What Is Prostrate Cancer Treatment And Surgery?
An abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland in males is known as prostate cancer. Prostate gland in the male reproductive system is responsible for the production of seminal fluid required for the transport of sperms. Cancer in the prostate can occur in the middle aged as well as older aged men. A host of diagnostic elements inclusive of the screening as well as many treatment modalities are available for the cancer of the prostrate.
Causes Of Prostate Cancer:
The exact element that leads to an over production of cells in the prostate gland remains unknown. A lot of factors may contribute to the development of cancer such as:
- Genetic history: If the cancer runs in the males in the same family, an extended one or a distant family, chances of the off springs getting cancer is increased
- Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption can also act as a stimulus for prostate cance
- Obesity may also trigger prostate gland cancer
Signs and Symptoms of Prostrate Cancer:
- A frequent urge to urinate
- Painful urination
- Blood in urine
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blood in semen
- Difficulty in producing semen
- Pain and discomfort in the lower abdominal region
Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer:
- Digital rectal examination DRE: In this examination, the urologist or the andrologist inserts index finger into the anal canal of the patient. The prostate gland which lies adjacent to the rectum can be palpated with the help of indexed finger. Any sign of tenderness, inflammation, bleeding if present is recorded and further tests are run. DRE is the basic diagnostic examination which can also be used to screen men for cancer of the prostate.
- Prostate specific antigen test PSA: A prostate specific antigen is always present in the blood stream in small amounts, produced by the prostate gland itself. If this levels shoots up in the blood stream on examination of blood samples, it can be co-related with infections or cancer of the prostate gland. However, it not a confirmatory test for cancer and further tests are required to confirm the cancer.
- Ultrasound: USG of the pelvic region would help in the location of the prostate gland along with the cancer growth it is carrying. An ill defined radiolucent area or areas of cancer can be detected with the help of USG. The adjacent lymph nodes affected with the cancer may or may not be well appreciated with the USG.
- Magnetic resonance imaging MRI: A magnetic resonance imaging focuses on the soft tissues in the pelvic region. The major areas of interest are the prostate gland and the lymph nodes. It also needs to seen whether the cancer has become aggressive and affected the urinary bladder, penis tissues, liver or lungs.
- Computerized imaging technique CT scan: For prostate cancers that have become aggressive and invaded the adjacent bone and other soft tissues, a CT scan becomes mandatory to be diagnosed. The lumbar and sacral vertebrae may become involved in the cancer leading to damage to the nerves. This can manifest in the form of nerve compressions or tingling sensations in the extremities. Cancer may also spread to parts of the pelvic bone.
- Positron emission tomography PET: This is a highly advanced diagnostic procedure in which a radioactive marker or dye in injected into the pelvic region close to the gland. X rays are then taken into succession of the pelvic region. The cancer cells have a tendency to absorb the dye and thus appear well on the radiographic film. In this manner, the exact location of the cancer, number of cancer masses, edges of the cancer mass or masses can be defined.
- Biopsy: A small mass of the prostate gland is excised surgically and studies in the labs to understand the nature and type of cancer cells. This helps in choosing the appropriate treatment plan for the cancer.
Types of Prostate Cancer:
Getting into the histology of the prostate gland, it is majorly composed of basal and luminal cells. Thus cancer of the prostate can be of either basal type or that affecting the luminal cells.
A general classification of cancer of the prostate can also be as follows:
- Acinar adenocarcinoma: This is the most common type of cancer of the prostate. It occurs in the lining of the gland
- Ductal adenocarcinoma: This occurs in the lining epithelium of the ducts in the gland.
- Transitional cell carcinoma: This occurs in the cells that line the tube carrying urine to the urethra.
- Squamous cell cancer: These develop in the luminal parts of the gland.
- Small cell prostate cancer: This is neuroendocrine in nature.
Treatment Procedures For Prostate Cancer:
Some men with prostate cancers may never need any active sort of treatment. Such types of cancers are only present in the gland and present with no cancerous symptoms. In such cases, a regular monitoring is all that is required. Once the cancer symptoms appear, next treatment approach should be planned. Regular monitoring will include:
- A timely check up with the urologist or the andrologist where a DRE is performed
- PSA blood levels checked once every year
- USG of the pelvic area to keep a check on the cancer growth
Hormone therapy: A hormone therapy aims at cessation of the male reproductive hormone called testosterone. This hormone is required for the growth of tissues and cells in the prostate gland. Once this hormone becomes unavailable, the cancer cells stop their growth or die over a period of time. This can be done in various manners as follows:
- Medications which will help in stopping the production of testosterone in the male system
- Medications which will help in stopping testosterone from reaching the cancer cells
- Orchiectomy: It is the removal of testes which are responsible for the production of testosterone. Once the testes are removed, the production of the hormone stops.
Radiation therapy: This method makes use of high energy particles or protons to kill the cancer cells. These are of two types as follows:
- External beam radiation: In this method, the patient lies on a table and a beam of electrons or protons from a tube of radiation machine revolves around the patient projecting the beam on to the prostate gland.
- Brachytherapy: In this method, small pellets of radioactive materials are injected into the prostate gland of the male affected with cancer. This is done with the help of a long tubular needle and multiple USG images are taken to guide the needle and eventually check for the pellets. These pellets keep emitting radiations and killing the cancer cells when present within the gland. They get depleted on their own once the radiation they emit has been depleted. It does not require an additional surgical process to remove the pellets.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy procedure involves administration of a combination of anti cancer drugs in order to bring about death of the cancer cells. These medications are lethal to the cancer cells since they block the oxygen containing environment for these cells, along with reducing the supply of nutrients the cells may require to grow.
Immunotherapy/Biological therapy: Biological therapy (immunotherapy) uses the bodys immune system to fight cancer cells. One type of biological therapy called sipuleucel-T (Provenge) has been developed to treat advanced, recurrent prostate cancer. This treatment takes some of your own immune cells, genetically engineers them in a laboratory to fight prostate cancer, then injects the cells back into your body through a vein. Some men do respond to this therapy with some improvement in their cancer, but the treatment is very expensive and requires multiple treatments.
Radical prostatectomy: It is the procedure of removal of the prostate gland along with the adjacent lymph nodes involved. Surrounding tissues to which the cancer must have spread are also excised. This procedure can be done in the following three ways:
- Conventional method: This method comprises of the routine incisions made in the abdominal region with scalpels an surgical knives and removal of the gland with the lymph nodes along with the required surgical armamentarium. It also involves the general suturing techniques to close the wound.
- Laser assisted method: This is a bloodless technique to remove the gland where incisions and sutures are done with the help of lasers. This can also be called as a minimally invasive method of removing the prostate gland.
- Robot assisted method: Quite an advanced technique recently introduced in the field of surgery, this makes use of machines operated by the surgeon from a distance. These machines are programmed to carry out the surgery under the supervision of the doctor. For such a type of procedure, the surgeon may or may not be present at the time of operation, he or she can always guide and monitor the machine from a distance
- Cryosurgery: In this method, multiple small needles are inserted into the lower abdominal region with the guidance of ultrasound imaging. A cold gas is made to pass through the needles which results in the freezing of the cancer as well a minority of adjacent cells. A second type of gas is also passed which causes reheating of the cancer cells and tissues. These alternate cycles of freezing and reheating cause death of the cancer cells.
Complications And Risk Factors Associated With Prostate Cancer:
- Advancing age is major contributing factor in prostate cancer. The more the age of men, the more are the chances of acquiring prostate cancer
- Lack of exercises, obesity also add to risk factors for the cancer
- Smoking and alcohol consumption are the major triggering causes for prostate cancer
- Uncontrolled hypertension, asthma and diabetes pose a risk at the time of surgery on the operation table
- Radiation and chemotherapy may lead to loss of hair, soreness in the throat, dryness in the skin
- Infections can occur at the site of sutures, scars may also be seen
Am I Good Candidate for Prostate Cancer treatment:
If you feel you fit into any of the following criteria, you can consider yourself an apt case for moving ahead with prostate cancer treatment:
- Tremendous pain and discomfort in the lower abdominal region
- Extreme painful urination
- Blood in urine and seminal fluid
- Pain in the lower back region
If surgery is the choice of treatment, it will take approximately 8 to 10 ten days to heal majorly. A hospital stay of 3 to 5 days is sufficient. However the catheter can only be removed after ten days.
A prostate cancer has a cent percent survival rate for men in all groups. The most aggressive types of prostate cancers which invade the adjacent tissues have survival a low survival rate of 2 to 3 years making the overall approach ob=nly 30 percent successful.
Benefits Of Prostate Cancer Treatment And Surgery:
A prostate cancer treatment at the correct time will benefit you in the following ways:
- Maintain the integrity of the male reproductive system
- Prevent the invasion of the cancer into the adjacent tissues
- Relieve you from the pain and distress in the pelvic region
Cost Comparisons For Prostate Cancer Treatment And Surgery:
- Surgical procedures done for prostate cancer with or without radiation or chemotherapy are quite cost effective in India.
- The range goes fairly similar for the surgical treatment only in the UK with added quotations for the radiation and chemotherapy
- A single cycle of radiation or chemotherapy in the US would cost you around the same price as that of a surgical management in India
Why choose India:
India is one of the leading countries in the world with a varied range of diagnostic as well as treatment approaches to a host of human diseases. Team MedcureIndia lies in the forefront in the group of Indian medical tourism platforms providing the best care and treatment results for all types of pathologies, inclusive of various types of cancers, prostate cancer in particular.