Vancouver Home Health Care Agency

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. Understanding prostate cancer means understanding the prostate, which is an organ found only in men. The organ rests behind the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. It grows with age, with the most rapid growth happening during puberty. Growth into adulthood slows down to nearly none at all, but it still grows at a very slow rate. The prostate creates fluid for sperm, to make the sperm more fluid as it passes into the vagina.

An Overview of Prostate Cancer

There are a number of cells in the prostate, however, nearly all prostate cancers stem from gland cells, or the cells which create the fluid added to semen. Medically, this type of cancer is termed, is adenocarcinoma. Other cancers which begin in the prostate are:

  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Sarcomas
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

The list of cancers above are extremely rare; if a man has prostate cancer, it is usually adenocarcinoma. Some will spread and grow rapidly, but most are slow moving cancers. This is why prostate cancer is so common, and so dangerous. Many men never know they have an issue because there are very few, if any, symptoms.

A Few Pre-Cancerous Conditions in the Prostate
There is research suggesting that cancers in the prostate begin as pre-cancerous conditions.

PIN, or Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia

This condition brings changes in the way prostate gland cells appear under a microscope. The abnormal cells, however, do not appear to be growing into other areas, so they don’t appear to act like cancer cells. They are categorized into two different types, according to how they look.

Low-grade PIN: Prostate cell patterns appear nearly normal
High-grade PIN: Patterns of cells appear more abnormal than usual

PIN can appear in some men as young as 20. Nearly half of every man has some form of PIN by 50. Many men will develop the low-grade version early but will not necessarily have prostate cancer later. Researchers are still searching for the link between low-grade PIN and prostate cancer. Follow-up care for low-grade PIN means treating the prostate as if there are no abnormalities.

When high-grade PIN is discovered, doctors assume there is possible cancer on other areas of the prostate. In fact, there is a scientific chance of 20% that cancer exists. Doctors will monitor high-grade PIN closely, often following up with more biopsies.

PIA, or Proliferative Inflammatory Atrophy

PIA is a second possible find on a biopsy. The cells appear smaller than normal, with inflammation signs around the area. PIA is not categorized as cancer, but research shows that PIA may lead to cancer or high-grade PIN.

Vancouver Home Health Care Agency has many resources devoted to prostate cancer.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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