The disease Cancer occurs when the cellular DNA undergoes a genetic mutation transformation. It begins with a clone formation, which quickly proliferates at an alarming rate in the system. These cells grow and begin to acquire characteristics that are invasive and penetrate the surrounding tissues. In other words, malignant neoplasms are the term used for these cells that grow rapidly without any physiologic necessity.
Prostate Cancer is one that begins in the prostate gland. This is located just below the male bladder, which produced seminal fluid. This cancer may slowly spread to other areas in the body such as the lymph nodes and bones. A patient may feel pain and difficulty in urinating. He may even begin to suffer from extreme discomfort, when performing sex or end up with erectile dysfunction. Men above the age of 50 normally are liable to get this type of cancer. There is no record of why this type of cancer is caused. According to the 2004 American Cancer Society records, Prostate cancer proves to be the 2nd prominent cause of death for people in the United States.
Grading and Staging
It is necessary to systematically approach the treatment with a thorough diagnosis. This helps to identify and evaluate the grade and stage of the condition. Once this is done, it forms the baseline for subsequent treatment evaluation data.
During the process of Staging, it is possible to determine the size of the cancer as well as check out the metastasis present. The system adopted is TNM, (Green et.al 2002) where “T” refers to the actual size, “N” determines the involvement of the lymph node and “M” indicates the level of metastasis in the tumor.
The Grading process helps to define from which type of tissues the tumor emanated. Numeric values are assigned to the tumor, ranging from I to IV. The Grade I tumor looks almost like the original tissue in function and structure and generally referred to as the “well-differentiated” tumor. Grade IV tumors are those that are termed “poorly different” as they do not look like the original tissue in function or structure. At this stage, the tumors do not respond well to any treatment and tend to flare up quite a bit.
Symptom and Signs
There are no symptoms in the early stage of prostate cancer. Initially, it resembles the same symptoms of BHP (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). The patient feels the need to urinate frequently at night, especially and finds it difficult to start urinating in a steady stream. There may be blood in the urine, which makes it painful. The only way to confirm this is to perform a biopsy and sent it for diagnosis.
The chances of a prostate cancer patient surviving the disease are based on the survival rate, which cannot be specified in terms of time. There is no way of indicating what will happen next but they can only make presumptions based on how the medication has worked for other patients under the same circumstances. The family of the patient can decide on a course of action for treatment, or just resort to sedative and painkillers.
This type of cancer occurs in men, who have crossed 50 years of age. The prostate tissue begins to overgrow in some cases, as men advance in years. Most often, this excessive tissue growth is found to be benign, though in some cases it succumbs to cancerous cells that grow and cause the cancer. A patient may be imagine his health to be perfect until he suddenly finds it painful and difficult to urinate or suffers from erectile dysfunction.
In comparison to other types of cancer, the rate of survival for prostate cancer patients are high. Today, about 3% of men fall prey to this disease in the United States. Statistics reveal that men with Prostate cancer survival rate of 5 years is 100%, 10 years is 92% and 15 years if 91%. This is largely due to the fact that early detection helps to localize the cancer and prevent it from spreading to the nearby areas in nearly 91% of the cases in the United States.
The Grading System forms the base for treatment and prognosis. The Gleason system allocates grades from 1-10, taking into consideration the number of cancerous cells present, which look like normal tissue. Of this, one can consider 2-4 to be low grade, 5-7 to be intermediate grade and 8-10 is generally high grade. The cancer spreads quickly as the grade increases.
If the cancer happens to breach the prostatic capsule, then the survival rate for patients suffering is very low. Only about 32% can hope to survive for about 5 years, while 46% of those who suffer from metastatic prostate disease die within 22 months of being diagnosed.
This type of cancer generally progresses slowly and is quite commonly found in developed countries. This could probably be attributed to the fact that men fall prey to many other sicknesses much before the prostate cancer can grow to the point, where it can be life threatening.