What Causes An Enlarged Painful Prostate In A 25-Yr-Old Male Prostate Cancer – Symptoms and Diagnosis

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Prostate Cancer – Symptoms and Diagnosis

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and second only to lung cancer in cancer-related deaths among men in the United States. Sometimes this cancer can be small, slow growing and present a limited risk to the patient while at other times it can progress quickly presenting great health risks. However, when prostate cancer is detected in its early stages, it can be effectively treated and cured.

Symptoms and Early Detection

In its early stages, prostate cancer often causes no symptoms. When initial symptoms occur, they may include any of the following: a need to urinate frequently, especially at night; difficulty starting to urinate or retaining urine; inability to urinate; and weak or interrupted flow of urine. If prostate cancer develops and is not treated, it may further cause the following symptoms: painful or burning urination; difficulty having an erection; painful ejaculation; blood in urine or semen; loss of appetite and/or weight; and pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

In general, the earlier prostate cancer is detected, the better the patient’s outlook for cure or halting the cancer’s progression. The age at which screening for prostate cancer should begin is not known with certainty. However, the American Urological Association recommends that healthy men over the age of 40 consider getting a baseline prostate cancer screening with a DRE and PSA test.

Doctors use the following tests to detect prostate abnormalities, but these tests cannot definitively show whether the abnormalities are cancerous or from a less serious condition. However, the results of these tests will help the doctors to decide if further checks are necessary to detect the presence of prostate cancer.

Digital Direct Examination (DRE)

The DRE is the simplest, safest and most cost-effective means of detecting prostate cancer, as long as the tumor is located posteriorly and is large enough to be felt. The DRE is performed with the man either bending over, lying on his side or with his knees pulled up to his chest on the exam table. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and examines the prostate gland, noting any abnormalities in size, contour or consistency. In addition to providing information about the size of the prostate, a DRE can also reveal a number of features that may indicate prostate cancer. However, DRE is not the most effective way to detect early cancer, so it should be combined with a PSA test.

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

PSA is a glycoprotein responsible for liquefying sperm. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the bloodstream, as it is only produced by the prostate. Very little PSA can escape from a healthy prostate into the bloodstream, but certain prostate conditions such as benign (non-cancerous) prostate enlargement (BPH) and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) can cause larger amounts of PSA to leak into the prostate. . blood

About 25% of men with PSA levels above the normal range (greater than or equal to 4 ng/mL) have prostate cancer, and the risk increases to more than 60% in men with PSA levels above 10 ng/mL. It is worth noting, however, that PSA is by no means a perfect test, as many men with slightly elevated PSA values ​​do not necessarily have prostate cancer.

Of the two procedures, PSA is the single most effective screening test for early detection because it is able to detect more than twice as many prostate cancers as DRE. However, evidence from research studies suggests that it is better to combine both testing procedures to improve the overall rate of detection.

Biopsy and Staging of Prostate Cancer

If initial tests show that prostate cancer might be present, the doctor may order additional tests, including ultrasound and x-rays, to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. To actually confirm the presence of cancer, doctors must perform a prostate biopsy. The biopsy tissue taken will be examined by a pathologist. The pathologist will be able to confirm whether cancer is present and if present will also be able to grade the tumor to determine its degree of aggressiveness – how quickly it is likely to grow and spread. Doctors describe a tumor as low-, medium-, or high-grade cancer, based on the way it appears under the microscope.

If cancer is found in the prostate through a prostate biopsy, then it is necessary for the doctor to stage the disease to determine the extent of the cancer (ie, the “T” stage) and whether it has spread beyond the prostate gland to the surrounding tissues, the seminal vesicles, the lymph nodes and/or the bones. The T stage is determined by the DRE and other imaging studies of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues, such as an ultrasound scan, CT scan, MRI scan or MR spectroscopy scan.

Advised, early detection and risk assessment should be offered to men 40 years of age or older who wish to be screened. Knowing a man’s baseline PSA values ​​in his 40s to compare with future PSA tests could help identify those men with life-threatening prostate cancer at a time when there are many treatment options and a cure is possible. Also, if prostate cancer is detected on biopsy, all treatment options should be discussed. The benefits and risks of the many treatment options should be reviewed and discussed with men found to have prostate cancer.

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