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When a family has been affected by the diagnosis of prostate cancer, they turn to medical professionals, family, and friends and even prostate cancer survivors to help them navigate their way from diagnosis to treatment to recovery. Patients will soon learn about facts, tests, treatment options and how to handle recovery.
Prostate Cancer is the most diagnosed cancer when causes and attributes to the second leading cause of death in males behind lung cancer. African American males have a higher rate of prostate cancer diagnosed and unfortunately a high mortality rate from prostate cancer.
From the opinion of many doctors and researchers, prostate cancer starts with Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia(PIN). PIN is a condition that manipulates the structure of the prostate gland cells. PIN is documented to begin around the age of 20. Most cases of prostate cancer originate in the glandular cells. Glandular cells involve the secretion of seminal fluid.
It has been reported that men over 50 have a 50% chance of having PIN. If the cancer has been located in the local area (only in the prostate area), the survival rate is nearly 100%. If the cancer is located in the regional area (the cancer is seen in other areas), then the survival rate is about 34%.
Survival rates are listed as 5 year and 10 year. The 5-year rate is for men diagnosed that have been 5 years after the cancer was first found. The 10-year rate is for men diagnosed that have 10 years after the cancer was first found.
Early symptoms of prostate cancer usually go undetected unless the individual has experienced problems with urinary tract issues. Sometimes, the problems with the urinary tract may not indicate prostate cancer but a condition with the prostate called “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)”. BPH can affect all males but there are higher cases reported in older males because the prostate can enlarge to affect the proper functioning of the opening of the urethra.
When there is a suspicion of a male having problems with their prostate, medical professionals will perform certain tests.
The most widely used method to detect prostate cancer is the core needle biopsy. Under the care of an urologist, a needle is inserted into the prostate and extracts tissues cells from the prostate. Depending on the doctor, there can be up to several tissue samples taken. Once the samples are obtained, the samples are sent to the lab for analysis. Sometimes if there are too many samples taken, it may miss areas where cancer cells may have been located. This creates a “false negative report.”
MRI’s and x-rays provide information about conditions affecting certain body parts.
If cancer is found in the biopsy sample(s), then the sample is graded. The grading system is called the “Gleason grade.” The 1-5 grading system determines the change in the prostate cancer cells. Level 1 is normal. Levels 2-4 represent different features. Level 5 is graded as a tumor. Sometimes if several areas are involved, the level may be graded as a 2-4 depending on multiple areas of the sample.
After tests(x-rays, bone scans, MRI’s), the cancer is staged. There are four stages of Prostate Cancer-Stage 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each stage has a sub component based on the TNM system. The TNM system is (T) tumor, (N) surrounding lymph nodes and (M) no evidence of mestastasis.
Another staging system called the “Whitmore-Jewett system” was used before the TNM system. The system stage the cancer levels as A, B, C, and D.
Depending if the cancer has been localized or spread to other organs, patients can undergo a variety of treatments for prostate cancer.
After a male is treated for prostate cancer, medical professionals continue to provide care for the individuals road to recovery.
Patients should be concerned about diet and nutrition. Because of treatment, patients may experience problems with nausea and weight loss. Meeting with a cancer specialized dietitian can provide a dietary plan to follow while the person is going through treatment.
Getting into a modified exercise regimen can help the patient regain some strength during the recovery press.