Prostate cancer was identified in 1853three hundred years after the discovery of the prostate gland by Andreas Vesalius in 1538. Prostate cancer was considered as a rare malady, as a result, of the poor detection methods in the 19th century. The treatment of the rare malady was the removal of the testes in the 1890s, in the dawn of the 20th century doctors shifted from the removal of testicles to the removal of the prostate gland. Charles Huggins discovered chemical castration, a procedure that involved the use of estrogen to reduce the influence of testosterone in men who were suffering from prostate cancer. The prevailing mode of treatment is the use of external beam radiotherapy which has replaced the use of the traditional x-rays.
Prostate cancer is one of the most lethal diseases that affect the male gender. It is the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United Kingdom among men and the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in the United States of America. Prostate cancer is made severe by the fact that it is difficult to detect at an early growth rate, therefore, increasing the rate at which people suffering from prostate cancer die. It is common in the developing countries as well as the developed countries. Prostate cancer has been attributed to genes and lifestyle of the people. The presence of the prostate cancer may be detected by physical examination, biopsy or prostate specific antigen. People with prostate cancer have a five year survival rate and, therefore, the majority of the people die out of prostate cancer without the cancerous tumor being detected.
A complete understanding of the causes of prostate cancer has remained elusive for decades. Among the primary causes of prostate cancer is obesity, advanced age and family history. Prostate cancer is very uncommon in the men below the age of forty-five; the disease is very common among men of seventy years of age. Men with family members, who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, have higher risk of prostate cancer. As of 2005, the disease of was the cause of death for thirty thousand Americans and around 200, 000 cases of prostate cancer being reported every year. Prostate cancer has also been connected with lack of physical exercise and high blood pressure.
Men with first degree relative with prostate cancer have a double risk of contracting prostate cancer than those who are born in families without a history of prostate cancer. No specific gene can be attributed to the cause of prostate cancer; however, the cancer is more common in the black men than in the Hispanic men in the United States of America. Gene mutilations in BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 which cause ovarian cancer in women have been linked to prostate cancer. Other genes that are attributed to prostate cancer are Hereditary Prostate Cancer gene 1 and vitamin D receptor gene. Androgen receptor gene has also been included in the list of the genes that are responsible for prostate cancer. Extensive scientific studies have also found a link between single nucleotide polymorphism and prostate cancer. The nucleotide polymorphisms are the reason black American men have a higher risk of suffering from prostate cancer than the Hispanic men or white men in the United States of America.
There is little evidence to show the connection between diet and prostate cancer. It is, however, almost certain that the consumption of meat increases the chances of contracting prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is more likely to be caused by high consumption of red meat than white meat. Prolonged consumption of foods that have low levels of vitamin D is likely to increase the chances of suffering from prostate cancer.
There are some medical procedures and prescriptions that may double the chances of contacting prostate cancer. Sicknesses that cause the inflammation of the prostate region double the risk of prostate cancer. Sexually transmitted infections increase the risk of prostate cancer. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, which affect the normal functioning of the prostate gland, increase the risks of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that having many sexual partners or starting sexual activity early in life can also increase the risk of prostate cancer. There is a significant link between sexually transmitted diseases such as HP-16, HP-18 and HSV-2.
Treatment and prevention
The treatment of prostate cancer begins at the screening of the prostate cancer. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are among the major methods of detection that are used in the prostate screening. Doctors can also use digital rectal imaging to identify the prostate abnormalities. After the detection of the tumor, the doctors embark on containing the spread of the cancerous cells. Biopsy is one of the most common methods of treating cancerous cells. During a biopsy, urologist and radiologists remove pieces of the infected tissue from the rectum.
The biopsy gun removes reduces the spread of the tumor significantly and is useful especially for the outpatients. The next stage in the treatment of the cancer is the identification of the type of cancer using tumor markers. The intensity of the medication will depend on the position of the tumor in the Gleason score. The consumption of fish is taken as a preventive measure of prostate cancer. A vegetarian diet is recommended for the reduction of the prostate cancer. Frequent ejaculation has been scientifically proved to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer does not itself causes symptoms. However, similar diseases such as begin prostate hyperplasia, as a consequence of the prostate cancer, results to symptoms such as difficulty in urination, difficulty in maintaining a steady stream of urine during urination and the presence of blood in the urine. Prostate gland is associated with the decline is sexual performance, as a result, of the urinary dysfunction. Men with an advanced form of prostate cancer have difficulty in maintaining a steady erection, or altogether have a painful erection. Prostate cancer at its final stages of development makes the patient experience back pain especially in the vertebra and in the ribs. At this stage step, the prostate cancer may spread to the femur bones, and the spine is making the legs weak and unable to support the entire body properly. Severe symptoms such as urinary and fecal incontinence may also accompany this late stage.
The potency of prostate cancer can be reduced by early detection. More females are tested for ovarian cancer than men are tested for prostate cancer. Frequent testing is important for those who have relatives with prostate cancer. American cancer society argues that the benefits of testing outweigh the harms that are encountered in the process. Men have been reported to dread the biopsy testing because of its invasive nature.
People with cancer have reported inferior treatment in the society. The societal attitude towards the disease is skewed towards negativity making it difficult to encourage people to go for screening. Those advanced in age are likely to suffer from prostate cancer. The only way to reduce the deaths relating to prostate cancer is early diagnosis and treatment.
Oncologists are working on a new form of hormone therapy that is expected to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The new method is meant to combine chemotherapy and hormone therapy with the prime aim of breaking the five year survival barrier and increase longevity. As the world waits with bated breath for the discovery for a cure for cancer, with the advancement in technology is possible to concede that a medical breakthrough is in the offing.
Amin, Mahul. Gleason Grading of Prostate Cancer: A Contemporary Approach. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010.
Gulley, James. Prostate Cancer. New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2011.
Lamm, Steven, Herbert Lepor and Dan Sperling. Redefining Prostate Cancer: An Innovative Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Spry Publishing LLC, 2013.