Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, with an estimated 1.1 million new cases diagnosed annually. With approximately 307,000 deaths occurring annually, prostate cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in men worldwide.. The number of prostate cancer diagnoses is increasing, probably as a result of the overall increase in life expectancy.
The causes of prostate cancer are unknown. There may be a hereditary disposition, for the risk is greater when one's father or brother has had a tumor. The risk of contracting the disease also increases with age. Men hardly ever contract prostate cancer before the age of fifty.
The prostate gland is an inconspicuous organ the size of a walnut. Its primary function is to produce seminal fluid, which transports the male's semen through the urethra. The prostate is also where the vas deferens and the ureter meet.
Detecting Prostate Cancer
A higher-than-normal concentration of a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA) can be the first sign of malignant disease in the prostate.
Problems, and especially pain, during urination or ejaculation should also be taken seriously. The same applies to a frequent urge to urinate or an inability to empty the bladder completely, as well as blood in the semen or urine. Even so, many of these symptoms are by no means definite indicators of cancer. They may also be caused by infections or by a benign enlargement of the prostate. A precise diagnosis can be made by a urologist.
Treating Prostate Cancer
There are more therapeutic options available to treat prostate cancer that has been diagnosed early. These treatments range from surgery to radiation treatment to therapy using hormone-receptor antagonists, i.e. substances that stop the formation of testosterone or prevent its effect at the target location. These treatments can help stop or slow the growth of prostate carcinomas.
Sometimes, the above-mentioned therapies are combined.
If the tumor has already reached an advanced stage, there is no definitive cure. This disease state is known as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This advanced form of prostate cancer is characterized by persistent, high-level androgen receptor (AR) function and resistance to conventional anti-androgens. The field of treatment options for castration-resistant patients is evolving rapidly. There is no standard treatment for CRPC patients who have rising Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels during androgen-deprivation therapy and no detectable metastases. In men with progressive non-metastatic CRPC, a short PSA doubling time has been consistently associated with reduced time to first metastasis and death.
A majority of men with CRPC have symptomatic bone metastases resulting in pain, skeletal events such as fractures or spinal cord compression, and/or reduced survival. In fact, bone metastases lead to an increased risk of morbidity and death in patients with CRPC.
Advice for patients
Each body reacts differently to medicines. Therefore it is impossible to tell which medicine works best for you. Please consult your physician.