer is the development of cancer in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, some grow relatively quickly, The cancer cells may spread from the prostate to other area of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes. It may initially cause no symptoms, In later stages, it can lead to difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or pain in the pelvis, back, or when urinating. A disease known as benign prostatic hyperplasia may produce similar symptoms. Other late symptoms may include feeling tired due to low levels of red blood cells.

 

ANOTHER EXPLANATION

 

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. OR Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces some of the fluid in semen and plays a role in urine control in men.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Usually prostate cancer grows slowly and is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Prostate cancer that’s detected early — when it’s still confined to the prostate gland— has a better chance of successful treatment.

 

The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

 

Fast facts on prostate cancer:

Here are some key points about the prostate cancer. More detail is in the main article.

    • The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system.
    • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
    • It is treatable if diagnosed early, before it spreads.
    • If symptoms appear, they include problems with urination.
    • Regular screening Is the best way to detect it in good time.

 

 

The prostate (not prostrate) uses male hormones called androgens, such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), to trigger and maintain male sex characteristics and reproduction. Normally, the process of producing male hormones and using them to guide and maintain male gender characteristics and sexual function happens smoothly.


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How Prostate Cancer Develops

However, sometimes something goes wrong within prostate cells, and cancer develops.

In general, cancer is a condition in which a normal cell becomes abnormal and starts to grow and/or reproduce uncontrollably without having the signals or “brakes” that stop typical cell growth. Prostate cancer occurs when a normal prostate cell begins to grow out of control. In many cases, prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that does not spread beyond the prostate gland before the time of diagnosis.

Once prostate cancer forms, it feeds on androgens and uses them as fuel for growth. This is why one of the backbones of treatment for men, especially with advanced prostate cancer, is to lower a man’s androgen levels with drugs collectively termed “hormone therapy.”

Not all prostate cancer cells are alike. Prostate cancers that are composed of very abnormal cells are much more likely to both divide quickly and spread, or metastasize, from the prostate to other regions of the body. Often, prostate cancer spreads first to tissues that are near the prostate, including the seminal vesicles and nearby lymph nodes.

Researchers have identified various biological and genetic subtypes of prostate cancer. Although these subtypes are typically not yet used to guide treatment recommendations, they are the subject of active research funded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.


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In many cases, prostate cancer is relatively slow-growing, which means that it can take years to become large enough to be detectable, and even longer to metastasize outside the prostate. However, some cases are more aggressive and need more urgent treatment.

When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, his treatment team will evaluate his cancer and his overall health to custom-design a treatment path that will give him the greatest chance of beating the cancer. Treatment can range from a wait-and-watch approach to a very aggressive medical and surgical plan.

 

 

Signs and symptoms

How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

A diagram of prostate cancer pressing on the urethra, which can cause symptoms.

How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

Prostate cancer

Early prostate cancer usually has no clear symptoms. Sometimes prostate cancer does cause symptoms, often similar to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. These include frequent urination, nocturia (increased urination at night), difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, hematuria (blood in the urine), and dysuria (painful urination). A study based on the 1998 Patient Care Evaluation in the US found that about a third of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer had one or more such symptoms, while two-thirds had no symptoms.

Prostate cancer is associated with urinary dysfunction as the prostate gland surrounds the prostatic urethra. Changes within the gland, therefore, directly affect urinary function. Because the vas deferens deposits seminal fluid into the prostatic urethra, and secretions from the prostate gland itself are included in semen content, prostate cancer may also cause problems with sexual function and performance, such as difficulty achieving erection or painful ejaculation.

Metastatic prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body can cause additional symptoms. The most common symptom is bone pain, often in the vertebrae (bones of the spine), pelvis, or ribs. Spread of cancer into other bones such as the femur is usually to the proximal or nearby part of the bone. Prostate cancer in the spine can also compress the spinal cord, causing tingling, leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence.

 

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be asking yourself if there were warning signs or symptoms you should have noticed earlier.

So what are the warning signs of prostate cancer?

Unfortunately, there usually aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. That’s why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.

In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor for an evaluation if you experience any of the following:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
  • Difficulty starting or holding back urination
  • Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs

Remember: urinary symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Prostatitis or BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, also known as enlargement of the prostate) are benign diseases but can cause similar symptoms and are very common.

What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.

That said: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter what’s most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.

 

 

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your mind might be racing, trying to figure out what happened. What went wrong? What could we have done differently so that this wouldn’t happen? The answer is simple, but unsatisfying: doctors and researchers really don’t know—yet.

We know that there are a number of risk factors, such as one’s racial background, geographical location, family history, and age. (Learn more about risk factors for prostate cancer.) Additional factors, like smoking, being obese, and consuming too much calcium, seem to factor into more aggressive cases of prostate cancer as well—although these factors are associated with many other health problems, too. Someone who has systemic health issues is going to fare more poorly with any illness.

The biggest apparent underlying factor is one we have little control over: our genes.

At the moment of our conception, DNA from our mother and our father combine to create a unique genetic fingerprint which contains all the information needed to grow those few cells into an entire human being. But sometimes that genetic code contains quirks which seem to be involved in certain types of illness later in life. In particular, mutations to the BRCA1 and BRCA2genes are among those known to be positively correlated with certain cancers that run in families. Genetic screening is available for families who seem to share these cancers. But inherited genetic mutations are only believed to cause 5% to 10% of cases of prostate cancer.

The other type of genetic mutations are acquired mutations. These are changes to your genetic material that happen at any time after your conception. Your cells are constantly dying off and being replaced by new cells, and each time a cell divides to create a new cell, there is a chance that something could go wrong as the genes are copied over. We don’t yet know all the things that can affect this process, but we know that body chemistry and hormones, exposure to chemical toxins, poor diet, lack of exercise, and radiation (from the sun or other sources) are among the factors implicated in acquired gene mutations.

So the short answer is both simple and complicated, and it’s the same advice your doctors will give you for almost any question about your health: to avoid prostate cancer, eat healthy foods, stay in shape, and get enough rest. You should also maintain a thoughtfully designed screening regimen for prostate cancer as you age. The rest…is up to luck.


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So what are the warning signs of prostate cancer?

Unfortunately, there usually aren’t any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. That’s why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.

In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor for an evaluation if you experience any of the following:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
  • Difficulty starting or holding back urination
  • Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum
  • Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs

Remember: urinary symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Prostatitis or BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, also known as enlargement of the prostate) are benign diseases but can cause similar symptoms and are very common.

What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.

That said: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter what’s most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.

 

Incidence of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the leading type of non-skin cancer in the US, and the second leading cause of cancer worldwide; approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Prostate cancer incidence increases with age: the older you are, the greater your chance of developing it.

Although only about 1 in 350 men under age 50 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to 1 in 52 for ages 50 to 59, 1 in 19 for ages 60 to 69, and 1 in 11 for men 70 and older. Nearly 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.

Prostate cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy. The most common reason for a man to undergo a prostate biopsy is due to an elevated prostate-specific antigen level, or PSA, determined by a blood test. Recent changes in PSA screening recommendations have affected the rates of prostate cancer diagnosis.


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While prostate cancer incidence rates are high, the good news is that approximately 95% of all prostate cancers are detected when the cancer is confined to the prostate, and treatment success rates are high compared with most other types of cancer in the body.

The 5-year survival rate in the United States for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 99%. In other words, the chance of the cancer spreading, or of a man dying from his prostate cancer, is generally low. However, prostate cancer comes in many forms and some men can have aggressive prostate cancer even when it appears to be confined to the prostate.

Amidst so much optimism and progress in the last 10 years, it’s important to keep in mind that prostate cancer is still a deadly disease for some men, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the US, with nearly 88 men dying from it every day.

In general, the earlier the cancer is caught and treated, the more likely the patient will remain disease-free. In fact, many men with “low-risk” tumors, which are the most common type of prostate cancer, can safely undergo active surveillance, or watchful waiting, in which they are monitored without immediate treatment (and treatment-related side effects) while still preserving their chance of long-term survival if the cancer becomes aggressive enough to require treatment.

 

Risk factors

A complete understanding of the causes of prostate cancer remains elusive. The primary risk factors are obesity, age, and family history. Prostate cancer is very uncommon in men younger than 45, but becomes more common with advancing age. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 70. Many men never know they have prostate cancer. Autopsy studies of Chinese, German, Israeli, Jamaican, Swedish, and Ugandan men who died of other causes have found prostate cancer in 30% of men in their fifties, and in 80% of men in their seventies.Men who have first-degree family members with prostate cancer appear to have double the risk of getting the disease compared to men without prostate cancer in the family. This risk appears to be greater for men with an affected brother than for men with an affected father. In the United States in 2005, there were an estimated 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 30,000 deaths due to prostate cancer.Men with high blood pressure are more likely to develop prostate cancer.There is a small increased risk of prostate cancer associated with lack of exercise. A 2010 study found that prostate basal cells were the most common site of origin for prostate cancers.

More Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of prostate cancer include:

  • Age. Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you age.
  • Race. For reasons not yet determined, black men carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. In black men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.
  • Family history. If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
  • Obesity. Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have advanced disease that’s more difficult to treat

Stages

Staging takes into account the size and extent of the tumor and the scale of the metastasis (whether it has traveled to other organs and tissues).

At Stage 0, the tumor has neither spread from the prostate gland nor invaded deeply into it. At Stage 4, the cancer has spread to distant sites and organs.

 

How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

Diagram showing T1-3 stages of prostate cancer.

An important part of evaluating prostate cancer is determining the stage, or how far the cancer has spread. Knowing the stage helps define prognosis and is useful when selecting therapies. The most common system is the four-stage TNM system (abbreviated from Tumor/Nodes/Metastases). Its components include the size of the tumor, the number of involved lymph nodes, and the presence of any other metastases.

The most important distinction made by any staging system is whether or not the cancer is still confined to the prostate. In the TNM system, clinical T1 and T2 cancers are found only in the prostate, while T3 and T4 cancers have spread elsewhere. Several tests can be used to look for evidence of spread. Medical specialty professional organizations recommend against the use of PET scans, CT scans, or bone scanswhen a physician stages early prostate cancer with low risk for metastasis. Those tests would be appropriate in such cases as when a CT scan evaluates spread within the pelvis, a bone scan look for spread to the bones, and endorectal coil magnetic resonance imaging to closely evaluate the prostatic capsule and the seminal vesicles. Bone scans should reveal osteoblastic appearance due to increased bone density in the areas of bone metastasis—opposite to what is found in many other cancers that metastasize.

After a prostate biopsy, a pathologist looks at the samples under a microscope. If cancer is present, the pathologist reports the grade of the tumor. The grade tells how much the tumor tissue differs from normal prostate tissue and suggests how fast the tumor is likely to grow. The Gleason system is used to grade prostate tumors from 2 to 10, where a Gleason score of 10 indicates the most abnormalities. The pathologist assigns a number from 1 to 5 for the most common pattern observed under the microscope, then does the same for the second-most-common pattern. The sum of these two numbers is the Gleason score. The Whitmore-Jewett stage is another method sometimes used.

 

Diagnosis

A doctor will carry out a physical examination and enquire about any ongoing medical history. If the patient has symptoms, or if a routine blood test shows abnormally high PSA levels, further examinations may be requested.

Imaging scans can show and track the presence of prostate cancer.
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

Imaging scans can show and track the presence of prostate cancer.

Tests may include:

  • a digital rectal examination (DRE), in which a doctor will manually check for any abnormalities of the prostate with their finger
  • a biomarker test checking the blood, urine, or body tissues of a person with cancer for chemicals unique to individuals with cancer

If these tests show abnormal results, further tests will include:

  • a PCA3 test examining the urine for the PCA3 gene only found in prostate cancer cells
  • a transrectal ultrasound scan providing imaging of the affected region using a probe that emits sounds
  • a biopsy, or the removal of 12 to 14 small pieces of tissue from several areas of the prostate for examination under a microscope

These will help confirm the stage of the cancer, whether it has spread, and what treatment is appropriate.

To track any spread, or metastasis, doctors may use a bone, CT scan, or MRI scan.

 

 

Diagnosis In Details

Doctor talks with a mature male patient
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

Patient consult on prostate diagnosisA Mayo Clinic physician consults with a patient.

Screening for prostate cancer

Whether to test healthy men with no symptoms for prostate cancer is controversial. Medical organizations don’t agree on the issue of screening and whether it delivers benefits.

Some medical organizations recommend men consider prostate cancer screening in their 50s, or sooner for men who have risk factors for prostate cancer.

Discuss your particular situation and the benefits and risks of screening with your doctor. Together, you can decide whether prostate cancer screening is right for you.

Prostate screening tests might include:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to examine your prostate, which is adjacent to the rectum. If your doctor finds any abnormalities in the texture, shape or size of the gland, you may need further tests.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm and analyzed for PSA, a substance that’s naturally produced by your prostate gland. It’s normal for a small amount of PSA to be in your bloodstream. However, if a higher than normal level is found, it may indicate prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.

PSA testing combined with DRE helps identify prostate cancers at their earliest stages. Hence, debate continues surrounding prostate cancer screening.

Diagnosing prostate cancer

If a DRE or PSA test detects an abnormality, your doctor may recommend further tests to determine whether you have prostate cancer, such as:

  • Ultrasound. If other tests raise concerns, your doctor may use transrectal ultrasound to further evaluate your prostate. A small probe, about the size and shape of a cigar, is inserted into your rectum. The probe uses sound waves to create a picture of your prostate gland.
  • Collecting a sample of prostate tissue. If initial test results suggest prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a procedure to collect a sample of cells from your prostate (prostate biopsy). Prostate biopsy is often done using a thin needle that’s inserted into the prostate to collect tissue. The tissue sample is analyzed in a lab to determine whether cancer cells are present.
  • MRI fusion. While still being developed worldwide, MRI fusion to assist in prostate biopsy and diagnosis is being used more and more.

At Mayo Clinic, urologists and radiologists collaborate to leverage MRI fusion biopsy technology, yielding the best fusion imaging available for prostate cancer care.

Mayo Clinic also leverages MRI-TRUS fusion technology, which blends (fuses) images from an MRI scan and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) to create a more-precise 360-degree prostate map, which in turn can improve prostate biopsy accuracy.

Mayo Clinic is also the first medical center in the United States approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prepare and administer C-11 choline PET scanning to help detect recurrent prostate cancer at its earliest stages — before it can be detected by other imaging tests — and enable more-precise targeting for follow-up treatment.

Determining whether prostate cancer is aggressive

When a biopsy confirms the presence of cancer, the next step is to determine the level of aggressiveness (grade) of the cancer cells. A laboratory pathologist examines a sample of your cancer to determine how much cancer cells differ from the healthy cells. A higher grade indicates a more aggressive cancer that is more likely to spread quickly.

The most common scale used to evaluate the grade of prostate cancer cells is called a Gleason score. Gleason scoring combines two numbers and can range from 2 (nonaggressive cancer) to 10 (very aggressive cancer).

In addition, genomic testing in increasingly being used to more accurately assess risk and detect aggressive prostate cancer.

Mayo Clinic physicians and researchers are leaders in the development of biomarkers for prostate cancer. Doctors in Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine are advancing research on the use of biomarkers in blood and in prostate tissue to better individualize and optimize treatment for men with prostate cancer. The technology helps caregivers distinguish between insignificant and significant prostate cancer, as well as identify particularly aggressive prostate cancer in men undergoing surgery.

Determining how far the cancer has spread

Once a prostate cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread beyond your prostate, one or more of the following imaging tests may be recommended:

  • Bone scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

At Mayo Clinic, caregivers can also turn to prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) studies to help detect the extent of newly diagnosed prostate cancer and whether the disease has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Mayo clinicians also use recent 7 Tesla (7T) magnet imaging technology advancements to differentiate between prostate cancer that does or doesn’t require immediate intervention.

Not every person should have every test. Your doctor will help determine which tests are best for your individual case.

Your doctor uses the information from these tests to assign your cancer a stage. Prostate cancer stages are indicated by Roman numerals ranging from I to IV. The lowest stages indicate the cancer is confined to the prostate. By stage IV, the cancer has grown beyond the prostate and may have spread to other areas of the body.

The cancer staging system continues to evolve and is becoming more complex as doctors improve cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor uses your cancer stage to select the treatments that are right for you.

Treatment

Doctor talks with prostate cancer patient
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

Physician consultation on prostate cancerA Mayo Clinic oncologist discusses treatment options.

Your prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread and your overall health, as well as the potential benefits or side effects of the treatment.

Immediate treatment may not be necessary

For men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, treatment may not be necessary right away. Some men may never need treatment. Instead, doctors sometimes recommend active surveillance.

In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and possibly biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for a prostate cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation.

Active surveillance may be an option for cancer that isn’t causing symptoms, is expected to grow very slowly and is confined to a small area of the prostate. Active surveillance may also be considered for someone who has another serious health condition or who is of an advanced age that makes cancer treatment more difficult.

Active surveillance carries a risk that the cancer may grow and spread between checkups, making the cancer less likely to be cured.

Surgery to remove the prostate

Surgeon consults with prostate cancer patient
How to know you have Prostate cancer and cure

Mayo surgeons explain all prostate cancer optionsA Mayo Clinic surgeon converses about prostate cancer surgical options.

Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. Radical prostatectomy can be performed in several ways:

  • Using a robot to assist with surgery. During robot-assisted surgery, the instruments are attached to a mechanical device (robot) and inserted into your abdomen through several small incisions. The surgeon sits at a console and uses hand controls to guide the robot to move the instruments. Robotic prostatectomy may allow the surgeon to make more-precise movements with surgical tools than is possible with traditional minimally invasive surgery.
  • Making an incision in your abdomen. During retropubic surgery, the prostate gland is taken out through an incision in your lower abdomen.

Discuss with your doctor which type of surgery is best for your specific situation.

Radical prostatectomy carries a risk of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Ask your doctor to explain the risks you may face based on your situation, the type of procedure you select, your age, your body type and your overall health.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways:

  • Radiation that comes from outside of your body (external beam radiation).During external beam radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around your body, directing high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to your prostate cancer. You typically undergo external beam radiation treatments five days a week for several weeks.
  • Radiation placed inside your body (brachytherapy). Brachytherapy involves placing many rice-sized radioactive seeds in your prostate tissue. The radioactive seeds deliver a low dose of radiation over a long period of time. Your doctor implants the radioactive seeds in your prostate using a needle guided by ultrasound images. The implanted seeds eventually stop emitting radiation and don’t need to be removed.

Side effects of radiation therapy can include painful, frequent or urgent urination, as well as rectal symptoms such as loose stools or pain when passing stools. Erectile dysfunction can also occur.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy is treatment to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of testosterone may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly.

Hormone therapy options include:

  • Medications that stop your body from producing testosterone. Medications known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists prevent the testicles from receiving messages to make testosterone. Drugs typically used in this type of hormone therapy include leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard), goserelin (Zoladex), triptorelin (Trelstar) and histrelin (Vantas). Other drugs sometimes used include ketoconazole and abiraterone (Zytiga).
  • Medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells. Medications known as anti-androgens prevent testosterone from reaching your cancer cells. Examples include bicalutamide (Casodex), nilutamide (Nilandron) and flutamide. The drug enzalutamide (Xtandi) may be an option when other hormone therapies are no longer effective.
  • Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy). Removing your testicles reduces testosterone levels in your body.

Hormone therapy is used in men with advanced prostate cancer to shrink the cancer and slow the growth of tumors. In men with early-stage prostate cancer, hormone therapy may be used to shrink tumors before radiation therapy, which can increase the likelihood that radiation therapy will be successful.

Side effects of hormone therapy may include erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone mass, reduced sex drive and weight gain.

Freezing prostate tissue

Cryosurgery or cryoablation involves freezing tissue to kill cancer cells.

During cryosurgery for prostate cancer, small needles are inserted in the prostate using ultrasound images as guidance. A very cold gas is placed in the needles, which causes the surrounding tissue to freeze. A second gas is then placed in the needles to reheat the tissue. The cycles of freezing and thawing kill the cancer cells and some surrounding healthy tissue.

Initial attempts to use cryosurgery for prostate cancer resulted in high complication rates and unacceptable side effects. However, newer technologies have lowered complication rates, improved cancer control and made the procedure easier to tolerate. Cryosurgery is more frequently used as a salvage therapy for men who haven’t been helped by radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both.

Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has spread to remote body locations. Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don’t respond to hormone therapy.

Biological therapy

Biological therapy (immunotherapy) uses your body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. One type of biological therapy called sipuleucel-T (Provenge) has been developed to treat advanced, recurrent prostate cancer.

This treatment takes some of your own immune cells, genetically engineers them in a laboratory to fight prostate cancer, then injects the cells back into your body through a vein. Some men do respond to this therapy with some improvement in their cancer, but the treatment is very expensive and requires multiple treatments.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Alternative medicine

No complementary or alternative treatments will cure prostate cancer. However, complementary and alternative prostate cancer treatments may help you cope with the side effects of cancer and its treatment.

Nearly everyone diagnosed with cancer experiences some distress at some point. If you’re distressed, you may feel sad, angry or anxious. You may experience difficulty sleeping or find yourself constantly thinking about your cancer.

Several complementary medicine techniques may help you cope with your distress, including:

  • Art therapy
  • Dance or movement therapy
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Music therapy
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Spirituality

Discuss your feelings and concerns with your doctor. In some cases, treatment for distress may require medications.

Coping and support

When you receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, you may experience a range of feelings — including disbelief, fear, anger, anxiety and depression. With time, each person finds his own way of coping with a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Until you find what works for you, try to:

  • Learn enough about prostate cancer to feel comfortable making treatment decisions. Learn as much as you need to know about your cancer and its treatment in order to understand what to expect from treatment and life after treatment. Ask your doctor, nurse or other health care professional to recommend some reliable sources of information to get you started.
  • Keep your friends and family close. Your friends and family can provide support during and after your treatment. They may be eager to help with the small tasks you won’t have energy for during treatment. And having a close friend or family member to talk to can be helpful when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
  • Connect with other cancer survivors. Friends and family can’t always understand what it’s like to face cancer. Other cancer survivors can provide a unique network of support. Ask your health care providers about support groups or community organizations that can connect you with other cancer survivors. Organizations such as the American Cancer Society offer online chat rooms and discussion forums.
  • Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself during cancer treatment by eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Try to exercise most days of the week. Get enough sleep each night so that you wake feeling rested.
  • Continue sexual expression. If you experience erectile dysfunction, your natural reaction may be to avoid all sexual contact. But consider touching, holding, hugging and caressing as ways to continue sharing sexuality with your partner.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have signs or symptoms that worry you, start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner.

If your doctor suspects you may have a problem with your prostate, you may be referred to a urinary tract specialist (urologist). If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be referred to a cancer specialist (oncologist) or a specialist who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer (radiation oncologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and because there’s often a lot of ground to cover, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Here’s some information to help you get ready and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there’s anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
  • Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you’re taking.
  • Consider taking a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For prostate cancer, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Do I have prostate cancer?
  • How large is my prostate cancer?
  • Has my prostate cancer spread beyond my prostate?
  • What’s my Gleason score?
  • What’s my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level?
  • Will I need more tests?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Is there one treatment option you think is best for me?
  • Do I need cancer treatment right away, or is it possible to wait and see if the cancer grows?
  • What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
  • What is the chance that my prostate cancer will be cured with treatment?
  • If you had a friend or family member in my situation, what would you recommend?
  • Should I see a specialist? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover it?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow more time later to cover other points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?

 

Complications

Complications of prostate cancer and its treatments include:

  • Cancer that spreads (metastasizes). Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs, such as your bladder, or travel through your bloodstream or lymphatic system to your bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain and broken bones. Once prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body, it may still respond to treatment and may be controlled, but it’s unlikely to be cured.
  • Incontinence. Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Treatment for incontinence depends on the type you have, how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve over time. Treatment options may include medications, catheters and surgery.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can result from prostate cancer or its treatment, including surgery, radiation or hormone treatments. Medications, vacuum devices that assist in achieving erection and surgery are available to treat erectile dysfunction.

 

Prevention

You can reduce your risk of prostate cancer if you:

  • Choose a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Avoid high-fat foods and instead focus on choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to your health.

    Whether you can prevent prostate cancer through diet has yet to be conclusively proved. But eating a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health.

  • Choose healthy foods over supplements. No studies have shown that supplements play a role in reducing your risk of prostate cancer. Instead, choose foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals so that you can maintain healthy levels of vitamins in your body.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Exercise improves your overall health, helps you maintain your weight and improves your mood. There is some evidence that men who don’t exercise have higher PSA levels, while men who exercise may have a lower risk of prostate cancer.

    Try to exercise most days of the week. If you’re new to exercise, start slow and work your way up to more exercise time each day.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your current weight is healthy, work to maintain it by exercising most days of the week. If you need to lose weight, add more exercise and reduce the number of calories you eat each day. Ask your doctor for help creating a plan for healthy weight loss.
  • Talk to your doctor about increased risk of prostate cancer. Men with a high risk of prostate cancer may consider medications or other treatments to reduce their risk. Some studies suggest that taking 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, including finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart), may reduce the overall risk of developing prostate cancer. These drugs are used to control prostate gland enlargement and hair loss in men.

    However, some evidence indicates that men taking these medications may have an increased risk of getting a more serious form of prostate cancer (high-grade prostate cancer). If you’re concerned about your risk of developing prostate cancer, talk with your doctor.

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