Friday, August 17, 2007

Overcoming Various Prostate Problems

Prostate problems usually affect men as they reach their prime, although there are cases affecting men as young as in their teens. Frequent urination is signs of enlargement of the prostate gland. The prostate is a walnut sized gland beside the rectum and surrounds the urethra, which is the canal that empties the urine from the urinary bladder so that when it enlarges, it causes urination problems like frequent urination at night, difficulty starting urination, weak and interrupted urine flow and the feeling that some urine is retained in the bladder. Although this might cause inconvenience, one form of prostate enlargement can be deadly and that is prostate cancer. Fortunately, prostate cancer is curable when treated promptly and recovering patients can live long and productive lives.

Curing prostate problems start with early detection. There are several methods of cancer detection. A digital rectal examination can detect if the prostate is enlarged, a blood test called Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is also part of the screening process. Once prostate cancer is suspected to occur, a prostate biopsy is performed. There are several methods of treating the cancer depending on which stage is the disease. Surgical removal of the prostate called prostatectomy and is a common procedure. Radiation therapy is also an effective non-surgical method where the radiation kills the cancer cells. Radiotherapy may be used for treating both early and late prostate cancer patients. Brachytherapy is another form of radiation therapy for prostate cancer that delivers the radioactive source close to the tumor. High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a temporary type of brachytherapy that involves placing CT-guided needles into the prostate glands. When the complete dose of radiation is delivered, the needles are then removed to complete the therapy.



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