There are a host of signs and symptoms that can highlight that you may be suffering from an enlarged prostrate. An enlarged prostrate might suggest Prostate Cancer. You might be suffering from a burning sensation during urination, blood in your urine, and increase in urine frequency, along with urgency, back pain, weight loss and weakness. It is best that if you have any of the following signs and symptoms you should opt for a PSA Test immediately. You should also visit a Urologist or Cancer Expert if necessary.
Work up and Staging :
In order to detect Prostate Cancer, you are advised the following tests.
- Blood PSA- more than 3-4 mg/ml should be suspicious
- DRE- Digital Rectal Examination.
- If above tests are suspicious, then you should the following tests for confirmation.
- TRUS(Trans-Rectal Ultrasound Examination)
- TRUS guided core Biopsy. 10-12 cores should be taken
If these tests confirm Cancer, then further tests are done to know the local extent of disease and distant Metastases i.e. spread of disease to other part of body. These tests are
- Bone scan
- PET Scan
If Biopsy report is Negative, but PSA Levels are suspicious, then patient should be reassessed and repeat biopsy should be in 6 months.
On the basis of above tests, patients are categorized into various stages- like- very early disease, early stage, Intermediate disease, locally advance, & metastatic disease. Treatment is decided on the basis of stage of disease and the remaining expected life span of patient. Patient and his family are involved in deciding upon the treatment strategy.
Treatment Modalities for Prostate Cancer:
Various Modalities of treatment are – Surgery, Radiotherapy, Hormonal Therapy, Chemotherapy and supportive treatment. After treatment & during treatment, patient is followed up with regular Blood PSA Testing & other tests depending upon symptoms of patients & PSA result.
Prevention is Better than Cure:
Inspite of being the most common Cancer, it is a curable Cancer. Even in metastatic stage (when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body), patient can live a healthy life for 10-20 years or more. A great percentage of old age patients harbour Cancer Prostate, but it goes undetected, without producing any symptoms and detected only on Autopsy(Postmortem) findings.