It is rare in younger ages but increases progressively with age. It is significant that 30% of men over the age of 50 years are likely to have prostate cancer and therefore it is very likely a man around 70 to 80 years of may have prostate cancer, but not ultimately die due to it.
- Symptoms, Diagnosis
- Digital rectal examination of prostate.
- Prostate specific antigen (PSA).
- Prostate Ultrasound.
- Prostate Biopsy.
The urologist performs a digital rectal examination and estimates the prostate by palpation with the fingertip. It is the oldest method, but still a reliable method to initiate investigation of a prostate gland with possible cancer. A prostate that contains cancer is hard to the touch and loses its normal shape. PSA testing is the next diagnostic step. PSA is a substance found in the blood, which gives good information on presence or not prostate cancer. The normal value may be as high as 4 or 5. It is worth noting that most patients with prostate cancer have elevated values of PSA. But, the opposite does not happen. So someone who has an elevated PSA value does not mean that he has cancer. For this reason you should consult an urologist to proceed with further testing. It is of great importance to note that men who have undergone surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia often have the impression that he has had the entire prostate removed and therefore does not require regular screening for prostate cancer. This is not so, as the outside capsule of the prostate remains after surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia, and may harbor cancer. Therefore, continued screening even in this case is called for.
It is very useful, when there is suspicion of prostate cancer, to perform rectal ultrasound. This examination provides useful information on the composition of the prostate. It can detect if there is any suspicious area and the doctor could obtain a sample by the use of needle and send for biopsy. A biopsy is the ultimate and only reliable method to answer the question of the presence of cancer. If the biopsy comes out positive then there is no doubt that cancer of the prostate is present. Moroever, the biopsy provides information regarding the so-called “stage of cancer” and how “bad” or not is the cancer. With this information, the treating urologist can propose appropriate solutions to our problem.
Surgical treatment is proposed in the initial stages of the disease. Radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the whole prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Then, the bladder is sutured to the urethra. Radical prostatectomy was performed for decades as an open surgical approach and included a large incision below the umbilicus. The laparoscopic approach avoids the incision and because of the sophisticated equipment used, achieves the lowest blood loss, less postoperative pain, faster recovery and mobilization of the patient. The catheter placed during surgery is removed the fifth day after surgery. However, the patient on the second day may leave the hospital to return after 3 days to remove the catheter.