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Prostate Cancer

Page history last edited by Ann Vipond 2 years, 11 months ago



  Prostate cancer is the second most likely cancer to affect men, and the statistics are that 1 in 8 men will be affected, most usually in the age range 60 to 69. Of those affected, less than 20% will die from the cancer, and it is reckoned that in US there are 2.9 million men diagnosed with prostate cancer who are still alive today.


Early detection and treatment are important, even more so if it can be detected and treated before the development of more troubling symptoms. Symptoms might be:


          ·       Trouble urinating

          ·       Decreased force in the stream of urine

          ·       Blood in semen

          ·       Discomfort in the pelvic area

          ·       Bone pain

          ·       Erectile dysfunction


GPs' will usually take action when a number of these symptoms present themselves, but there is no campaign for early screening. This is because there is no readily accepted screening process, especially if it involves a digital rectal examination of the prostate area.


It is believed that the hormone testosterone plays a role in the development of prostate cancer. It is changed in the body to dihydrotestosterone and this enlarges the prostate though this does not always lead to prostate cancer. A prostate enlarged by dihydrotestosterone may be benign and slow developing.


When there is concern that the growth of the prostate is aggressive, ultrasound or collecting prostate tissue are options for determining whether an enlarged prostate is cancerous. Following that, bone scan, ultrasound, CT or MRI are options for determining whether the cancer has spread.


In most cases either treatment is not required, or a hormone therapy may be used to cut off the supply of dihydrotestosterone which acts to shrink the prostate. Radiation and chemotherapy may be used in only the minority of the worst cases.


Useful Websites 





Bill Hopkinson

October 2018


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