A prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. More than 2 million men in the US count as prostate cancer survivors. Prostate cancer can develop when the cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Often it grows slowly to start with and may never cause any problems. Some men have prostate cancer which is more likely to spread and needs treatment to stop it spreading outside the prostate.
A prostate cancer which is contained inside the prostate is called as a localised prostate cancer or the early prostate cancer. Usually, they do not cause any symptoms. Some men might have certain urinary problems which can be mild and can happen over many years. This can be a signs of a benign prostate problem rather than the prostate cancer. The usual signs are needing to urinate more often than usual, including at night after every two hours, staining or staking a long time to finish urinating, difficulty starting to urinate, a weak flow when you urinate, needing to rush to the toilet as sometimes it leaks before you get there, a weak flow when you urinate, straining or taking a long time to finish urinating, a feeling that you are not emptying your bladder fully or dribbling urine after you finish.
The less common symptoms of prostate cancer including pain when ejaculating, pain when urinating, blood in your urine or semen, problems getting or keeping an erection (although this is not a common symptom of a prostate problem as often this is linked to other health conditions such as heart problems or diabetes. Blood in the urine or semen can be caused by other health problems. You can talk with your doctor if you see blood in the urine or semen.
For some men, the first symptoms of a prostate cancer can be new pain in the hips, back or pelvis. This can be caused by the cancer that is spread to the bones usually in cases of the advanced prostate cancer. Often these symptoms care caused by other problems like arthritis or general aches. It is a good idea to get them checked out by your GP. Most men with early prostate cancer do not have any symptoms and if you are worried about your risk or if you are experiencing any symptoms, then visit your GP.
A brachytherapy technique uses small radioactive pellets or seeds which are the size of a grain of rice and thses are directly placed into your prostate. Generally, it is used only in men with early stage prostate cancer which is relatively low-grade. This technique is combined with the external radiation which is sometimes an option for men who are at higher risk of cancer growing outside the prostate.
The use of brachytherapy is limited by some other factors. For men who have had a transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP or those who already have urinary problems, the risk of the urinary side effects are higher. Brachytherapy might not work as well in men having large prostate glands as it is not possible to place the seeds into all the correct locations. One way to get around this will be to get a hormone therapy beforehand for a few months in order to shrink the prostate. Imaging tests such as CT scans, trans rectal ultrasound or MRI are used to help guide the placements of the radioactive pallets. The special computer programs are used for calculating the exact dose of radiation that is needed.
There are two types of prostate brachytherapy and both are done in an operating room. Either you will be given spinal anesthesia in which the lower half of your body will be numbed or general anesthesia in which you are asleep. You will be required to stay at the hospital overnight.
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