Prostate Cancer Treatment
Many men over the age of 50 will need prostate cancer treatment, although some men find that the problem is due to an enlarged gland rather than a serious disease. This male gland is about the size of a walnut and goes through a huge growth period during adolescence. It is necessary for the male's sexual function and reproduction. It produces semen and the fluid that carries the semen into the female reproductive organs. This fluid also protects the semen from the acid conditions in the vagina, keeping the semen alive until it can do its job of fertilizing the woman's egg. By the age of 25, the growth slows, but sometimes the gland begins to grow again after the age of 50. By age 80, almost all men will have an enlargement of this organ. This enlargement can cause many problems, especially in a man's need to urinate. If left untreated, it can lead to problems serious enough to require prostate cancer surgery. It is important for a man to get regular check-ups after the age of 50 so that he can rule out any cancerous growths in this area. These growths are normally very treatable if caught in early stages.
The gland is located below the bottom of the bladder and in front of the rectum. The organ surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. If the gland gets any bigger, then enlargement can press on the urethra, which creates problems in urinating. This causes symptoms such as needing to go to the bathroom two or times a night, not being able to create a strong stream of urine, and needing to strain to urinate. When a doctor examines a man for this condition, he is looking for three problems. One is just an enlargement of the organ. Another is an inflammation or infection of the organ, called prostatitis. The third is the most serious, a cancerous infestation of the organ. That's when the physician will begin prostate cancer treatment, which may lead to prostate cancer surgery in the more advanced cases. Even if a man doesn't have symptoms pointing to one of these areas, a doctor will still order exams to make sure the gland is healthy. The doctor will order a PSA test. This stands for prostate specific antigen, which looks for proteins produced by the gland. A high level (1.5 or more) usually means something is wrong.
Prostate cancer treatment can take many different methods. If the PSA test is high, the doctor will most likely order series of blood tests or other tests to rule out certain problems. He will continue to check PSA levels on a regular basis. Depending on what the tests reveal, the doctor will recommend different treatments. One of these is watchful waiting, in which the doctor continues to track the PSA levels and give rectal exams to see if there are any changes in the organ. Sometimes, the disease has not progressed far enough to require intervention. However, at this point, the patient must keep his appointments so that the medical professionals can keep track of how fast the disease is progressing. In the meantime, the patient should keep a watchful eye on his own urinary symptoms. If the symptoms get worse, another level of intervention may be necessary. Although this physical problem can be very embarrassing to a man, it needs to be addressed in a serious manner to avoid future more severe problems.
A second level of therapy is prescribing certain medications that will reverse the enlargement of the organ. One of the herbal medicines for this disease is saw palmetto. This herbal has shown some mild symptom improvement in certain studies. But most of the time, the patient needs medical help to stop the progress of the disease. There are two types of medications given for this therapy. One if 5ARIs (5-alpha-reductase inhibitors), which reduces the hormone that is causing the gland to enlarge. This will shrink the gland, help with urinary problems, reduce urinary retention, and can even reduce the need for prostate cancer surgery. The second type of medications is alpha blockers. They can also be called alpha-adrenergic antagonists. They smooth muscle cells and relax the muscle of the bladder so that urine can flow. These medications will not reduce the need for an operation. Sometimes, the patient will need to have injections given at intervals. The last and most serious therapy for prostate cancer treatment is the use of prostate cancer surgery. However, the outcome in most cases is good. However, the operation can interfere with the urinary system, causing the person to lose control over his urinary tract. That can be an embarrassing outcome for the patient, but the therapy can save his life.
Even though prostate cancer treatment can be embarrassing and difficult, we can live with the knowledge that each moment we have is precious. Job, who suffered with debilitating illness, writes of God, "Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit," (Job 10:12). No matter which path the illness takes, taking note of our health processes and following through with the treatments prescribed is an essential part of getting healthy. Whether that means waiting to see how the disease progresses or enduring prostate cancer surgery, our mental health is just as important as your physical health. This is the most common cancer diagnosed in men today, but the disease also one often with a hopeful outcome.
Prostatitis treatment is something that should be taken seriously. There are a series of disorders involving the prostate gland that are critical and need to be treated as soon as possible. The four disorders associated with this ailment include, acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, chronic pelvic pain syndrome and an asymtomatic inflammatory disorder. Treatment for prostatitis is available to help relieve the pain and cure the bacterial phases. The exception is the asymptomatic inflammatory as there are no symptoms here. This is usually discovered when experiencing testing for prostate cancer.
Using medication to treat suffering patients is the most common way for physicians to offer assistance. In some cases, the medicine is needed to cure an infection that is causing the problem or disorder. In other cases, medicines are prescribed just to treat any pain or discomfort that may occur. Prostatitis treatment, using antibiotics, is a way to kill the infection that is causing the problem. This is often the first avenue of treatment for prostatitis that is sought when doctors diagnose the patient. Very often the pain may be too unbearable for the patient without pain relievers or muscle relaxants to relieve tension.
Physical therapy is also a popular method used to alleviate symptoms and can be performed along with the taking of medications. When medicine does not work or if the patient refuses medication, physical therapy is used. This is an excellent way to relieve tension and lesson the pain. The use of exercise is one of the most popular forms of physical therapy that patients will seek in the treatment for prostatitis. Stretching muscles around the area, especially the pelvis muscle, may provide some relief of tension and pain. Using heat along with the stretching may also be beneficial. Another popular form of physical therapy is a Sitz bath that uses warm water. The patient can sit in a warm bath to relieve pain and tension that occurs with the disorder. Another form of physical therapy that has been used in the past is massage to relieve any pain caused from blockages that may exist.
Getting the needed help is crucial to assist the patient in relieving any pain or discomfort. Using a combination of both medication and physical therapy may be more affective than using only one form of prostatitis treatment. When suffering from pain and discomfort, it is easy to lose faith and become disheartened. No matter what life can throw at a Christian, it is important to understand the ways of God. "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." (Psalm 18:2)
Cancer Radiation TherapyMany people think of cancer radiation therapy as a scary and undetermined type of treatment that they have to face at some time in their lives. People who are dealing with a carcinoma get this type of procedure to reduce the tumors. More than half of cancer patients will have some type of this treatment. Sometimes, this is the only type needed to cure the disease. These are the same types of rays used in an x-ray machine, except in much higher proportions. The treatment can come in two different forms. The first is external beams when a machine outside the body aims the beams at the infected area. The second is internal when the material is put inside the body near where the cells are growing. Intensity modulated radiation therapy is an advanced method of high-precision radiotherapy that uses computers to control the x-rays so that the dose is precise and directed to the specific tumor. This is a treatment for carcinoma that uses high doses of radiation to kill abnormal cells and stop them from spreading to other parts of the body. Some people get both types of treatments.
Cancer radiation therapy has two purposes: It treats the disease and reduces the symptoms of the disease. Sometimes, the disease cannot be cured, but the tumors can be reduced while radiated with these beams. This can relieve pain or prevent problems such as blindness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or other results of the condition. The high doses from the x-rays kill or slows the growth of the abnormal cells. Sometimes it takes weeks for the cells to die, and then they keep dying for weeks or months after the treatment ends. The problem with this procedure is that the radiotherapy not only kills the sick cells, but also healthy ones. Therefore, the doctor will try to protect the parts of the body not affected by the disease. This includes using a low a dose as possible or spreading out the dosage over time, such as once a day for several weeks. Normal cells can recover in this time, but affected cells cannot. Another procedure is to aim the beams only at the part of the body that needs it. This is where intensity modulated radiation therapy helps the patient avoid needless side effects. The treatment itself does not hurt, but the side effects can cause pain. Sometimes, a doctor can give certain drugs that will protect vulnerable parts of the body.
Cancer radiation therapy can be used before, during, or after surgery. Before surgery, the doctor may use the radiotherapy to shrink the tumor so that it is easier to remove. After surgery, the radiotherapy is used to kill any abnormal cells. This may also be used in coordination with chemotherapy. The treatment can shrink the tumors so that the chemotherapy works better. Or the reverse can be true. A team of healthcare professionals will put together a plan that will be the best for the disease at the stage it is found. A doctor who deals with carcinoma is called an oncologist. He will prescribe help to deal with side effects and follow-up to make sure that the disease does not return. When intensity modulated radiation therapy is prescribed, the treatment will use 3-D computed tomography images to determine the dosage to use to radiate the tumor. This helps protect the patient from extra dosages that may be used with other types of machines. The side effects will be different for each person. That's why it's so important to keep open communication with the healthcare team and to report any problems that may arise as soon as possible. If the treatment is used with chemotherapy, the side effects may be more severe. The healthcare team will plan ways to manage these problems as they come up.
Some of the side effects of cancer radiation therapy are skin changes and fatigue. Some of the side effects depend on what part of the body is affected by the carcinoma. Other problems may include skin dryness, itching, peeling, and blistering. This is from the skin cells that have been damaged by the beams. Patients learn how to take special care of their skin during this time. Other side effects are diarrhea, hair loss in the area where the rays is beamed, mouth problems, nausea and vomiting, swelling, trouble swallowing, and urinary and bladder problems. Usually, these symptoms will often go away a few months after the treatment starts. Sometimes, the treatment is used on parts of the body on affected by the disease to prevent cells from growing in this area. It is called prophylactic technique. Other times, intensity modulated radiation therapy is used to reduce pain from disease that has spread to the bones or other parts of the body. This is called palliative technique. These procedures can be very scary and difficult for patients because they may be dealing with life and death consequences. But we can have peace in the midst of even these times. Isaiah writes, "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him," (Isaiah 43:7). Studies have shown that a patient's spiritual and emotional health will affect how his body reacts to any procedures done to help cure the sickness. Therefore, it is important to take care of these parts of life, to give the body more resilience and bounce-back healing power.