A healthy prostate gland is a small, slightly larger than a walnut. It is located just under the bladder and encases the top portion of the urethra. The prostate gland secretes a white fluid which is emitted from the penis during ejaculation. As men get older, the prostate tends to enlarge in a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which means the prostate gland can nip the urethra, leading to a disruption of urine flow from the bladder.
Prostate cancer symptoms
Prostate cancer is one of the most common causes of death in men. Men over 50 years old and those with a family history of the condition are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Difficulty passing urine and emptying your bladder
- Passing urine more often and with a weaker flow than usual
- Having to rush to empty your bladder and feeling that your bladder is not emptied properly
- Blood in the urine or semen
Diagnosis of prostate cancer
A simple blood test for a protein called Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) is helpful. PSA is produced by prostate cells and a high level in the blood can indicate prostate cancer. However, it does not provide a conclusive diagnosis.
The doctor can feel your prostate gland with a Digital Rectal Examination. A healthy prostate is firm and smooth. Any hard lumps could indicate the presence of disease.
TURP surgery is a less severe version of the radical prostatectomy. It can be used in the management of prostate cancer as well as the condition of BPH mentioned above.
The TURP surgical procedure involves cutting away the section of the prostate that is causing symptoms of urethral blockage, when prior medical treatment has not been helpful. TURP Surgery is performed under anaesthetic and involves passing a thin scope called a resectoscope up through the urethra. A small wire loop is used to cut away the parts of the prostate which are causing the obstruction to urine flow.
It can take up to 8 weeks to recover from the TURP surgery and get back to normal functioning. However, the TURP surgery can be highly effective in improving urine flow and these beneficial effects can be long-lasting.
The three stages of prostate cancer
The development of prostate cancer is divided into 3 stages:
- Early – where the cancer cells are contained within the prostate gland
- Locally advanced – where the cancer cells have started to spread from the prostate gland and into the surrounding tissues
- Advanced – in this case, the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. This can cause additional symptoms such as back and pelvic pain and unexplained weight loss
If prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of survival are improved.
Treatment of prostate cancer
Depending on your age and the severity of your symptoms, doctors can recommend watching and waiting in conjunction with hormone therapy to control the development of cancer calls.
Other treatments include radical prostatectomy, which entails the removal of the entire prostate gland. Radiotherapy can also kill cancerous cells and slow disease progression.
Then there is the Trans-Urethral Resection of the Prostate, known as TUR, as mentioned above.
About Ramsay Health Care
At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced urologist, ophthalmologist, orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!
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