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August 31, 2008

Just wrong to cut back on prostate cancer screening

Just wrong to cut back on prostate cancer screening

Houston Chronicle, United States

Rates of death from prostate cancer and rates of diagnosis at advanced stages have decreased markedly since testing became widespread. ...

Source : google news

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August 29, 2008

Awareness About Your Prostate Health

Awareness About Your Prostate Health
Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases known to man. Besides, if a doctor tells you that you have cancer, you would definitely feel depressed and frustrated. It is a fact that many people have died from cancer. Being the second-largest killer in the United States, you should always be aware of your health.

You can never blame people who overreact about their health. Besides, with cancer growing to be the biggest killer disease in the world, who wouldn't be concerned about their health status?

One kind of the most common kinds of cancer that affects the male population in the United States is called the prostate cancer. This type of cancer is a cancer that develops in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer develops when the cells in the prostate gland mutates and multiplies. Usually, prostate cancer can be treated effectively and easily if it is detected on its early stages when the cancer has not spread throughout the rest of the body. However, treatment becomes difficult if the cancer reaches advanced stages where it will likely spread to various parts of the body. For treating advanced stages of cancer, you will go through the treatment called chemotherapy.

This is why the male population in the United States is getting more and more aware of the fact that it is important to know about their current prostate health condition. By detecting the cancer on its early stages, you will have a greater chance of recovery.

To know if you have prostate cancer, you should know about the signs and symptoms that is associated with it. First of all, prostate cancer develops at a very slow rate. Because of this, symptoms may not be felt on its early stages. This is why it is important that you should often be updated about your current prostate health. The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can be felt on the advanced stages of the disease.

However, there are cases where symptoms can be felt during the early stages of the cancer. The symptoms may be similar to other prostate diseases, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy. The symptoms of prostate cancer may include increased urination especially during the night, difficulty starting and maintaining steady stream of urine, blood is often found when urinating, and painful urination.

Prostate cancer will also cause problems to your sexual functions, such as painful ejaculation and difficulty in achieving or maintaining erection.

In advanced prostate cancer, you will feel additional symptoms. Because the cancer has spread throughout your body, you will feel bone pain especially in the vertebrae, pelvis and ribs. Prostate cancer that has spread to your spine can also compress the spinal cord which can cause leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence.

Today, there are various treatments for cancer. With the combined awareness about the prostate health in the United States, death because of prostate cancer has decreased. However, this does not mean that you shouldn't worry about getting prostate cancer anymore. You have to consider that you should get your regular prostate check-up in order to detect any irregularities in your prostate that may be cancerous.

Always remember that with early detection of prostate cancer, you will have a greater chance of fully recovering from the cancer. If you let the cancer develop into its advanced stages, treatment will be more difficult and your chances of recovering from the disease will decline.

You can find out more information on Prostate Cnacer by visiting http://www.prostate-cancer-101.com

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August 27, 2008

Diseases Of The Prostate Gland

Diseases Of The Prostate Gland
Prostate is a glandular organ present only in males. It surrounds the neck of bladder and the first part of urethra and contributes a secretion to the semen. The gland is conical in shape and measures 3 cm in vertical diameter and 4 cm in transverse diameter.

Common Diseases of the prostate glands are:

Prostatitis: This is the inflammation of the prostate gland due to bacterial infection.
Benign enlargement of the prostate: This is a non cancerous tumor of the prostate seen after the age of 50.
Cancer of the prostate: This is the 4th most common cause of death from malignant diseases in males.

Prostate Cancer: Prostate Cancer is directly linked with the male sex hormones - Androgens. If the levels of sex hormone increases the growth rate of cancer also increases. It is found that after the removal of testes there is marked reduction in the size of tumor. Prostate cancer is mainly found in the posterior lobe. The gland becomes hard with irregular surface with loss of normal lobulation. Histologically prostate cancer is an adenocarcinoma.

Growth of Prostate Cancer: Growth rate is very fast in prostate cancer. The tumor compresses the urethra and produce difficulty in urination. Metastasis in cancer of prostate is very early. From the posterior lobe the cancer cells go to the lateral lobes and seminal vesicles. Tumor cells also move to the neck and base of the urinary bladder. Cancer cells reach the internal and external illiac group of lymph nodes through the lymph vessels. From there cells move to retroperitoneal (Behind the peritoneum) and mediastinal lymph nodes (in the chest). Spreading of cancer cells take place through the periprostatic venous plexus and reaches the vertebral veins while coughing and sneezing and finally enders the vertebral bodies of the lumbar vertebrae.

Signs and symptoms depend upon the stage of the cancer. The following symptoms may be seen:

No symptoms: Tumor is small and only in the posterior lobe. This is diagnosed accidentally.

Slight difficulty in urination: Here the tumor is enlarged and urethra is slightly compressed. Shortly there will be frequent urge for urination with difficult urination. When the tumor spread to all nearby areas including neck of bladder and urethra there will be painful urination with bleeding. Urine may come out drop by drop.

Retention of urine: When the urethra is completely compressed there will be retention of the urine. This can may lead to hydronephrosis, renal failure etc. In this condition patient may get convulsions due to renal failure and finally to coma.

More Prostate Cancer Articles are published at Cancer Article Directory. Consultation with a qualified medical practitioner is highly recommended. This article is for information purpose only.

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August 24, 2008

Living With Prostate Cancer

Living With Prostate Cancer
The baby boomer population bubble has now reached 60 years old. This means that many of us are going to need to face illness and diseases that come with surviving six decades. Prostate cancer is one such disease that is expected to grow in number over the next few decades.

Statistically 180,000 new prostate cancer cases are being diagnosed in the United States every year with about 32,000 men dying from this disease annually. Although these are the statistics that are used, the fact is that many of these men will will die and not from the actual prostate cancer, but from allowing the cancerous condition to grow until it is unmanageable. This is due to the fact that prostate cancer can metastasize or move from the prostate area and infect organs, bones and lymph nodes.

This should cause every man to pause and realize that prostate cancer is a serious disease that if given the chance will kill you. It is now the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States after lung cancer. In Canada about 17,000 males are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and about 4,200 die each year from the disease.

The sad fact is that many of these deaths are avoidable. As with many cancerous diseases, early detection is the key to effective treatment and even cure. Prostate cancer is diagnosed based upon how advanced the malignant tumor has grown. In the early stages, we have maximum flexibility in treatment options and can both manage and in many times cure this potentially deadly disease.

Diagnosis usually start with a medical history as studies have shown that heredity may be a factor with prostate cancer. Next, a DRE or digital rectal exam is done. This is a quick and simple exam where the doctor feels your prostate for any abnormal bumps, size difference or texture. In addition to a DRE, the doctor may suggest a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood Test. This blood test looks for abnormal markers that may indicate the presence of a developing cancerous situation.

There's growing evidence to suggest that a diet very rich in vitamins and nutrients can also help maintain our body's ability to ward off many serious diseases. Although the definitely not a cure for prostate cancer, the use of natural remedies to strengthen your body's immune system can only help to keep you healthy. There's no question that a low-fat diet along with appropriate vitamins and minerals can help keep you healthier and make you better able to fight off disease.

Several studies have suggested that men who had a diet rich in selenium and vitamin E. had fewer cases of prostate cancer. The kinds of foods that contain selenium include meat, grains, seafood, and some kinds of nuts. It's critical that you meet with your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet as other problems may arise. There's also some evidence to suggest that the nutrient lycopene found in tomato based products such as ketchup can provide some protection against contracting prostate cancer.

According to a study in the British Journal of Urology International, men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer who take supplemental lycopene (is found in very high amounts in tomatoes) and still get their testicles surgically removed are likely to experience less bone pain, less disease and stand more chances of living longer than those who have only had surgical removal of their testicles.

In the end, a partnership with your medical doctor is the best way to remain healthier longer. By taking some responsibility for your health, changes in your lifestyle are much easier to make

Abigail Franks writes on a variety of subjects which include family, health, and home. For more info on Living with prostate cancer visit the sites at http://www.prostate-cancer-treatment-expert.com/more_articles/prostate-cancer-support.php and http://www.prostate-cancer-treatment-expert.com

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August 23, 2008

To Prevent An Unhealthy Prostate

To Prevent An Unhealthy Prostate
The discomfort and embarrassment of a enlarge prostate affects 60% of men between the ages of 40 and 60. Up to 80% of those who are 80 years old. A enlargement of this gland puts pressure on your urethra. This results in problems when you urinate.(Increasing in a need to urinate more frequently and leaving you with a strange feeling that you haven't urinated or emptied your bladder at all.)

Zinc is an essential for prostate health. Studies have shown that taking zinc supplements reduces the size of the prostate and relieves the symptoms.(Fed Pro 35:361, 1976). Take 60 mgs of zinc a day for 6 months. You can then reduce this to 15 to 30 mgs a day.

Saw palmetto is another great source you can add to your diet. This is a herbal supplement with no side effects. 80 to 160 mgs a day would be an appropriate preventive dose. Saw palmetto has been used by the Native Americans for years.

Watch out for these symptoms:

* Frequent need to urinate.(Waking up several times a night to urinate.)

* Feeling a urgent need to urinate(this can make you feel like you are going to have a accident if you don't get to the toilet in time. And you start doing this alot.)

*A Difficulty in urinating(initial hesitation before urine starts to flow.)

*Dribbling after urinating.

*Blood in your urine.

To keep your prostate from bugging you in the prevention of a unhealthy prostate, start having alot of interaction in love making and sex. You need to keep ejaculating and you need to ejaculate frequently. If you are having a problem ejaculating properly, there are products available over on my blog to get you started. Yes, lots of love making and sex.

HINT: If one stops having orgasms, the fluid backs up and the glands become swollen. This is what is called prostate congestion(swollen glands and then pain.)

It wouldn't hurt to stay active sexually. Do something about your prostate now before its too late.

Good Day, I am a freelance writer specializing in mens health issues. I am also a personal trainer. And I do some photography as well. Any subject that I write about concerning a mans health is more knowledge for you that you need to know. And to always let you know that help is always available. http://menshealth-shane.blogspot.com

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August 16, 2008

Testing For The Presence Of Prostate Cancer

Testing For The Presence Of Prostate Cancer
About one in every six men will develop prostate cancer which, apart from skin cancer, is the number one cause of cancer deaths in men. For this reason it is vitally important for men to monitor the health of their prostate with regular testing. Some of the prostate health tests available today include:

The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). The digital rectal exam has been the benchmark of testing for both benign prostate enlargement and prostate cancer for many years and is a simple examination in which your physician can feel the prostate gland with a gloved finger to assess its size and condition.

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test. The PSA blood test was approved for use by the FDA in the mid 1980s and is now widely in use. This test looks for the presence of a prostate specific protein in the blood and it is recommended that all men over the age of 50, together with 'at risk' men over the age of 40, have an annual PSA test.

Urine Testing. Urine testing can not only check for diabetes and liver and kidney disease but can also check the condition of the prostate by looking for signs of infection in the blood.

Hyperplasia Intrvenouspyelogram (IVP). This test is a form of x-ray examination in which a dye is injected into the bloodstream and monitored as it passes through the body's vital organs. As far as the prostate is concerned this test follows the flow through the kidneys, bladder and ureter tubes which drain the kidneys and thus looks for any possible restriction caused by an enlargement of the prostrate gland interfering with the flow or urine out of the bladder.

Bladder Ultrasound. This simple non-invasive procedure which can be carried out in the doctor's office can detect whether or not the bladder is emptying fully following urination and thus whether or not an enlarged prostate is narrowing the urethra.

Prostate Ultrasound. A prostate ultrasound is useful for estimating the size of the prostate gland and is also important if further testing using a biopsy is recommended.

Uroflow. A uroflow is another very simple test in which the patient urinates into a container and the strength of the flow of urine is measured.

Cystoscopy. A cystoscopy allows the doctor to make a visual examination of the urethra and the bladder using an instrument which is inserted through the urethra.

In general your doctor will normally recommend PSA screening and will also usually carry out a digital rectal examination as these two tests together are without doubt the best way to detect the presence of possible prostate cancer or of other developing prostate problems. One or more or the other tests mentioned here (or indeed several which we have not listed) may also be ordered but, at the end of the day, the only sure way to confirm the presence of prostate cancer is by carrying out a biopsy.

A prostate cancer biopsy take a number of very small tissue samples from different areas of the prostate for microscopic examination and can not only definitively confirm the presence of prostate cancer, but can also give an indication of the size and type of any cancer.

ProstateProblemCenter.com provides information on a wide range of prostate problems and their solutions, including the therapeutic use of prostate massage

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August 15, 2008

7 Alternatives Therapies For An Enlarged Prostate

7 Alternatives Therapies For An Enlarged Prostate
If you are suffering from an enlarged prostate gland then your first port of call must be your doctor so that you can be sure that this is a simple case of benign prostatic hypertrophy and nothing more. Once you have a firm diagnosis there are then a number of treatment options open to you and here we look at seven common forms of alternative therapy.

1. Ayurveda. Two popular treatments are to mix Punarnava, Gokshura and Shilajit herbal powders together and then to take just one quarter of a teaspoon each day mixed into a little warm water. Alternatively, you could try horsetail, ginseng or hibiscus tea and these can be taken three or four times a day.

2. Reflexology. Reflexology sessions, which direct energy to specific pressure points on the body, begin with relaxing your whole body and then shifting the focus of the reflex to those areas of your body which are in the greatest need of assistance. In this case that means directing energy to the prostate, adrenal, endocrine, pituitary, parathyroid and thyroid glands as well as to the pancreas with the reflex in your hands or feet.

3. Food Therapy. A diet which is high in zinc has been shown to be beneficial in shrinking an enlarged prostate and so food therapy essentially means following a low fat diet (especially avoiding saturated fats) and including foods which are known to be high is zinc such as flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. You can also take a daily zinc supplement.

4. Imagery. Imagery is closely linked to hypnosis and both use positive visualization techniques to effect positive change. One exercise which has been shown to be beneficial to some enlarged prostate sufferers is to close your eyes, breathe out three times and then imagine entering into your body. Once inside, find your prostate gland and slowly examine it from every angle before putting it into a thin golden drawstring net and pulling the drawstring so that the net fits snuggly around the prostate. At the same time picture your prostate gland shrinking back to its normal size. This exercise should be practiced twice each day for about three or four minutes for three weeks and then left for one week, before repeating the process over about six months.

5. Hydrotherapy. For many enlarged prostate sufferers a daily hot bath taken for about a month does the trick. Simply sit in a hot bath with water up to your navel for thirty to forty-five minutes and then follow this immediately with a cold bath or shower.

6. Vitamin and Mineral Therapy. Herbal medication containing a specific mix of vitamins and minerals can also help with the treatment of an enlarged prostate. The vitamin and mineral mix, which is taken twice a day, should contain 200 international units of vitamin E, 30 milligrams of zinc, 1 milligram of copper, half a tablespoon of flaxseed oil and 160 milligrams of saw palmetto.

7. Yoga. Some Yoga poses can increase the blood flow to your groin and so relieve certain prostate problems. Two poses in particular which will benefit prostate problems are the 'knee squeeze' and the 'seated sun' together with the 'stomach lock'. If you are not familiar with yoga then there are many excellent illustrated books available and you should be able to pick one or two up at your local library without any problem. You should be aware however that it is not advisable to practice the 'stomach lock' if you are suffering from hypertension, hiatal hernia, ulcers or heart disease.

For many people these alternative techniques seem on the surface to be of little if any value at all, but for anyone who is familiar with alternative medicine, or such things as ancient Chinese medical practices, it is no surprise to find that they really can work.

ProstateProblemCenter.com provides information on a variety of prostate problems and covers topics such as enlarged prostate treatment and the therapeutic technique of milking the prostate gland.

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August 13, 2008

Some Thoughts About Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Nearly all men will run into some form of prostate problem during their middle or later years and, thankfully, in most cases these problems will be relatively minor or, if they are more severe, at least not life threatening. For some men however the problem will be prostate cancer and a diagnosis of cancer can literally turn your world, and that of your family, upside down.

Hopefully, more and more men will begin the process of screening for prostate cancer and their problem will be caught at an early stage when there are several treatment options available and the possibility of curing the disease completely is good. But, whether this is the case or not, a diagnosis of prostate cancer can still be devastating and you need to consider carefully just how you are going to deal with it.

As with so many things in life these days dealing with prostate cancer can be complicated and there are many different opinions about just what the best course of action is. For this reason it is always wise to take a step back for a moment and educate yourself about this disease before rushing into any decisions. Your doctor will be able to give you advice and also to furnish you with some literature and of course there is probably no better place to research the condition today than right here on the Internet.

Many people panic when they are diagnosed with cancer but, unless your prostate cancer is a particularly aggressive form of cancer and is spreading rapidly, which is rare, you do not need to do anything today and can take a few days to let things sink in and to do your homework. This is also a good time to get a second opinion. Many people worry about getting a second opinion thinking that they are in some way doubting their doctor's competence. This however is not how your doctor will see it if he is worth his salt and it is very sensible to get another view on your condition and opinion about how best to treat it.

You will find that there are usually several treatment options open to you depending upon several factors such as your age and general state of health, as well as whether or not you are suffering from any additional problems arising out of an enlarged prostate, such as kidney damage or bladder infection. In the vast majority of cases however, even when your options are narrowed because of your age or health, you will still have several routes which you can follow.

However, before you get involved in the details of different treatment options it is also a good idea to sit down and consider just how you feel about having cancer. This may seem an odd thing to say, but people react very differently to a diagnosis of prostate cancer and just how you feel about will be an important factor in your treatment decision.

For example, do you feel strongly that you want to do whatever it takes to get this 'thing' out of your body and that you couldn't possibly stand the thought of living with cancer for a moment longer than is absolutely necessary. Or do you feel that you have lived to a ripe old age and that you wish to pass your remaining days in comfort and certainly do not want to put yourself through surgery or the side-effects or radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

Take the time to think carefully about your own situation and that of your family and weigh your own personal circumstances carefully. If you are alone and in your late seventies you may feel differently from a relatively young man in his forties with two young children to care for.

Medical treatment is not simply a matter of science but is something which is very personal to you and should always focus on your needs and, most importantly, on your wishes.

ProstateProblemCenter.com focuses on a wide variety of prostate problems including enlarged prostate treatment.

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August 11, 2008

Watchful Waiting As A Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

If, like a growing number of men, you have been having regular prostate screening which has picked up the possibility of prostate cancer, and this has subsequently been confirmed with a biopsy, then you are probably lucky enough to have caught the cancer early when it is still confined to the prostate gland and in what is called Stage I or Stage II. If this is the case then one possible course of treatment might be 'watchful waiting'.

Some people feel that it is slightly odd to call watchful waiting a form of treatment because, as the name suggests, you simply watch the cancer and wait to see what happens. Other names for this approach are 'observation' and 'surveillance'. So when would this approach be appropriate?

As long as your cancer is confined to the prostate gland you are generally fairly safe and it is not until it threatens to spread beyond the prostate that your doctor will become concerned. So, if like many prostate cancer cases your cancer is both confined to the prostate gland and growing very slowly there is no need for immediate action and it is often safe to simply take some time and see how it develops.

Now if you are getting on in years and in this situation watchful waiting may well be a very good option because if the cancer is growing slowly enough there is a very good chance that you will die from old age, or some other condition, before it gets to be a problem. In these circumstances you might well feel that it would be silly to put yourself through surgery or radiation therapy for little if any real gain. So, in this case you would simply visit your physician at regular intervals for him to keep an eye on things and do nothing at all unless a problem arises.

If however you are still a reasonably young and otherwise fit man then watchful waiting might again be a sensible approach for a while but it may not always be such a good idea in the longer term, not least because, even though your cancer may be growing very slowly, you are still reducing your control of the disease the larger your cancer becomes and this may cause a problem if and when you are forced to deal with it.

Dealing with prostate cancer, whether by surgery or radiation treatment, is best done when the cancer is small and when you are in the best position to cope with treatment and recovery. The older you get the more likely it is that complications will arise from your treatment or that you will have difficulty in recovering following treatment.

Another very important consideration is the way in which you cope with watchful waiting mentally. For some men simply sitting back and doing nothing knowing that they have a cancer growing in their prostate gland can be very stressful indeed. However, for other men the fact that they have cancer doesn't bother them at all as long as they know that it is slow growing, confined and being monitored regularly.

At the end of the day you must clearly be guided by your physician, but whether you choose to live with your prostate cancer or to seek treatment for it is, and always should be, very much a personal decision.

ProstateProblemCenter.com looks at a wide range of prostate problems including everything from the digital rectal exam to advanced prostate cancer treatment.

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August 5, 2008

A Biopsy Is The Only Certain Way To Diagnose Prostate Cancer

Although there are many tests available today which can indicate the possible presence of prostate cancer the only way to be certain about whether or not you have prostate cancer is to undergo a prostate biopsy.

Although there are a number of excellent tests to indicate the possible presence of prostate cancer, such as the digital rectal examination and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, the only certain way to diagnose the presence of prostate cancer is to carry out a prostate biopsy.

A biopsy will normally be conducted by a urologist and can be done as an 'office' procedure. There are various different ways in which a biopsy can be taken but it is common to start by taking a transrectal ultrasound. Here an instrument is inserted through the rectum and sound waves are used to produce a computer image of the prostate gland. With this image to hand the doctor can then use a hollow needle to take several small samples of tissue from the prostate for examination under the microscope.

Most patients would say that the biopsy is not an especially painful procedure, but you will probably feel a stinging sensation.The areas from which samples are taken, and the number of samples removed for testing, will depend upon the reason for the biopsy. For example, if the biopsy is simply in response to rising PSA levels then half a dozen or more samples may be taken from different areas of the prostate. However, if the biopsy is being done to examine a particular abnormal area of the prostate then only two or three samples may be collected.Once the samples have been collected they will be examined by a pathologist.

Normal prostate cells are typically of a standard size and neatly arranged in a recognizable pattern. However, prostate cancer cells normally vary in size and are irregular in shape.If the pathologist determines that cancer is present then he will go on to grade the cancer to indicate whether it is a low grade cancer which is likely to be slow growing, or a high grade cancer which may well be aggressive and spread quickly.In 1977 the pathologist Donald Gleason devised a scale for categorizing prostate cancer and this scale is now widely used today.

The Gleason scale ranges from 1 to 5 (with 1 representing a low grade cancer and 5 a high grade cancer) and a grade is assigned to each of two samples from the largest areas of cancer with the grades being added together to produce a final Gleason score.A Gleason score of 2 to 4 is considered to be low and indicates a cancer which, depending on the age of the patient, may now pose a significant threat during the patient's lifetime. A score of between 5 and 7 is an intermediate grade for which treatment can often halt the disease in its tracks.

Once a Gleason score reaches 8 the cancer is said to be aggressive and is likely to spread outside of the prostate glandHealth Fitness Articles, if indeed it has not already done so.Testing for the possible presence of prostate cancer is recommended for all men over the age of 50 and for those men over the age of 40 who fall into a high risk category. It is important however that once prostate cancer is suspected a biopsy is carried out to confirm its presence so that treatment can be given.

ProstateProblemCenter.com provides detailed information about the prostate gland including just what a prostate exam entails.

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August 4, 2008

Prostate Examinations Can Quickly Identify A Prostate Problem

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a benign swelling of the prostate gland which affects almost all men over 60 and this short article looks at the procedure of testing for the presence of this condition.

Nearly all men will experience one type of prostate problem with almost half of all men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (a swollen or enlarged prostate) by the time they get to the age of 60 and nearly ninety percent getting the problem by the time they reach 80 years of age.

As its name suggests benign prostatic hyperplasia is a non-cancerous or benign swelling of the prostate and can generally be treated with medication or with minor minimally invasive surgery. However, the first step is to make sure that the problem is indeed benign prostatic hyperplasia rather than another problem, such as problems with the bladder or kidneys or an infection of the urinary tract.

Whilst carrying out a check for benign prostatic hyperplasia it is also important to look for prostate cancer as, despite the fact that an enlarged prostate does not produce prostate cancer, it is possible for both an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer to exist alongside each other.

Initial testing frequently involves having a prostate examination, or digital rectal examination, together with an assessment of the symptoms reported by the patient and his medical history. As the prostate lies between the rectum and the bladder it is an easy matter for a doctor to insert a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for signs of swelling or abnormality. A prostate examination is possibly not the most agreeable of procedures but is more uncomfortable than painful.

It is also possible for you to undertake your own prostate examination or for your partner to do this for you. In fact, more and more men find that this relatively simple self examination can be carried out quite easily once a month or so when having a shower. This can provide a great deal of peace of mind and can also allow any enlargement to be detected at a very early stage so that it can be treated.

The doctor may well also order a variety fo laboratory tests at this point. These tests may include a blood test to determine PSA levels, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine and a urine test.

Prostate specific antigen is present in the blood and is specific to the prostate with levels climbing a little bit in response to benign prostatic hyperplasia and quite markedly in the case of prostate cancer.

The remaining tests are intended to look for the existence of an infection of the urinary tract or problems with the kidneys, both of which might lead to symptoms that are similar to the symptoms found in cases of an enlarged prostate.

In some instances the doctor might also order further tests such as an ultrasound examination that can determine the size of the prostate and measure the volume of urine in the bladderArticle Search, or a cystoscopy (an examination undertaken with a thin flexible scope) to evaluate the condition of the urethra and bladder.

When none of these tests produce clear results a doctor might order a prostate biopsy in which several small tissue samples are removed from the prostate for microscopic examination.

ProstateProblemCenter.com looks at the symptoms of enlarged prostate and the digital prostate exam.

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August 2, 2008

Prostate Cancer Treatments For Early And Advanced Prostate Cancer

There is a wide range of prostate cancer treatments available today for both early and late stage prostate cancer and this article outlines the choices open to patients.

There is a wide range of prostate cancer treatments available today and the treatment that your doctor recommends will depend to a very large extent upon the progression of the disease. Thereafter it is a matter of discussing each treatment option with your doctor and of considering the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as of course looking carefully at the risks which all prostate cancer treatments carry.

Prostrate cancer treatments fall into two broad categories – those that are recommended for early (Stage I and Stage II) cancer which is confined to the prostate gland and those used to treat advanced (Stage III and Stage IV) cancer which has spread to other areas of the body.

Early stage cancer treatments are designed to remove the prostate or to destroy it and thus to stop the cancer cells before they have a chance to spread to other areas of the body.

The surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy) will normally be carried out as either traditional open surgery or using a less invasive laparoscopic approach. One recent development is the introduction of robotic surgery (using the da Vinci system) which has the advantage of preserving nerves, muscles and other structures in the area of the prostate. Robotic surgery is extremely effective but should be carried out by a highly skilled surgeon in a centre with considerable experience in using this technique.

Radiation therapy may also be used to kill the cancer cells within the prostate gland. A variety of different radiation therapy techniques may be used and treatment will normally be carried out over a period of several weeks.

A relatively new technique, which is still being evaluated, is known as cryosurgery. During cryosurgery, which is carried out under anesthesia, cooling probes are guided into the prostate using ultrasound and the cancer cells are killed by freezing them.

The final form of treatment used for early stage cancer is high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). This procedure is again carried out under anesthesia (or using a local spinal anesthetic) and a probe is placed into the prostate gland through the rectum. A beam of high intensity focused ultrasound is them used to raise the temperature in the area of focus and thus to kill the cancer cells.

For late stage prostate cancer hormone therapy is used and this is designed not to attack the cancer itself but to target the male hormones (in particular testosterone) which the cancer cells need to grow.

Late stage treatments will include orchiectomy (the removal of the testicles), which is designed to remove the source of the body’s main production of testosterone, or a variety of hormone treatments aimed at either reducing the level of testosterone and other male hormones in the body or of blocking their action.

In cases where hormone therapy proves ineffective, systematic radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended.

Whatever the stage of your cancer it is important to consider all of the options carefully and weigh the advantagesBusiness Management Articles, disadvantages and risks of each carefully before choosing the treatment that is best for you.

For more information on prostate cancer treatments please visit http://ProstateCancerExplained.com today.

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