Male Reproductive system.2001.Web Md.Web. 9 Nov. 2009
malereproductivesystem
malereproductivesystem

WHAT IS THE PROSTATE

The prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate develops at birth, continues to grow through adulthood and into old age. Male hormones called androgens cause the prostate to grow. The prostate is the size of a walnut and is located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. In addition, the prostate surrounds part of the urethra (a tube that empties urine from the bladder). Finally, only men have a prostate.




DESCRIPTION OF PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer is a cancer that forms in the tissues of the prostate. Nearly all prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland cells. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma and grows very slowly. Doctors believe prostate cancer starts with very small changes in size and shape of the gland cells. These changes are called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia or (PIN). Almost fifty percent of men have PIN by the time they reach fifty years old.



TESTING FOR PROSTATE CANCER

A biopsy (taking a piece of the prostate with a needle and looking at it under a microscope) would let the doctor know if the PIN is low grade (almost normal) or high grade (abnormal). If you have a high grade PIN, you will be watched very closely and might need another biopsy. Even though the number of men that have changes in PIN seems high; the majority of men with low grade PIN will live very long after their diagnosis. Other tests for prostate cancer can be done before symptoms are present. These tests include a digital rectal exam and a PSA (blood test). Because PSA testing is so widely used in the USA, about 90% of all prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. Therefore, men are surviving long after their diagnosis.



SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT OF PROSTATE CANCER

Most of the symptoms related to prostate cancer occur during urination, as the prostate grows thus clogging the urethra. Some of these symptoms include; not being able to urinate, having a hard time stopping or starting the flow of urine, the need to urinate often (especially at night) and pain or burning during urination. In addition, one might experience blood in the urine or semen and frequent pain in the lower back, hips and upper thighs. Even though these symptoms may be present, there is a good chance that you do not have cancer but another problem related to an enlarged prostate. This is why it is so important to see your doctor. In regards to the treatment of prostate cancer; treatment is developed based on the stage (severity) of the disease, life expectancy and access to good care. Finally, the options for treatment are; surgery to remove the prostate, radiation therapy directed at the prostate, hormonal therapy, experimental therapy and chemotherapy for the most advanced stage.


A CANCER THAT HARMS AND KILLS MEN


Sadly enough, approximately 230,000 United States (USA) men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. In addition, prostate cancer is second to the most common cancer in USA men, skin cancer. Very few young men get prostate cancer, as the majority of men (over 70%) are over the age of 65. Autopsy studies have shown that 7-9 out of 10 men have some level of prostate cancer by age 80. In many patients, most doctors would not know their patients had prostate cancer unless a prostate exam is completed. Prostate cancer affects and kills many USA men.

In conclusion, although prostate cancer occurs in men only (usually over the age of 65), starts in the prostate gland walls, usually presents with symptoms related to urination problems and attacks over 230,000 men per year, the chances of prostate cancer being diagnosed at an early stage are very encouraging by the simple use of a PSA blood test.


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BY: CHRIS GEORGIADIS AND AUSTIN FETSKO