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Definition of the prostate

Prostate cancer

The prostate is a gland of the male genital size of a chestnut located just below the bladder. It is traversed by the urethra, the canal that discharges of urine and semen.

The size of a chestnut, the prostate may increase in volume. This phenomenon is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

This is a common cause of occurrence of urinary disorders. Any symptoms of this type is not systematically related to prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer in figures

This cancer is the most common of all cancers in France (2005 data). 62,000 new cases were diagnosed in 2005. This is the fourth in terms of mortality with approximately 9,000 deaths per year.

The causes of prostate cancer
Certain factors appear to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Hereditary forms (at least three cases in first degree relatives) represent only 5 to 10% of prostate cancers. The risk is clearly higher among men whose families affected by prostate cancer.

Feeding behavior:
Excessive consumption of animal fats, including red meat, is likely to increase the incidence of the disease.
The age:

95% of cases occur after age 57. In men 90 years, it is estimated that 30% of prostate cancers occult and will not be the cause of death.

Symptoms of prostate cancer
Most often, prostate cancer remains silent long. When it occurs, the most frequent symptoms are urinary disorders or difficulty ejaculating.

Screening for prostate cancer
To fifty years, during a visit, the doctor may perform a rectal examination which will allow to detect any increase in volume, induration or anomalies.

He may prescribe additional tests in particular PSA (determination of prostate specific antigen) and a visit to a urologist. This may further investigations and, if necessary, samples (under local anesthesia) for microscopic analysis.

Treatment of prostate cancer
Several treatment options available to patients and physicians according to the stage of prostate cancer, but also depending on the age of the patient: surveillance, surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

We can thus proceed to radical prostatectomy surgery that is to say, the surgical removal of the prostate in its entirety as well as surrounding tissues.

It can also be conduct external radiotherapy, it is to administer radiation directly to the tumor.
We can also consider brachytherapy, internal radiation therapy that involves placing radioactive sources directly into the prostate.

Finally, hormone treatments means that control tumor growth by regulating hormones. It aims in particular to control the action of one of them, testosterone plays a key role in prostate cancer by accelerating its evolution.

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