Prostate is a male genital gland that produces a fluid which mixes with semen. Uncontrolled cell growth of prostate gland can cause prostate cancer.
Anatomical location of prostate gland is sited just below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. Seminal vesicle that secretes semen is present just behind the prostate gland. The center of the prostate holds urethra that caries both urine and semen out of the body.
The epidemiological fact revealed that the prognosis of the prostate cancer is more prevalent in Western countries, including United States in compared with East Asian countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Prostate cancer is 3rd leading cause of mortality in elderly population (above 65 male) in USA. The increasing trend of prostate cancer prevalence with simultaneous increasing health related cost.
Types of prostate Cancer
Mostly all prostate cancers are primarily adenocarcinomas. These cancerous cells growth is started from the gland cells. However, following are some other types of cancers that can develop in prostate glands:
Small cell carcinomas
Transitional cell carcinomas
All the above mentioned other types of prostate cancer incidence is rare. Usually patients with prostate cancer have adenocarcinoma.
Some types of prostate cancer grow and spread fast. But usually the rate of prostate cancer growth is slow. Many autopsy studies of old age men and even younger men showed that the reason of death is other than the prostate cancer though they are prostate cancer patients. It indicates that prostate cancer usually not life-threatening because of very slow rate of growth. In many instance, neither an individual nor their doctor even knew that the person had prostate cancer before the autopsy report obtained.
Pathophysiology involves in Prostate Cancer
The evidence based risk factors for prostate cancer are elevated levels of IGF-I with concomitant lowering of IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3. The role of IGF-1 in prostate cancer is evidence based and it is found that prostate cancer development and progression risk become increased with elevated levels of IGF-I and simultaneously lowering of IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-3.
Androgen regulates the prostate cancer cell proliferation. Androgen receptor (AR) protein levels increase during the progression from androgen-dependent LNCaP cells to androgen-independent LNCaP cells, but AR levels decrease during the transition from androgen-independent to androgen-adapted cells.
PSA, a 33kDa protein in semen and Serum PSA levels increase dramatically in men with prostate cancer. The elevated level of AR signaling and PSA promoter activity provoke by de novo tumor-derived androgen and/or adrenal androgen.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Mostly prostate cancers are non-aggressive in nature. In such cases, patients do not experience any symptoms. However, advanced stage of prostate cancer induces symptoms such as urinary problems, sexual problems, and pain and numbness.
If any individual has any of the mentioned symptoms need to discuss with doctor without any hesitation. However, the mentioned symptoms of prostate cancer can occur due to other conditions. Therefore, proper diagnosis can help patient as well as doctor to underlying cause of the symptoms. Correct diagnosis is essential for treat the condition.
Screening and Diagnosis
Clinical advice suggested that male individuals who have higher risk of prostate cancer should start annual screening after his 40 years. However, an individual should discuss with doctor about the pros and cons of the screening tests. Following are the different diagnostic tools available for prostate cancer:
Digital rectal exam (DRE): In this examination, doctor will insert a gloved finger into the rectum of the patient to inspect the prostate. Palpation of any hard lumps on prostate gland can be indication of tumors.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: This is a blood test that detects PSA levels. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate.
Prostate biopsy: Doctor may recommend a biopsy to confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis. In a biopsy test, a surgical removal of small piece of prostate gland is examined for confirmation.
Other tests: Doctor may also recommend MRI scan, CT scan, or bone scan.