According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer describes a medical condition where cells in the body grow without control. Prostate cancer describes the condition of uncontrolled cell growth originating in the tissues of the prostate gland and is the most common cancer in men. The prostate is the male sex gland that oversees the production of semen and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
About 13 percent of men will suffer from the condition, and older males face the highest probability. Some men have an increased risk. For example, those with a family history of prostate cancer have a higher risk, and African-American men also have a higher likelihood of developing the condition in their lifetime. All other men are at average risk, so you need to recognize the warning signs.
Symptoms and signs
Each case of prostate cancer is different. It is important for all patients presenting symptoms to know and understand the facts about prostate cancer. During the early stages of the disease, the condition may not present any symptoms. In cases where symptoms are present, these symptoms can include an increase in frequency in urination, difficulty starting and maintaining flow, painful urination, and blood present in the urine. Furthermore, some cases may involve difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection.
Once the cancer advances, the symptoms become more severe. For example, advanced prostate cancer can cause bone pain in the spine, ribs, pelvis, or femur and can lead to weakness in the legs or fecal and urinary incontinence as the tumor compresses the spinal cord.
Screening for prostate cancer
The earlier that doctors detect any cancer, the easier that it will be to treat. Although there is no single test, medical professionals commonly use rectal exams and prostate antigen (PSA) blood tests to look for signs of the disease. For the rectal exam, a doctor or medical professional uses a lubricated gloved finger inserted into the rectum to feel for lumps. The PSA test looks for levels of a prostate-specific antigen that occur when cancer is present or when there are other health problems associated with the gland. However, these levels are also affected by medical procedures, the use of medication, or an enlarged prostate. Therefore, doctors will perform more tests when the results of the screening show abnormalities and these exams can include a biopsy, an MRI, or an ultrasound.
According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, men between the ages of 55 and 69 should base their decision on balancing the benefits and harms of screening, including complications that can arise from treatment-specific outcomes and biopsies of the gland. The task force suggests evaluating this knowledge along with family history, race and ethnicity, and medical condition.
Treatment and options
If doctors determine the presence of cancer, the first step is to inquire about the current stage of the disease and if it has spread beyond the prostate gland. In certain cases, medical practitioners will only monitor the condition and treat the cancer if it grows or causes more serious symptoms. In other cases, doctors may opt for removing the prostate in a surgery called a prostatectomy. Alternatively, the patient may undergo radiation therapy, where high-energy rays are used to kill cancer cells. These treatment options are highly invasive and may cause undesired side-effects, including sexual dysfunction.
Given the extent of the secondary effects of the available treatment options, scientists and the medical community are looking for alternatives. One of the promising developments in science is the use of CBD to treat these forms of cancer. Some scientific studies show that the prostate has cannabinoid receptors, and therefore, CBD treatment options, like those offered at CBD Oil Solutions, may have anti-androgenic effects.