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Prostate Cancer - Medical Malpractice
Prostate cancer occurs when a cell within the prostate cancer changes its DNA so that it grows out of control. A single cell can start the process or the process can be multicellular, with different cell clusters growing into cancer at the same time. Prostate cancer is very common, with up to 80 percent of men having some aspect of the disease by the age of 80.
There often are no signs or symptoms of the disease when it is in its earliest stages. As the prostate swells, however, there are more symptoms noted. These can include nocturia or the feeling of having to urinate often during the night, increased urination during the day, often of small amounts of urine, difficulty starting the urinate or stopping urination, a weak stream, the inability to urinate when standing, blood in the urine or semen or a painful sensation in the pelvis when urinating or having an ejaculation.
In advanced prostate cancer, where the cancer has spread to other body areas or local lymph nodes, there can be bony pain or arthritic pain, pain in the pelvic region, lower back, ribs or in the upper thighs, loss of appetite and loss of weight, nausea, vomiting or tiredness. You can have swelling of the lower extremities due to a blockage of the lymph system involving the legs. In extreme cases, there can be weakness or paralysis of the lower extremities.
The causes of prostate cancer include heredity and diet. You are at risk for prostate cancer if you are a male older than the age of 60 although you can have prostate cancer at younger ages. A healthy diet can help prevent prostate cancer if you are otherwise at risk.
The best way to prevent prostate cancer from being advanced is to have regular PSA screening tests along with a digital rectal examination beginning from the age fifty. You should have these examinations from the age of 40 to 45 if you are African Americans who have a higher risk of developing the disease. It is also true if you have a family history of prostate cancer.
The diagnosis of prostate cancer is usually by means of a digital rectal examination. This is coupled with a prostate specific antigen test or PSA test, which is a blood test that can detect the presence of prostate cancer. If nodules are noted on the prostate exam or if the PSA is markedly elevated, a transrectal biopsy can be obtained which can show the presence of cancerous cells. A CT scan or MRI scan of the pelvis can show the presence of lymph node or other pelvic involvement with prostate cancer and a bone scan can show if there are any bony metastases. As there is always a possibility of having a falsely positive PSA test, talk to your doctor about whether or not you want to have this test and the implications of a positive test.
The treatment of prostate cancer is interesting. Not everyone needs to be treated for prostate cancer and the doctors can just watch the progression of the disease. This is especially true if you are elderly and more likely to die of another disease besides prostate cancer or if you have the slow growing variety of the disease that tends not to metastasize until the disease is far advanced within the prostate.
The treatment of prostate cancer depends on your age, the stage of your cancer, your lifestyle and the grade of the cancer. There are three options for a person who is at a low stage prostate cancer that is of low risk. You can have surgery to remove the prostate gland or a portion of the prostate gland. You can have radiation to the affected area to kill off cancer cells. This includes brachytherapy, which involves putting radioactive "seeds" into the prostate tissue and having the tissue shrink from localized radiation. You can also just watch the disease. There is hormonal therapy, which is essentially oestrogen therapy that turns of the production of cancer cells and suppresses prostate cancer. Hormonal therapy is especially good for older patients with advanced disease that need some form of suppression of cancer growth wherever the cancer seems to grow.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125