Prostate cancer is a disease that only affects men, and it is considered to be quite common. This is why there is a need for every male individual to know more about this type of cancer. Cancer cells start to grow in the prostate, which is an essential gland in the male’s reproductive system. Read on to find out more about this cancer and what it can do.
An in-depth analysis of the prostate
The prostate is a exocrine gland that lies directly under a man’s bladder. It is part of a male’s reproductive system. Exocrine glands refer to glands that secrete or emit liquid outside the body. Examples of exocrine glands are prostate glands and sweat glands. The prostate also contains the urethra which is a tube that connects the bladder to the end of the penis and it carries urine out of the body. The prostate gland is also involved in urine control.
The medical condition of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a very slow-acting disease, in a sense that it may take years to develop. It is also so silent and low-profile that many males do not realize that they have such a cancer until an autopsy has been performed on them after they have passed away. Prostate cancer starts with tiny changes in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells called Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN).
It has been proved that about 50% of 50 year old men have the aforementioned PIN, and the cells can be observed through a microscope. The cell changes are split into 2 categories, which are low-grade or high-grade. Low grade cell changes are normal while high grade cell changes signify that the individual is at a higher risk of prostate cancer. Doctors who notice high-grade cell changes in male patients will take a closer look at the affected patient. A separate biopsy may be carried out in due time.
How prostate cancer is classified
It is important to know how prostate cancer is classified so that the patient, as well as the doctor can better understand the current situation. For example, knowing the stage of the cancer and how far its spread is, will help in subsequent investigations. One way of determining the classification of the cancer is by defining the size of the tumor and how many lymph nodes are involved. Computer tomography will also assist in the inspection for the spread of the cancer cells inside the pelvis and to determine if the cancer cells have spread to the bones.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
A patient experiencing prostate cancer or has just contracted prostate cancer may experience the following symptoms. For example, the individual may urinate more often and he may find it hard to urinate. The male may also discover blood in the urine and he may find it hard to keep urinating.
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer
The male patient may feel pain in his bones, such as his ribs or pelvis, as well as feel pain in the proximal part of the femur. The male may also feel weakness in the legs if the cancer has spread to the spinal cord.