The prostate gland, a part of the male reproductive system in humans, is located in the pelvic region under the bladder and in front of the rectum. In part, the prostate surrounds the urethra so that one sign of prostate cancer is difficulty urinating. The role of the prostate is to aid in the production and storage of semen.
Prostate cancer is a disease of older men. The average age at diagnosis is seventy years although it is recommended that men past the age of fifty receive annual tests to screen for the presence of cancer. There is no prostatitis cure but fortunately cancer of the prostate is usually slow growing. Many men die of some other disorder before their prostate cancer becomes an issue. This is not to say, however, that prostate cancer cannot spread and become more serious in a shorter length of time.
In the absence of a prostatitis cure, treatment may include radiation (but rarely chemotherapy) or hormone therapy. It is not uncommon to adopt a policy of watchful waiting with careful monitoring of the condition. In some cases of the prostate cancer, surgery to remove the prostate is recommended.
Normally prostate cancer presents with no symptoms and is detected at an annual screening. If the case is more advanced, the patient may experience more frequent urination (especially at night) and have difficulty starting and maintaining the flow of his urine. Blood may or may not be present and pain may or may not occur. Normally prostate cancer surgery is recommended when the symptoms are more advanced or for the patient whose condition has been detected early and who wants the cancer out of his body as quickly as possible.
The prostate cancer surgery, normally a radical retropubic prostatectomy, is conducted via an abdominal incision. Another form of prostate cancer surgery is the radical perineal prostatectomy in which the incision is made in the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus. The prostate cancer surgery cures approximately seventy percent of the instances of prostate cancer.
Although normally a course of radiation is first tried, prostate cancer surgery is the treatment of choice for many men. It is highly effective if there are no tumors that have spread beyond the prostate. While an effective treatment, it can result in a loss of bladder control and sexual impotence.
Approximately forty percent of the patients who undergo prostate cancer surgery will be left with some degree of incontinence. Some may simply "leak" when they sneeze or cough while others will have more significant control issues. Sexual effects do not include a loss of pensile sensation or the inability to ejaculate but many men can no longer achieve an erection after the prostate cancer surgery.
Although these post-surgery problems will affect the quality of the patient's life, many men regard these issues as a small price to pay for their lives. If prostate cancer is allowed to spread beyond the prostate and if the cancer growth accelerates the patient's chances of long-term survival are not encouraging.