Free Ebooks On Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Prostate cancer that is detected early — when it’s still confined to the prostate gland — has a better chance of successful treatment.
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in your urine
- Blood in your semen
- Swelling in your legs
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.Ask your doctor about the benefits and risks of regular prostate cancer screening. Medical organizations differ on their recommendations for prostate cancer screening, but many advise men in their 50s to discuss the issue with their doctors. Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:
1. Trouble urinating
2. Decreased force in the stream of urine
3. Blood in your urine
4. Blood in your semen
5. Swelling in your legs
6. Discomfort in the pelvic area
7. Bone pain
When to see a doctor Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.
Ask your doctor about the benefits and risks of regular prostate cancer screening. Medical organizations differ on their recommendations for prostate cancer screening, but many advise men in their 50s to discuss the issue with their doctors.
It’s not clear what causes prostate cancer. Doctors know that prostate cancer begins when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells. The abnormal cells continue living, when other cells would die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can break off and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Factors that can increase your risk of prostate cancer include:
- Older age. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Prostate cancer is most common in men over 65.
- Being black. Black men have a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. It’s not clear why this is.
- Family history of prostate cancer. If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased.
- Obesity. Obese men diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to have advanced disease that’s more difficult to treat.
Complications of prostate cancer and its treatments include:
- Cancer that spreads. Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs or travel through your bloodstream or lymphatic system to your bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to other areas of the body is more difficult to treat than cancer that is confined to the prostate.
- 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 be a result of 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.
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 for your appointment. Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment, 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, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you’re taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to absorb 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.
- Do I have prostate cancer?
How large is my prostate cancer?
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will 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:
- How large is my prostate cancer?
- Do I have prostate cancer?
- Has my prostate cancer spread beyond my prostate?
- What is my Gleason score?
- What is my 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 any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What Web sites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask questions at any time that you don’t understand something.