Current research shows that approximately one in eight men will most likely develop one of the several types of prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime. Notwithstanding these startling statistics, there is some good news.
Not only is prostate cancer pretty slow to develop, but it can also be diagnosed early and treated with routine screening exams.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
All types of prostate cancer originate in the prostate. The prostate is a petite gland shaped like a walnut that forms part of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the most prevalently diagnosed form of cancer in men, second to skin cancer. However, when diagnosed in the early stages, prostate cancer can normally be treated successfully.
Cancer is an illness that originates in cells, which is the foundation that makes up all organs and tissues of our bodies, including the prostate glands. Healthy cells develop, split, and die on a routine schedule. But, seldom something becomes imbalanced with this process and the cells don’t go through the correct cycle as they should. Alternatively, they produce a growth or more commonly known as a tumor. There are two types of tumors: malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous).
If left untreated, these cells can spread from the prostate gland to our bones, lymph system, and other organs, which could show prominent symptoms of prostate cancer. When this occurs, the type of cancer is most commonly referred to as metastatic prostate cancer. For instance, if prostate cancer metastasizes to the bone, the diagnosis would be “prostate cancer cells in the skeletal system”, not bone cancer.
The diagnosis of the different types of prostate cancer can only be made via a biopsy, which is a tissue sample. After the diagnosis, other procedures are necessary, including the Gleason Score, which designates the level of aggressiveness of the cancer cells and stage. This information will help you and your healthcare practitioner put together an effective treatment plan for your unique case.
How Many Different Types of Prostate Cancer Are There?
There are a variety of different types of prostate cancer, which all present their unique warning signs.
- Adenocarcinomas – Adenocarcinoma is the most prevalent kind of prostate cancer that develops in glandular cells. These sorts of cells are located in the tissue of specific organs, including the prostate glands, creating vital substances for the male body.
- Sarcomas – Sarcomas are rare cancers that can originate anyplace in the body, including the prostate. Unlike customary prostate cancer, sarcomas don’t emerge from cells in the prostate gland. Rather, they originate from muscle cells in the prostate, named mesenchymal cells.
Transitional-Cell Carcinomas – Transitional cell carcinoma begins in the cells it is named after. Transitional epithelial cells originate in the ureter, which is a tube connecting the kidneys and bladder.
The ureter’s main function is one of transporting urine from the renal pelvis and kidneys to the bladder. While transitional cell carcinoma starts along the ureter, high-grade states permit it to spread into other areas and organs of the body. The prostate is generally the most affected organ because it is connected to the urinary system.
- Neuroendocrine Tumors – Neuroendocrine prostate cancer is also known as NEPC. It’s one of the more aggressive types of prostate cancer that commonly occurs in patients who have previously been treated with hormonal therapies for prostate adenocarcinoma.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Squamous cell carcinoma of the prostate is a rare type of tumor, making up 1% of all prostate cancer diagnoses. Exhibiting symptoms vary from urinary tract symptoms to hard growths. It is normally considered an aggressive form of cancer.
Aggressive prostate cancer – An example of aggressive prostate cancer would be a neuroendocrine tumor located in the prostate. This form of cancer doesn’t produce specific antigens, which make these tumors non-detectable in routine blood tests.
Research by the Mayo Clinic found patients with aggressive types of prostate cancer who underwent surgery to have a 92% survival rate, which is high and extremely positive.
What are the Causes of Prostate Cancer?
Doctors don’t comprehend the causes of prostate cancer but have been able to distinguish various risk factors.
The main prostate cancer risk factors include:
- Age: Prostate cancer is extremely rare in males under 40 years of age. According to research, the risk seems to rise after age 50, and approximately 60% of prostate cancer cases occur in men over the age of 65.
- Race and ethnicity: Prostate cancer is diagnosed more often in African-American men. Caucasian males are often found with more prostate cancer risk factors when compared to Asian-American and Hispanic demographics.
- Family history: Prostate cancer appears to be genetic in some cases. Having a relative who has been diagnosed or undergone treatment for prostate cancer is likely to have more prostate cancer risk factors.
- Diet: According to recent data, males with diets high in meat and low in vegetables and fruits have an increased likelihood of developing symptoms of prostate cancer.
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a disease that routinely affects men 50 years old and above. It’s vital to understand and recognize the signs of this type of cancer so that detection and treatment can begin at an early stage.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of prostate cancer:
1. Abrupt changes in urination
The prostate gland is located under the bladder and encompasses the urethra. When urination occurs, the bladder creates pressure and pushes the contents into the urethra, and through the prostate gland.
A cancerous growth will modify the size of the prostate, which will subsequently put added pressure on both the bladder and urethra. This will cause discomfort, complication, and changes in urination. People report experiencing painful urination, loss of bladder control, reduced flow, and frequent urination, which are common warning signs of prostate problems.
2. Blood in semen or urine
One of the prevalent symptoms of prostate cancer is the appearance of blood in urine or semen. Finding blood in semen or urine is not normal, and in the eventuality that this occurs, seeking advice from a healthcare provider is important. The bloody semen and urine might not be due to prostate cancer, but in any case, it could mean that there is an issue such as inflammation or infection.
3. Other warning signs of prostate problems
Furthermore, there are additional symptoms that can also be indicative of prostate cancer that has spread outside of the gland. Again, this is commonly referred to as Metastatic Prostate Cancer. These include:
- Discomfort or stiffness in the back region
- Feet swelling
- Weight loss
At times, prostate cancer can spread to regions outside of the prostate gland, which can affect bones and tissues close by. The most common symptoms of prostate cancer, in this case, are pain and discomfort in the lower back, hips, legs, and pelvic regions.
Moreover, numbness and tightness can also be warning signs of prostate problems, which are common in prostate cancer, alongside weight loss, fatigue, or swelling of the feet. But, keep in mind that these signs and symptoms can be related to a long list of other issues, so it’s important not to stress and seek medical attention and testing.
What are the Treatment for Prostate Cancer?
Treatment possibilities differ, depending on the stage, symptoms of prostate cancer, and how aggressive the cells are.
Surgery and radiation therapy are both great treatment options for attempting to eliminate prostate cancer. They are the two most validated therapies for prostate cancer and both have shown long-term cancer management and recovery.
Although radiation and surgery have never been compared in a clinical trial, they have closely related success rates of cancer control and cure. They also have almost the same effects on a patient’s post-treatment quality of life with similar chances of erectile and urinary problems. Both radiation and surgery are wonderful treatment options for prostate cancer.
People who feel uncertain about the best treatment for their unique situation may find some clarity by consulting with a radiation oncologist and urologic surgeon to understand the pros and cons of each treatment.
The most important part of the journey is to become educated about the different types of prostate cancer, treatment options, and for each patient to determine the best treatment protocol for his particular circumstances and risk sensitivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Scientists aren't 100% sure when it comes to the specific causes of prostate cancer, but the disease can have several risk factors.
One of the prostate cancer risk factors is age. 90% of prostate cancer cases include males aged 56 and above. Still, the likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer grows with age, with the most distinguished probability of men above the age of 70.
There are no foods or ingredients that can directly cure prostate cancer. Although research is being undertaken to discover the foods that might help limit the development of the symptoms of prostate cancer and support the recovery phase in patients.
Some of the foods suggested in studies to help in cancer recovery or relapse prevention include:
- Foods with lycopene
- Plant-based protein sources
- Green tea
- Cruciferous vegetables
Prostate cancer is also commonly referred to as "adenocarcinoma of the prostate."
There are a variety of supplements that can help prevent the occurrence of warning signs of prostate problems, which may develop into cancer by supporting healthy function. These can be taken in a preventative manner or as a supplementation to conventional treatment plans.
For decades, the Swedes have been supporting male prostate health with a well-kept secret using a blend of multiple flower extracts. Pure Encapsulations offers a product named ProstaFlo, which includes a combination of ingredients such as corn, timothy, and rye with a 20 to 1 ratio of fat-soluble extracts to water-soluble.
The fat-soluble components of this supplement may help support the healthy production of prostaglandin and leukotriene, which are both vital for cellular health. The water-soluble content serves to support the urethra, more specifically helping to maintain optimal function.
The main takeaway from this guide should be how important routine checkups are for men, especially those who have more prostate cancer risk factors. When prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of full recovery are high, showing a 90% success rate.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer is a good place to start. That way, if you or a loved one begin to notice changes in your health that are specific to these symptoms, you’ll know to seek medical attention and undertake the necessary testing to rule out a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Again, early detection of the probable causes of prostate cancer, diagnosis, and treatment can be life-saving!
It’s important to check with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, such as dietary or supplementation, as these can sometimes interfere with conventional treatment protocols.