Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men worldwide and a leading cause of male mortality in the United States. There is a direct link between prostate health and male fertility. Patients should attend regular clinical visits to stay updated on their reproductive health and thus recognize early signs of malignancy to kickstart treatment and ensure they preserve their fertility. Practitioners at General Family Practice acknowledge the role of prostate cancer in impacting men’s health Cary and develop appropriate procedures leading to accurate diagnosis and effective treatment and management of the disease to promote fertility and reduced mortality.
What is the function of the prostate?
The male reproductive system constitutes various parts whose functions complement each other to support fertility and male sexual characteristics. The prostate is a critical part of the male reproductive system because it nourishes the sperm keeping them active and healthy. The prostate also secretes a fluid that ensures sperm transportation. The prostate-specific antigen also comes from the prostate, which is why semen maintains a liquid state.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer
Most patients do not experience any symptoms of Prostate cancer in the early stages. The absence of symptoms causes patients not to seek medical intervention giving the malignancy time to grow to severe stages. Clinicians encourage patients to attend a regular screening that can detect slight changes indicating cancer. Prostate cancer screening tests measure PSA. High levels of PSA confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Males with advanced stages of prostate cancer notice the following symptoms:
- Difficulties urinating
- Frequent urination during nighttime
- Weak urine stream
- Painful ejaculation
- Back, hips, and pelvis pain
What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?
The appropriate treatment plan will vary depending on various factors, including the size of the tumor and the cancer stage. Some of the treatment options clinicians recommend to patients with prostate cancer are:
- Watchful waiting and monitoring: This conservative approach is appropriate for small and localized tumors. Watchful waiting and monitoring involve regular PSA-level checkups without necessitating immediate action, which may cause a patient to experience side effects that may not be necessary at this stage.
- Radical prostatectomy: This treatment involves removing the malignancy, prostate, and surrounding tissues. Laparoscopy and robot-assisted laparoscopy are necessary to improve surgical outcomes.
- Chemotherapy: This treatment is necessary for cancer that has spread to other body tissues or cancer that has come back after remission. Clinicians administer medications into the patient’s system to kill the cancerous growths. Unfortunately, the administration of these medications leads to adverse effects, including hair loss, nausea, and weight loss.
- Hormone therapy: Blocking critical male hormones like testosterone can cause cancer cells to stop growing. Hormone therapy to eliminate androgens involves removing the testicles. Clinicians may also prescribe specific hormone-suppressing medications to achieve a similar effect.
The prostate gland is a significant part of male sexual reproduction. Prostate cancer, therefore, impacts a man’s fertility. Moreover, prostate cancer treatments also hinder fertility. Patient education is necessary to help men preserve fertility functions. For example, patients may decide to bank sperm before surgery to protect their future hopes of having children. Extracting sperm directly from the testicles for artificial insemination is another option for patients to consider before undergoing prostate cancer treatments. Contact Generations Family Practice to stay updated on current prostate cancer trends and begin an appropriate management plan to restore your wellness.