Prostate cancer is a killer disease that affects only men since they have prostate glands unlike women (Ellsworth, 2012). It is generally regarded as one of the most common types of cancer witnessed among men. Although it was originally viewed as a disease for older men, prostate cancer is today common among middle-aged men. Incidentally, how a person lives during the early days of his or her life can increase the risk of being affected by prostate cancer later in life.
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Given that the field of prostate cancer is constantly changing, several resources exist to assist interested parties with vital information for improved management of the disease. This paper seeks to explain the biology of prostate cancer. It describes the nature and causes of the disease, signs, and symptoms, forms of treatment and prevention, and associated laboratory tests.
Description of the Nature and Causes of the Disease
Prostate cancer is an aggressive growth of malignant cancerous cells in the prostate that can be fatal. According to Mason & Moffat (2010), the prostate is a gland that is found immediately below the bladder in men and is not found in women. It is connected to the human reproductive system and produces substances in the body that help in nourishing the sperm in semen. Seminal vesicles placed alongside the prostate produce substances like sugars that feed the sperm and activate them before ejaculation.
Two things can be examined about the prostate. First, the size of the prostate and second the consistency of the prostate (Mason & Moffat, 2010). The consistency of the prostate can sometimes be an indication of cancer. Prostate cancer sets in as a result of benign enlargement of the prostate.
Description of the Signs and Symptoms
Generally, the diagnosis of prostate cancer occurs from routine annual screening, before any physical signs can be detected. According to Cheuck and Kim (2016), it is generally important to ensure that prostate cancer screening is done in good time for effective management of the condition. During its early stages, prostate cancer may show no signs or symptoms (Rockefeller, 2015). However, the affected person starts to experience several problems with time. They include but are not limited to urination problems, pain during ejaculation, contaminated semen, and pain in the bones.
While these are some of the signs and symptoms that are commonly associated with prostate cancer, it is advisable to consult a doctor whenever one experiences any strange symptoms to rule out the possibility of prostate cancer (Rockefeller, 2015). Also, prostate cancer can lead to other health complications if not detected and treated in good time. Cancer may metastasize and spread to body organs that are nearby such as the bladder. Cancer can enter the bloodstream and spread to the bones.
List of the Laboratory Tests
Two popular tests of prostate cancer are digital rectal exam (DRE) and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). As noted by Rockefeller (2015), not everyone agrees on the benefits of screening for men who have no symptoms of cancer. This notwithstanding, it is advisable to go for regular screening after the age of 50 or if one notices any of the symptoms of prostate cancer mentioned earlier. Drawing from the study by Cheuck and Kim (2016), PSA testing combined with DRE is useful in the detection of prostate cancer during its early stages.
Another common test is a biopsy and histologic examination. Histopathology is the assessment of a biopsy or surgical sample by a pathologist. Biopsy and histologic examination are very helpful in diagnosing prostate cancer and especially to determine the Gleason score. A biopsy test can also help to make a distinction between a cyst and foci.
How Immunohistochemistry Stains help in Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
Immunohistochemical (IHC) stains are mainly used to help in diagnosing prostate adenocarcinoma (Kristiansen & Epstein, 2014). It is especially very useful in the diagnosis of limited primary prostate carcinoma. The use of IHC in the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma is very common in uropathology (Leite et al., 2010). However, the chances of patients being over-treated are extremely high.
Description of Appropriate Forms of Treatment and Prevention of Prostate Cancer
The treatment of prostate cancer starts with an individual taking the right diet. Regular exercise, being fit, and sticking to a healthy lifestyle are vital ingredients that help to prevent prostate cancer (Mason & Moffat, 2010). Based on an individual’s health status, the options for the treatment of cancer include active surveillance. It is important for one to carefully monitor his health condition as a prostate cancer patient.
As discussed in this paper, prostate cancer is among the deadly diseases in the world today. Unless carefully diagnosed in good time, prostate cancer can become very destructive and difficult to manage. It is thus imperative to have an early screening. If prevention fails, treatment should be administered and carefully monitored to ensure success.
Cheuck, L. & Kim, E. (2016). Prostate cancer diagnosis and staging. Web.
Ellsworth, P. (2012). 100 questions & answers about prostate cancer. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Kristiansen, G. & Epstein, J. (2014). Immunohistochemistry in prostate pathology. Web.
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Leite, K., Srougi, M., Sanudo, A., Dall’oglio, M., Nesrallah, A., Antunes, A., … Camara-Lopes, L. (2010). The use of immunohistochemistry for diagnosis of prostate cancer. International Brazilian Journal of Urology, 36(5): 583 – 590.
Mason, M. & Moffat, L. (2010). Prostate cancer. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.
Rockefeller, J.D. (2015). A guide to surviving prostate cancer. New York: J.D. Rockefeller.