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Prostate Cancer, a Silent Killer

Updated on October 20, 2012
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Prostate gland is a small walnut sized organ that is part of the male reproductive system and is wrapped around the urinary system.

Cancer affects this gland when malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate gland.

Risk Factors

Men who are at risk include:

  • · Men, who had got exposed to Agent Orange
  • · Men, who have a genetic history of a father or brother ailing from this disease.
  • · Men, who consume a lot of alcohol
  • · Men, who eat a high fat diet
  • · Men, who work as Painters, Farmers, work in Tire Plants.
  • Men aged 60 years and above

All men over 60 should be administered because as they grow older, they experience an enlarged prostate. This is called prostatic hyperplasic or BPH. BPH does not raise the risk of prostate cancer but it can increase the Prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Prostate cells produce this protein and this is tested via taking a blood sample.

PSA test is done to help diagnose men with prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer can be delayed thus, cannot rely on them. Men should be tested often for PSA blood test and get screened for prostate cancer even before any of the symptoms appear.

However, some of the symptoms that are reported at various stages of prostate cancer are:

  • · Delayed and slow urine
  • · Blood in the urine
  • · Bone pain or tenderness in the lower back and pelvic bones.

Men over 40 years of age are advised to get a PSA blood test done. IF they have a HIGH PSA level they are advised to do a biopsy to screen their prostate gland.

At times the PSA is normal but some symptoms keep coming back such as the incontinence in the urine flow. A digital rectal exam is another way to detect prostate cancer.

PSA results depend on a man’s age, race, and current medicines taken to help come to a conclusion.

The Normal Ranges of PSA are:

  • · Men below 50 years of age: PSA less than 2.5ng/mL (ng=nanogram; mL=millimeter)
  • · 50-59 years of age Men: PSA less than 3.5ng/mL
  • · 60-69 years of age Men: PSA less than 4.5ng/mL
  • · 70+ Men: PSA less than 6.5ng/mL

The Abnormal Ranges of PSA are considered to have prostate cancer. The PSA levels also depend on the age, race and medicines being taken by men.

  • · Men under age 49, PSA of 2.5ng/mL and above
  • · Men aged 50-59, levels above 3.5ng/mL and above
  • · Men aged 60-69, levels above 4.5ng/mL and above

Race Caution: African Americans and Asian Americans should follow up testing if they have lower PSA levels.

PSA testing Caution: A rise in the PSA level can also be due to a

  • · A large prostate
  • · A prostate infection
  • · Urinary tract infection
  • · Recent tests on cystoscopy or biopsy
  • · Catheter tube placed into the man’s bladder to drain urine.

If there is any of the above reason for the PSA to be high or unusual, the patient is allowed to recover and tested again for PSA.

Once the PSA score is in and IF the PSA level are high according to the man’s age, race then the patient has to undergo a biopsy of the prostate gland. The Gleason grade is used to show the different grades of cancer in one biopsy sample.

A score of 2-5 indicates a low-grade prostate cancer.

Score of 6-7 indicates intermediate grade cancer.

Score 8-10 indicates a high grade of cancer.

CT Scan and Bone Scan are done to know where all the cancer has spread. PSA blood testing is done periodically on cancer patients to monitor their treatment.

At times the PSA is normal but some symptoms keep coming back such as the incontinence in the urine flow. A digital rectal exam is another way to detect prostate cancer.

Treatment

Once diagnosed, the person can start his treatment depending on his Gleason score and his overall health.

If the individual is at first stage of this cancer, Surgery is recommended. A radical prostatectomy is performed on the individual.

Go to Radical prostatectomy link for more details.

Patient is also subjected to Radiation therapy, which includes brachytherapy and proton therapy.

If the cancer has spread, the patient is subjected to Hormone therapy, which involves medicines to reduce testosterone levels.

Surgery is another alternative.

Chemotherapy is also used to curb the cancer cells.

The patient is kept in constant vicinity when such a treatment is given. PSA blood tests are done usually every 3 months to 1 year for follow-ups once the cancer cells have been eliminated from the body.

Statistics

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has estimated about 241,740 cases of prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012. About 1 man in 6 diagnosed with Prostate cancer die from this disease.

Conclusion

Prostate Cancer is a deadly and a silent killer disease since; its symptoms usually come in very late and PSA testing can misguide a patient. However, IF diagnosed on time, it can help save a life. Diagnosis is critical for any disease to be treated and curbed. Once a man reaches 40 years of age, he should be diligent to get his PSA tested on an annual basis.

I dedicate this hub to my Father, who lost his battle from Prostate Cancer.



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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      This disease frightens me but fortunately, I see my doctor regularly and she schedules checks for this cancer when appropriate. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • vasmenon profile image

      vasmenon 

      6 years ago from India

      Sorry to hear about your loss. last year my father had a scare, and we tested to find that the PSA was within the limit, he was on medication for some time and is doing fine now......Thanks for all the useful information as always!!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Thank you for bringing this important topic to our attention. We should all encourage the men in our lives to get the annual exam.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My brother-in-law has been battling with this a long time. I have been reading some natural things can help it or help prevent it, such as corn silk tea. I would certainly use things like that if I were a man because it sure can't hurt. Any cancer is so terrible. Great write.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Kelly,

      Yes, men over 40 should get this tested annually. Good luck!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Excellent and so important! This is a great topic that I didn't know anything about. I will make sure I have Dave get this test if he hasn't yet. I am not sure what is included in his physicals.

      UP++++

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi thelyricwriter,

      I agree...better safe than sorry!

      Thanks for giving it a thumbs up. I appreciate you stopping by!

      Hi Keith,

      Yes, lately this has been gathering quite a story. Better late than sorry, my friend. Thanks for your sharing and support. Appreciate it

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 

      6 years ago

      I've been seeing quite a few ads on TV about prostate cancer and it definitely sparked my interest and concern for some friends of mine. Thank you for sharing some important info! Shared on Twitter and Pinterest!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Ruchira, voted up, useful, and interesting. Very good well written article. This is a very important test for men to have. Better safe then sorry. So sorry to hear about your father Ruchira, I give you my blessings. Thanks for giving others the information that can save their life one day. Shared also.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Yes, Lipnancy. Early detection is the key to end the suffering. Thanks for stopping by!

      Hi Sholland,

      Thanks for your condolences. Yes, all men over 40 should get their PSA tested. I am asking my man to also go in every year for a blood test.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Ruchira, this is a very informational hub. I am so sorry to see your father lost his battle with prostate cancer. My uncle has it. I overheard him talking to a friend about taking Saw Palmetto. He said every man over 40 should take it for prostate care.

      Great information that every man should read. Votes and shares!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      6 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      So sorry for your loss. Thanks for the education. Early detection and treatment seem to be the key with this.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you ithabise. I am glad you found it useful.

      thank you lone77star. I agree alternative therapies do work but, it depends on the stage it is detected. My dad's cancer was detected at stage 4 when it had spread to his bones. Although, he was trying alternative therapies as well, but things got out of hand. I wish you the best, and thank you for an elaborate email. Cheers!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks you Denise. I am glad you liked the above information and found it useful. I wish your friend good luck and lots of courage. Cheers!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Dianna,

      I am glad you found it useful and interesting. Means a lot to get appreciated from you! Thanks!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi yougotme,

      I am glad this hub could be useful to you.

      Goodluck!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi rideinthesidecar2,

      sorry to hear about your husband. I pray and hope he recovers. thank you for your encouraging comment. Hope this helps many men out there.

      Peace and light to you, my friend!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Hi Ruby,

      I am glad that your friend benefited from radioactive treatment. Thanks for stopping by with your valuable feedback. Hope someone benefits from this.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 

      6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      An important topic.

      Too bad Pharma drugs are so poisonous. All too frequently, people will die from the treatment instead of the disease. And some researchers have suggested that the statistics have been doctored by counting those who die as death by cancer rather than death by chemotherapy.

      But there are cures. Regrettably, the Big Pharma Money doesn't like the competition, so they've had cures made illegal.

      Cures like vitamin B17, vitamin C, oxygen, baking soda and the like.

      I know doctors are well-meaning, for the most part, but most of them are clueless and in denial (or cognitive dissonance) when it comes to the dangers of Big Pharma and the efficacy of alternative treatments.

      I've never had cancer, but my doctor had me on drugs for heart disease and acid reflux. He said I'd be on them for the rest of my life. Fooled him! I stopped when I found alternative treatments that worked far better, but had no side effects! Changing diet also does wonders. Western food is poison! I have an article on Cancer Statistics that shows a directly correlation between Western chemical lifestyles and high cancer rates.

      Here's an article of a 78-year-old man who kicked incurable colon cancer in 4 months:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2204080/...

      Here's a video on the ways doctors are fooled into following Big Pharma even when they discover how bad drugs are:

      http://www.ihealthtube.com/aspx/viewvideo.aspx?v=8...

      And here's a YouTube channel which specializes in alternative approaches to health:

      https://www.youtube.com/user/iHealthTube

      Big Pharmaceutical companies have one purpose, as all corporations do: to make large profits. The largest profits come from disease maintenance. If the disease can be prolonged, but never cured, this maximizes profits. Cures, on the other hand, decimate profits. So, corporate offices at Big Pharma companies are doubly motivated to quash any claims of disease cures.

      Sure, there have been abuses in the past, but I don't doubt that some abuses were manufactured by Big Pharma as pretext to have legislation passed. Just as Hitler had the Reichstag burned as a pretext to gain complete power over Germany, Big Pharma could easily have been behind deaths by so-called "quacks" to get "protective" legislation passed. America has gotten into the habit of following fear into tyranny. Now, raw milk and apricots are illegal.

      The Cancer Report has a number of alternative treatments, plus a body of statistics regarding cancer and the causes and traditional treatment programs.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnaBG177VIw

      Don't be fooled by Corporate greed. There are answers that don't involve corporations.

    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S. 

      6 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      This is a very useful and handy write-up, Ruchira. Thank you and my condolences.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Ruchira-I am so sorry to learn of the death of your father. Your hub is so informative, I am sure it will be beneficial to many people. A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and the prognosis and treatment have been confusing and dismal. Thank you for sharing your experience in such a thorough way. Up/U/A/I and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Great post and so full of valuable information. I didn't know how the symptoms affected the diagnoses. Thanks for sharing. Great writing and design, by the way.

    • yougotme profile image

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      6 years ago from Manila

      This hub is highly informative and timely. Just the other day, I was wondering what prostate cancer and enlarged prostate are all about. I'm lucky and glad that I found this hub. :)

    • rideinthesidecar2 profile image

      Deborah Freed 

      6 years ago from Virginia Mountains

      Thank you Ruchira for this hub. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month and the more information men get the better. There are more options for treatment these days but even after surgery or radiation or watchful waiting PSA needs to be monitored. Men need to be aware of what is called doubling time which means the length of time it takes the numbers to double. This is what many doctors use to decide when further treatment needed. My husband has advanced stage 4 Prostate Cancer and has finished chemotherapy. We will just monitor his PSA and see what the next treatment will be. Once prostate cancer returns it is considered incurable. There are more treatments to help give a man more quality time but there still is no cure. I am sorry for you loss.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very important subject Ruchira. With my experience in dealing with prostate cancer cases, I found that the radioactive seed inplants were the best. I had a friend who had this done and there is no trace of cancer after fifteen years. I am truly sorry about your Father..Thank you for sharing...

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks rcrumple. I am hopeful that it will be of help to our community :) cheers!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 

      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Ruchira -

      I'm gonna have to agree with Linda on the 40 and up. Doctors are very strong in their consensus here. Or maybe, they just want to make money off of another test. lol Great information provided very professionally. Great Job!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks ananceleste. Since you are in the medical profession, you must be understanding the aww of this hub!

      Best wishes to your family.

    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 

      6 years ago from California

      This is a very scary disease. The silent killer of men. As a health care professional I had "The talk" with my husband, brothers and now my 15 year old son. With the increase in prostate and testicular cancer, they have to be vigilant and take care of themselves. Even if that means to push the subject openly to the men in our lives.

      Great hub. I just read it to my husband and my son. This is important enough to do this. Thank you my friend. blessings.

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks Alecia. Yes, I do hope that men spare time to do the needful. Caution is always good.

      Thanks Linda. Sorry to hear that it runs in your family. Wishing your step son good health and best wishes to Dave. Psst...I corrected the age. Thanks for the heads up :)

      Thanks Paula. Always appreciate your supportive comments and wishes. Love and light to you, my friend!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank good ness Mary. Your SIL is doing fine. Wishing you and your family good health!

      Thanks Tammy. I sure do hope that awareness will lead to caution. Wishing you the best!

    • Ruchira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks Nithya. I am hopeful that there is awareness and such incidents are not repeated. cheers!

      Thanks Rajan. Yes, caution is always the best medicine.

      Thanks Frank for your kind words and stopping by. Wishing you the best!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ruchira....I am sorry for you loss. Please know that I understand and feel your sadness.

      I knew very little about this particular cancer before reading all of Sunshine's very educational hubs and now this information from you, as well. It seems once you begin to learn about an illness, suddenly, you discover how many people are effected.

      I do know that when a loved one is struck with a serious illness, we will all do our best to research and learn all we can. Thank you for the work you did on this, Ruchira.............UP+++

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Ruchira, This is a very useful hub. The guidelines for men are ages 40 years and up. 40 years old for a baseline PSA with or without a family history. I've known of 3 men in their 40's who have lost their lives to Prostate Cancer because they were told they were too young. My stepson had his baseline done at age 30 since he has a very strong family history as you know. I'm sorry for your loss.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm sorry to hear about your father, Ruchira but I am very glad you decided to share this information and help save someone else's life.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      This is some very important information for men and the women who love them. I am so sorry for your loss. Your generous hub may save the life of someone else's loved one. Well done!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I am so sorry for your loss. My son in law had a fright recently because his PSA was high. They did a biopsy and didn't find anything, thank goodness.

      I voted this Hub UP, and will share.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 years ago from Shelton

      Ruch.. thank you for this awareness hub and thank you for running through it knowing it touched you deeply because your father... my heart goes out to you and your family and once again thank you for this very important share :) bless you

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Hi Ruchira,

      A very good cautionary hub for males who are aging. It is always better to get routine testing for prostrate problems. Very informational. Voting it up & sharing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Thanks for sharing the valuable information, this will save many lives. Am sorry that your father was affected by this. Voted up and shared.

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