What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the type of cancer that begins when abnormal cells grow in the prostate gland. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped structure that is part of the male reproductive system. This organ surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Many prostate cancers grow slowly and remain confined to the prostate gland, where they may not cause serious damage. However, there are other types of prostate cancer that are highly aggressive and can spread quickly.
It is important to note that prostate cancer that is detected early, when it is still limited to the prostate gland, has a better chance of being treated successfully.
How is it diagnosed?
Most prostate cancers are detected by blood tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or by digital rectal examination (DRE).
Early-stage prostate cancers usually don’t cause symptoms, but more advanced cancers can be found because of the symptoms they cause. Some of them can be: difficulty and pain to urinate, painful ejaculation, blood in the urine, involuntary weight loss, among others.
How is it treated?
Treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s health status. In case the cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland, the most common treatments are:
Another treatment is hormonal therapy, which is used when the cancer has spread beyond the prostate.
If after performing these treatments the prostate cancer spreads, a chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatment is carried out.