Prostate cancer usually occurs when cells in the prostate gland grow abnormally or out of control. Prostate cancer is a cancer of the small, walnut-shaped gland near the urinary bladder in men that produces seminal fluid, nourishes and transports the sperm and is considered to be one of the most prevalent cancers among men.
Located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, where the urine is stored, the prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body. Older men, usually in the sixth decade of their life, are at a higher risk of this disease.
Prostate cancer is typically slow-growing cancer, with the state-of-art technologies like CyberKnife it is now possible to safely and effectively target the cancerous growth with precision and minimal side effects.
At the early stages of this cancer, most men will not experience any symptoms. Some men, however, will experience a few symptoms which are usually similar to the symptoms shared by many non-cancerous conditions.
The following symptoms that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer:
Frequent urination, especially at night
Difficulty in starting urination or holding back urine
An interrupted flow of urine
Difficulty in having an erection
Blood in urine or semen
Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hip or upper thigh
The exact cause of prostate cancer is under investigation. However, increasing age and high-testosterone are known risk factors. Prostate cancer may be caused due to the changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell.
Since the above-mentioned symptoms can potentially indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, men who experience any of these symptoms should undergo a thorough check-up to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms.
A blood test for a protein known as Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
An ultrasound examination through the rectum is suggested, usually, after the doctor has examined the prostate through the rectum (Digital Rectal Examination - DRE).
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage of cancer, age and the overall health of a person. In a few cases, men with very slow growing prostate cancer who are older or have other major health problems may forgo treatment initially and the doctors would very closely monitor the growth of cancer and its symptoms.
For men who are at higher risk, the traditional treatment routes include surgery, cryosurgery, hormone therapy and in some cases chemotherapy but the side effects from these methods can be harsh and emotionally difficult for some men. As a result of the above CyberKnife is considered to be the treatment of choice for prostate cancer. As CyberKnife is a non-invasive treatment procedure with minimal side effects, it also saves time and quality of life throughout the process.