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Prostate Cancer: Symptoms & Treatment

Detection, Diagnosis and Staging of Prostate Cancer

Nearly ninety-percent over prostate cancer cases are detected while the tumor is still confined within the prostate itself, or within its immediate environment. The good news is that almost one-hundred percent of all men who are diagnosed at this stage of prostate cancer can be cured of this disease after receiving treatment. Unfortunately, men who are in this very early stage of prostate cancer do not exhibit signs or symptoms of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is usually detected through a blood test called the PSA or, 'Prostate-Specific Antigen,' test, or through a digital rectal exam (DRE).

In order to make a diagnosis of prostate cancer, a biopsy must be done of the prostate itself. The cells taken from the biopsy are then examined, and additional imaging tests are done that help doctors to make a diagnosis. The testing results also help the doctor to determine the stage the prostate cancer is at.

Treating Prostate Cancer

When Prostate Cancer is in the early stage, it is many times treated with active surveillance, or possibly surgery, and perhaps radiation treatment. While pursuing active surveillance doctors monitor the cancer closely through regular PSA blood testing and additional examinations until making a decision to treat the prostate cancer with surgery or radiation treatment. If a prostatectomy is performed, the prostate itself and the tissue surrounding it are removed surgically. The doctor may also choose to pursue radiation therapy. Should the doctor choose to pursue radiation therapy they will direct radiation at prostate cancer cells. This is done using high-intensity radiation beams, or with radiation-emitting pellets that are implanted.

Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Testosterone in men is known to promote the growth of Prostate Cancer, and for men who have advanced Prostate Cancer, hormone therapy to lower the levels of testosterone is a typical form of treatment. Chemotherapy is another form of treatment used for men with advanced Prostate Cancer. Chemotherapy helps to distribute cancer-destroying medicines throughout the body. There are also specialized therapies doctors use to target Prostate Cancer that has affected bones.

Prostate Cancer Research and the Future

The Prostate Cancer Foundation, government agencies, and biopharmaceutical companies continue to invest in research into Prostate Cancer. Due to their efforts new treatments and therapies also continue to be studied in research laboratories and through clinical trials throughout the nation.

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