Prostate Cancer Pathophysiology and Treatment

Introduction

Many researchers have conducted studies about prostate cancer. Therefore, a lot of information and data regarding prostate cancer exist. Nonetheless, prostate cancer is still prevalent in the current generation. It is the second most common cancer in men and it accounts for approximately 30, 000 deaths every year. The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the issue of prostate cancer, risk factors, preventive measures and treatment. This is because prostate cancer is prevalent yet preventable; therefore, health care professionals should research the risk, preventive measures and treatment so that they can assist in health promotion, as this will help in the reduction of the incidence of the condition.

Problem statement

The prevalence of prostate cancer is high in older men. According to Ashton, prostate cancer is asymptomatic as a result many people live a normal life and eventually die without knowing that they had prostate cancer (123). Additionally, some people die a few years after the diagnosis. Fortunately, screening tests that help in the early detection and management of prostate cancer exist. For instance, Bowsher explains that the health care professional can perform a digital rectal examination and if the prostate is large, the physician conducts a Protein Specific Antigen test (62). However, most men do not utilize these services, thus, prostate cancer continues to be a killer disease.

In the early nineties, it was hard to find a person with prostate cancer. Nonetheless, as people change their lifestyles, so does the prevalence of prostate cancer increase. In a recent survey, Cher reports that prostate cancer is the second most widespread malignancy disease in American men (60). Since nineteen seventy, many health care professionals have researched the cause, risk factors, treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. Currently, prostate cancer is preventable. Furthermore, it is treatable if detected early.

Risk Factors

The exact cause of prostate cancer is not clear. However, several risk factors are associated with it. According to research done, age is the main risk factor. Lucas states that prostate cancer is uncommon in men who are below forty-five years and common in those who are above fifty-five (65). This shows that the risk of prostate cancer increase with age. In another research, one out of ten thousand men who are below forty years has prostate cancer while one out of ten men who are above sixty suffer from the disease (Cher 71). This research indicates that a man who is more than sixty years has a high probability of developing prostate cancer than one who is less than forty years.

According to a study done, Vande explains that genetics play an imperative role in prostate cancer (158). Prostate cancer is more common and severe in an Afro-American race than Anglo-Americans. For instance, one hundred and eighty Afro-Americans men would have prostate cancer for every one hundred Anglo-Americans. Besides, two hundred and forty Afro-Americans would die from prostate cancer for every one hundred Anglo-Americans.

In another survey, a man who has a brother or father with prostate cancer is at risk of developing the disease in comparison to other men (Pestell 43). This is because there are genes that are responsible for the development of prostate cancer. They include BRCA 1and 2. Besides, men have sites in their genomes that are associated with the development of prostate cancer.

In research done, diet and lifestyle have a great influence on the development of prostate cancer. Some diets favor while others hinder the development and progression of prostate cancer. Diets that prevent the development of prostate cancer include soy, selenium, vegetables, tea and fruits (Vande 154). On the other hand, a diet with excess red meat increases the chances of development and progression of prostate cancer. In another controversial study, a combination of selenium and soy does not halt the progression of prostate cancer. Finally, men who eat a diet that is low in red meat and engage in exercises reduce their probability of developing prostate cancer (Ashton 58).

This is because a diet that is low in red meat together with exercise alters the behavior of the genes thus changing the development and progression of prostate cancer. The alteration is possible via activation of tumor killers and deactivation of promoters.

Finally, some medications put a person at risk of developing prostate cancer. For example, Lucas explains that a positive correlation exists between routine use of anti-inflammatory drugs and prostate cancer development (74). Additionally, medications that lower a person’s cholesterol level is significant in the prevention of prostate cancer. An example of such medication is statin which health care professionals use in the management of atheroma.

Preventive measures

The main objective of preventive measures is to protect men from developing prostate cancer (Pestell 41). Although many researchers have conducted studies about preventive measures, the attainment of the objective is still impossible. This is because of a lack of evidence concerning the role of environment and genetics in the development and progression of prostate cancer. As a result, men who are at risk of developing prostate cancer do not benefit from the many pieces of research. For instance, an Afro-American man will always be at risk of developing prostate cancer.

On the other hand, measures that can delay the beginning of prostate cancer exist. For instance, in a longitudinal study about the development of prostate cancer, Pestell found out that finasteride reduces the risk of development and progression of the disease by 30% (87). This is because finasteride stops the activation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. As a result, the risk of development and progression of prostate cancer reduce because of the low levels of dihydrotestosterone. In another study in the United States of America, finasteride was associated with a low risk of prostate cancer development (Vande 36).

However, it put clinical trials at risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer that grows very fast. Therefore, a controversy in the association of finasteride and reduced risk of prostate cancer development still exist.

According to Ashton, diet and exercise remain the main control measure for the development of prostate cancer (76). Diet and exercise do not only prevent prostate cancer but also assist men to have a long life expectancy together with a quality life. Despite the existence of proof that a low-fat diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer, some researchers still disagree with the claim. They argue that no study has demonstrated a positive correlation between fats and the development and progression of prostate cancer. On the contrary, Cher argues that in countries where men consume low fats and abundant vegetables, the prevalence of prostate cancer is low (52).

Additionally, when men from developing countries move to developed countries and start consuming a western diet that is rich in fats, they develop prostate cancer at an alarming rate. This scenario shows a positive correlation between fats and the development of prostate cancer. On the other hand, studies that show how fats cause prostate cancer do not exist (Bowsher 90). This means that it is not definite that fat causes prostate cancer. For example, in a retrospective study of people with prostate cancer, only 15% of them used to consume food with too much fat.

Additionally, a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables helps in reducing the risk of development and progression of prostate cancer. In research about fats, Vande reports that a negative correlation exists between plant fats and the risk of developing prostate cancer (75). This means that people should use plant fats if they want to reduce their chances of developing prostate cancer. Additionally, fruits and vegetables play a great role in the reduction of the prevalence of prostate cancer. For example, lycopene, selenium and vitamin E are antioxidants that assist in the prevention of prostate cancer (Cher 83). This is because antioxidants protect the body from free radicals. When free radicals damage the body, the cells become cancerous thus faster development of cancer.

Finally, many studies have reported that men who exercise reduce their probability of developing prostate cancer (Lucas 129). This is because, during exercise, the body burn excess fat. Accumulation of fats in the body sends an impulse to the brain informing it to manufacture more testosterone. As testosterone accumulates, activation takes place and the body converts it to dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for the development of prostate cancer. Therefore, the burning of excess fat during exercise reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

Management

The management of prostate cancer is still controversial. This is because many of the patients are old. Besides, in a prospective study done on 200,000 American men with Prostate cancer, only 20,000 died in that year (Bowsher 17). Therefore, conservative management is better than radiation because the death of most people with prostate cancer is usually because of other conditions like hypertension or heart diseases.

Additionally, conservative management is good for older people because they may not benefit from other interventions. Furthermore, interventions like radiation may cause more harm than good. On the other hand, Ashton explains that men with localized prostate cancer benefit from radiation (96). This is because radiation destroys the cancerous cells thus stopping its progression. This renders the affected man free of cancer. Therefore, any management is suitable for men with prostate cancer.

To begin with, conservative management is the best for men with symptomatic prostate cancer (Bowsher 39). In a study done, nine out of ten patients with symptomatic prostate cancer under conservative management had a very low risk of dying from the disease. On the other hand, eight out of ten patients with asymptomatic prostate cancer had a very high probability of dying from prostate cancer. This study confirms that conservative management is good for symptomatic prostate cancer. An example of conservative management is watchful waiting (Lucas 157). This method is good for men with a life expectancy that is less than ten years.

This is because they are likely to die from diseases of the old people and not prostate cancer. As a result, the health care professional monitor the PSA level of the patient and evaluate the patient’s treatment depending on the progression of the disease.

Additionally, prostatectomy is good for localized prostate cancer. Prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate. Cher states that it is a good option for localized prostate cancer because once removed, the tumor will not spread to the rest of the body (80). When carefully done, the person becomes free of cancer. According to a clinical trial, patients with localized prostate cancer who underwent prostatectomy survived. On the contrary, the prostate cancer of those who followed the conservative management metastasized to different parts of the body. Therefore, prostatectomy has a good clinical effect in localized prostate cancer.

Moreover, studies have shown that radiotherapy is effective in the management of prostate cancer. The only disadvantage is the toxicity of radiations to other body tissues (Pestell 49). Therefore, the health care professional should ensure that only the cancerous cells receive radiation. According to Lucas, external and internal radiations are the two types that are frequently used (58). External radiations use more than seventy units to destroy the cancerous cells. Moreover, the person undergoes the radiation process for several weeks. On the other hand, internal radiation involves the implantation of radioactive seeds in the prostate. The implanted seeds release radiations that destroy the cancerous cells.

Finally, some physicians use hormonal therapy to manage prostate cancer. This is because there is a relationship between testosterone and prostate cancer. In research done, Pestell states that androgens are responsible for the development and progression of prostate cancer (53). Therefore, to reduce androgen levels in the body, the physician performs a surgical procedure known as orchiectomy. Besides, the patient is given anti-androgen medication that reduces the levels of androgens in the body. Additionally, the physician can give the patient other medications that potentiate the effect of anti-androgens (Bowsher 54). They include suramin and estramustine. These drugs not only reduce the levels of androgens in the body but also decrease the activities of cancer cells.

The way forward

Health care professionals play the greatest role in ensuring that the incidence of prostate cancer reduces. They should educate people on the importance of prostate screening and preventive measures. This will assist in the early detection and management of prostate cancer (Vande 91). For example, during the screening procedure, the health care professional determines the levels of Prostate Specific Antigens.

A high level shows that someone is at risk of developing prostate cancer. As a result, the health care professional initiates the initial management of prostate cancer. Additionally, when people have been educated about preventive measures, they will take control of their health (Pestell 43). This is because education empowers them on what to do to remain free from prostate cancer. As a result, the prevalence of prostate cancer will reduce.

Additionally, health care professionals should research prostate cancer. This is because many gaps concerning risks, preventive measures, and management exist. For example, the exact cause of prostate cancer is not clear (Lucas 123). Therefore, the management of prostate cancer becomes difficult. This is because the health care professional may not know what to do. As a result, prostate cancer progress and spreads to other parts of the body. Additionally, controversy in the management of prostate cancer put the patient at risk of increased morbidity and mortality (Cher 75). This is because when the physician chooses the wrong management for the patient, the disease will progress to the next level. As a result, the patient will not benefit from the intervention. Instead, the intervention will do more harm to him than good.

Finally, health care professionals should follow up on patients suffering from prostate cancer. According to Ashton, patients who are followed up usually respond well to treatment regimens than those neglected (32). This is because during the follow-up process health care professionals usually advise the patient of the importance of sticking to the treatment regimen. As a result, the patient strictly follows the management process.

Conclusion

In conclusion, prostate cancer is prevalent yet preventable; therefore, health care professionals should research the risk, preventive measures and treatment so that they can assist in health promotion, as this will help in the reduction of the incidence of the condition. The risks include age, genetics, lifestyle and medications. Preventive measures focus on the use of finasteride, diet and exercise. Additionally, the management includes watchful waiting, prostatectomy, radiation and hormonal therapy.

Finally, to promote health, health care professionals should engage in education, research and follow up activities. They should educate people about the importance of prostate screening. Besides, they should empower the public with knowledge about the prevention of prostate cancer. Additionally, health care professionals should research prostate cancer. This is because many gaps about the risk factors, causes and management exist. Lastly, health care professionals should follow up with patients who are on a prostate cancer treatment regimen to evaluate their progress.

Works Cited

Ashton, Acton. Prostate Cancer: New Insight for the Health Care Professional. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Science, 2008. Print.

Bowsher, Winson. Challenges in Prostate Cancer. Baltimore: Blackwell Science, 2008. Print.

Cher, Michael. Prostate Cancer: New Horizons in Research and Treatment. New York: Kluwear Academic Publisher, 2009. Print.

Lucas, John. Trends in Prostate Cancer Research. New York: Nova Publisher, 2008. Print.

Pestell, Richard. Prostate Cancer: Signaling Networks, Genetics and New Treatment Strategies. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Science, 2010. Print.

Vande, George. Advances in Cancer Research. London: Academic Press, 2009. Print.

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