Prostate cancer is the most common malignant cancer in men. About 15 percent of men in Germany develop clinically prominent prostate cancer in the course of their lives. In contrast to its frequency, however, the disease is less well known to the public than, for example, lung or colon cancer.
This article serves to inform men as well as women about the disease pattern of prostate cancer. Special focus is on treatment. The prevention of the disease.
If you have any further questions about prostate cancer, please contact your general practitioner or. Your family doctor or a urological practice to the side.
Prostate cancer – definition
Prostate carcinoma describes the
malignant degeneration, i.e. cancer, of the prostate gland to be. The prostate gland itself is also called Prostate gland called. It is one of the male sex glands and produces a fluid that is released into the ejaculate during ejaculation.
Note: For better understanding, this article refers exclusively to men. However, it should be noted that transsexual women, regardless of whether surgical gender reassignment has taken place, also have a prostate and can be affected by prostate cancer. Although the prostate reduces in size due to the supply of female sex hormones, it can also degenerate.
Prostate cancer symptoms
Like many cancers, prostate cancer requires a asymptomatic for a long time. These symptoms are not specific for the presence of prostate cancer. Can also be signs of other diseases. If you have any doubts, always consult your family doctor. They can help you and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist practice.
You can find more information about the different types of cancer in our Review article on the types of cancer.
The diagnosis of a prostate carcinoma
The early detection of prostate cancer is difficult. It is often diagnosed as an incidental finding during a screening examination.
As part of prostate screening (see below), the doctor can perform a digital-rectal examination perform and in the blood the PSA value determine. "PSA" stands for "prostate specific antigen" and is an enzyme secreted by the prostate alone.
If abnormalities are found during these prostate examinations, an Biopsy of the prostate carried out. In this case, a tie sample of the prostate is taken under local anesthesia. This sample is examined microscopically for the presence of cancer. If there are further doubts, an additional MRI can be performed.
If prostate cancer is indeed present, the next step is to determine its severity and extent. This is done by imaging and, if necessary, the removal of lymph nodes.
Treatment of cancer of the prostate
In therapy, a distinction is made between two types:
The treatment of non-metastatic prostate cancer
Nowadays there are several options for therapy. Which one is right for you depends on the type and stage of your cancer and also on your personal wishes.
For non-metastatic prostate cancer can be treated either by prostate surgery, which Radical prostatectomy, can be performed to remove the prostate gland. Alternatively, the tumor irradiated become. Both options are of equal value, so that you can usually choose one or the other after thorough consultation.
If your family planning has not yet been completed, you should keep in mind that prostate surgery may be an option in radical prostatectomy always leads to long-term infertility, as the vas deferens are cut. This will be done by the doctor or. however, the physician will inform the patient during the consultation.
The treatment of metastatic prostate cancer
If the cancer is more advanced and has already metastasized, it can be, unfortunately, it is usually no longer possible to remove the cancer. In this case a palliative treatment be carried out. In addition, there is the possibility of a Hormone therapy, possibly. combined with a Chemotherapy, to slow the progression of the cancer. The goal is to relieve pain caused by metastases and to maintain the quality of life as good as possible.
In the case of diagnoses at an advanced age and/or severe concomitant diseases, there is also the possibility of waiting under close monitoring ("Watchful Waiting"). The cancer is checked by a doctor at intervals of a few months. If it continues to grow, therapy is started. However, if its size hardly changes, one can continue to wait. The goal is to avoid the stress of possibly unnecessary therapy. However, the risk of missing a progression of the cancer.
In addition to all this, the Psycho-oncology as with all cancers, an important role. Do not hesitate to seek psychological help if you feel you need mental support. Also Support groups can provide important support.
Articles worth knowing about the different forms of cancer:
Black skin cancer
White skin cancer
Life expectancy with prostate cancer
How long one can live with prostate cancer depends largely on the stage and course of the disease. No medical professional can predict the exact course of an individual's cancer.
If the cancer is detected and treated at a very early stage, chances are good that a long life will be possible after treatment is completed.
In the case of more advanced prostate cancer, the further prognosis after the first therapy depends largely on how well the treatment works and whether the cancer starts to grow again.
If numerous metastases have already formed in other organs, a cure is no longer possible. It is not possible to make a general statement about how long the affected person will live afterwards. Depending on the location and extent of the metastases, the time period can be short or still be many years.
How you can prevent prostate cancer
Unfortunately, efficient prevention of prostate cancer is very difficult. The main risk factor is the older age. In addition familial accumulation. Both are factors that cannot be influenced.
The only way of early detection is Urological screening. Every man over the age of 45 can have these examinations free of charge every year in a urological practice of his choice.
In the context of digital-rectal examination The doctor assesses the. the doctor the surface texture and consistency of the prostate gland. However, harmless causes can also change the structure of the prostate gland.
As an IGeL service, the following can also be provided PSA value in the blood can be determined. However, this value should be interpreted with caution: Apart from cancer, any manipulation of the prostate or even inflammation (prostatitis), can cause the PSA value to rise. This can already be the case, for example, if you have come to the doctor's office by bicycle or if the digital-rectal examination takes place before the blood sample is taken. If the PSA value is elevated, however, a clarification should always be made.
Both examinations are susceptible to interference. Therefore, only a biopsy can provide an exact diagnosis. Sometimes further prostate examinations are necessary.
Visit a urology practice for any abnormalities in urination and/or sexual function. If shame makes you hesitant about going to the doctor, someone you know may be able to recommend a competent, empathetic health care provider.
As with all cancers, screening for cancer of the prostate also includes a as healthy a lifestyle as possible is recommended. This includes a balanced Nutrition with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain products, moderate meat consumption and little fast food. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation at best. Moderate physical exercise as well as relaxation. Stress prevention is also part of a healthy lifestyle.