What/Where is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system
The prostate is typically the size of a walnut.
It is located beneath the bladder, surrounds the urethra and it sits in front of the rectum.
The prostate main function is to make semen that is part of the fluid that carries sperm and flows through the penis
What is prostate cancer?
The Prostate gland is built up of cells that continually mutate, This mutation accelerates as we get older. Prostate cancer is identified when replacement cells in the prostate gland start to grow in an uncontrolled/abnormal way.
What are the Possible Symptems for Prostate Cancer?
There are many symptoms that may identify with Prostate Cancer
Difficulty starting to urinate
A weak flow when you urinate
A feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
Dribbling urine after you finish urinating
Needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
A sudden need to urinate – sometimes leaking urine before you get to the toilet
Blood in the Urine
It is difficult to identify prostate cancer from these symptoms as they can be caused by other things.
Some men will show no symptoms at all.
Black men over the age of 45 and other men at 50 may ask for a PSA blood test
What happens when I visit a GP?
Your GP will listen to your concerns or requests and discuss with you the risks of prostate cancer and the possible tests to determine the prognosis
at this stage there is no single test to diagnose prostate cancer, there are however two tests that the GP can undertake to find out if you are at greater risk of prostate cancer;
The two being
PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen)
DRE (Digital Rectal Examinination)
If these tests identify you at risk you are likely to be sent for an MRI Scan or/and Biopsy
What is a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen)?
This is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by both normal and abnormal cells in the prostate gland
A PSA test alone can’t usually tell you whether you have prostate cancer. But it can help your GP decide whether you need further tests.
What is a DRE (Digital Rectal Examination)?
This is where your GP feels your prostate through the wall of your back passage (Rectum) using their finger. They will check for any hard or lumpy areas as well as the size of the prostate for any possible signs for prostate can
The procedure is optional and can be refused but remember 'It may bring tears to your eyes but it could save your life'
What is an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan?
This creates a detailed picture of your prostate and surrounding area depending on the results might determine where biopsy areas are located
What is a Biopsy?
This is where thin needles are used to take small pieces of tissue from the prostate gland the samples are then observed under a microscope for cancerous cell
What are my choices if diagnosed with Prostrate cancer?
If you're diagnosed with prostate cancer:
You are likely to be referred to a cancer specialist (Oncologist) or a specialist who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer (Radiation Oncologist).
If the cancer is shown to localised and at an early stage you have the option to be put under Active Surveillance where any prostrate cancer growth are monitored closely
If the Cancer is found to be aggressive or at an advanced stage the options range from the list below
surgery to remove your prostate
external beam radiotherapy
internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy)
hormone therapy alone or in combination with radiotherapy
symptom control treatment
high frequency ultrasound therapy (HIFU) as part of a clinical trial
cryotherapy as part of a clinical trial
How do they measure and rate the level of Cancer in my Prostate (Gleeson Score)?
Following the undertaking of the biopsy, the level of any cancer cells is graded
The Gleason Score is the grading system used to determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer.
The lowest Gleason score is 6, which is a classed as a low-grade cancer.
A Gleason score of 7 is a medium-grade cancer.
Scores of 8, 9, or 10 is a high-grade cancer
A lower-grade cancer grows more slowly and is less likely to spread than a high-grade cancer.
High grade cancer are more likely to grow quicker and spread to other areas of the body
What is localised Prostate Cancer?
Localised prostate cancer is cancer that’s inside the prostate and hasn’t spread to other parts of the body.
Localised prostate cancer often grows slowly – or doesn’t grow at all – and might not need treatment. You may be able to have your cancer monitored with regular check-ups instead.
What is locally advanced Prostate Cancer?
Locally advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has started to break out of the prostate, or has spread to the area just outside the prostate
What is advanced Prostate Cancer?
Advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has spread from the prostate to other parts of the body. You might hear it described as metastatic prostate cancer, secondary prostate cancer, secondaries, metastases or mets.
If you have advanced prostate cancer, treatment won’t cure your cancer. But it can help keep it under control and manage any symptoms.