The prostate is part of the male reproductive organ contributing in the semen secretion. It is a cone-shaped glandular organ round the neck of the bladder. It has 5 lobes: anterior, posterior, two laterals and one median lobe. Any injury in the prostate will obstruct urination and ejaculation since part of the urethra (the duct that conveying urine and semen from the bladder) is surrounded by the prostate.
Some diseases of prostate gland include: prostatitis: an inflammation of the tissue of the prostate gland because of bacterial infection; benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): a non cancerous tumor of the prostate which is caused by the enlargement of the prostate gland. This disorder almost always occurs in patients over 40 and rarely happens in younger men; and prostate cancer.
Now, let’s discuss further about the prostate cancer.
In prostate cancer, the gland becomes stiff and loses its normal lobulation and smooth surface. The tumor will squeeze the urethra and cause problem in passing urine. Prostate cancer is mostly occurred in the posterior lobe while non cancerous tumor is usually found in other lobes.
It’s believed that one of the most common causes of prostate cancer is too high level of the male sex hormone (androgen). It’s also noted that the size of the tumor is often reduced on the removal of testes.
Man who is in his advancing age (above 45 years old), black, eating an imbalance diet, living an unhealthy lifestyle and taking certain medications has found to be more prone to prostate cancer.
Metastasis of prostate cancer
- Local metastasis: a condition where the cancer cells of the posterior lobe invade the lateral lobes, seminal vesicles and probably the neck of urinary bladder.
- Lymphatic metastasis: the cancer cells reach the lymph nodes through the lymph vessels. They then move to the retroperitoneal (behind the membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen) and mediastinal lymph nodes (a membrane in the midline of the thorax that separates the lungs).
- Blood metastasis: the cancer cells invade through the periprostatic venous plexus and move to the vertebral veins while coughing or sneezing and finally reach the vertebral of the lower back area.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer
The following signs and symptoms might be seen depended upon the stage of the cancer:
- There’s no symptom if the tumor is still in early stage and only found in the posterior lobe. The detection of prostate cancer in early stage is almost always by accident.
- There’ll be frequent urination symptom when the tumor has enlarged and squeezed the urethra slightly.
- If the tumor has invaded all nearby parts including neck of the bladder and urethra, it’ll cause painful urination with bleeding and difficulty to maintain a steady stream of urine.
- When the urethra has completely squeezed it’ll cause accumulation of urine and lead to hydronephrosis (a condition where the kidneys is dilated by urine accumulation) and kidney failure.
- Some signs and symptoms if the prostate cancer has metastasized include:
- Rheumatic pain due to metastasis to the muscles of the lower back
- Breakage of spine due to cancerous growth in the spine
- Swelling, pain and abdominal fluid retention because of the abdomen get injured
- Breathing problems due to metastasis to the mediastinal lymph nodes and lungs
- General weakness
- Anemia due to impairment of the bone marrow and increased destruction of red blood cells
Diagnosis of prostate cancer
Diagnosis of prostate cancer include: complete blood examinations, urine analysis, kidney function tests, phosphate (salt of phosphoric acid used as a fertilizer) test, x-ray of the spine, ultrasonography, CT (Computed Tomography) scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the spine, lymphangiography and biopsy to detect the presence of cancer cells.
Treatment for prostate cancer
- Catheterization in case of urine retention
- Dialysis for kidney failure
- Monitoring of all vital functions along with parental nutrition and electrolyte supply for coma
- Prostatectomy (removal of prostate): partial prostatectomy – remove only the damaged lobe and radical prostatectomy – total remove of prostate including nearby lymph nodes
- Hormone therapy
- Alternatives such as yoga and meditation might also help