Prostate Cancer Treatment And Prevention

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. The disease affects men from all walks of life. Approximately, 1 out of every 6 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is more prevalent in men over the age of 45. Prostate cancer can be fatal if not treated early.

There are a number of different screening tests used to determine if a man has prostate cancer. One test is a simple blood test that checks for elevated levels of PSA. This test should be repeated every one to two years to check for rising levels. A digital rectal exam is another test a doctor can administer to check for prostate cancer. If either test comes back positive, a doctor will order extensive testing to determine if it is cancer and the extent of the cancer. These factors will determine the treatment options.

Prostate cancer caught in the earliest stages has a very good survival rate. Cancer that has metastasized or spread out to the lymph nodes can be more difficult to treat. A doctor will most likely need to order a biopsy to determine the cancer‘s stage. There are several other tests that will need to be conducted to determine if and where the cancer spread.

A man’s age and overall health will play a determining factor for the recommended course of treatment. Older men who have early stages of cancer are often treated with a watch and wait approach, depending on any other medical conditions they may have. Healthy men are usually given the option to have surgery to remove the prostate and lymph nodes in some cases. If the lymph nodes are cancerous, different or more extensive treatment will be necessary.

Radiation therapy is a treatment option that may be used in combination with surgery. External or internal radiation techniques are available. The extent of the cancer and the type of cancer will determine which type is used. Internal radiation involves small catheters or a needle being injected into or next to the tumor. External radiation involves a beam of radiation being directed at the tumor.

Hormone therapy may be prescribed as well. This involves taking prescription hormones designed to slow or stop further tumor growth. Hormones are like fuel for some cancers. By preventing the naturally occurring testosterone, the cancer growth may be suppressed.

Chemotherapy may be ordered in combination with several other treatment methods to try and control an aggressive cancer. Chemotherapy drugs are administered intravenously or via a pill. The chemotherapy is designed to kill off cancer cells but can leave a person’s entire immune system weakened. There are various clinical trials being done to test the effectiveness of other prostate cancer treatment options.

There are some things a man can do to prevent prostate cancer from developing. However, there are a number of risk factors that a person cannot influence. A person can choose to eat a healthy diet rich in foods that contain lycopenes. Tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit contain a high level of these natural cancer fighting properties. Green tea is another dietary choice that can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. A diet rich in plant based foods is a great way to maintain good health and potentially prevent a variety of cancers.

Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are also beneficial in the fight to prevent prostate cancer. Doctors have not been able to determine an actual link between obesity and prostate cancer, but they can say the risk of dying from prostate cancer is increased when a man is obese. A doctor may prescribe certain medications that are believed to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by reducing hormone production as well.