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Knowing How To Spot Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland, of some men. This is the gland which makes possible the secretion of fluids that makeup semen during sexual pleasure. In prostate cancer, cells grow and multiply in an uncontrolled manner which form a type of mass or tumor This growth may eventually cause the cells to spread into organs that are close by, if the cancer is left untreated. The bones may be affected as well and prostate cancer many times, will cause pain and a difficulty in urinating. Many other symptoms may occur as well.

This type of cancer in men can progress either rapidly or slowly. Each case if different. Aggressive prostate cancer will spread faster than normal prostate cancer, and is characterized by highly abnormal cells.

What Is Aggressive Prostate Cancer

With this aggressive type of cancer, the cancer will spread very rapidly compared to the typical type of prostate cancer. Studies show that mutated cells found in the aggressive type of this cancer are very different from normal, healthy cells in appearance. Another thing that seems consistent with aggressive prostate cancer is that it does not go into remission despite a lowered level of androgens. This type of therapy, known as androgen-deprivation therapy, is one of the first-line treatments against the disease.

A protein was recently identified as a pretty good predictor of the nature of the prostate cancer involved. This is very helpful to the medical field. Tests are done to see if it will mutate into the aggressive form or not, by using the protein P27. This protein normally functions to suppress tumor growth. It has been found that men with aggressive prostate cancer have very low levels of this protein in their blood. This type of cancer has a worse prognosis than the typical type of prostate cancer, and men with this disease also face a higher risk of the cancer recurring.

How To Identify Aggressive Prostate Cancer

It is advisable that all men over the age of fifty, get a yearly prostate examination. It is ideal for the early detection of tumors in the prostate, especially since prostate cancer does not normally come with visible signs and symptoms. A routine physical examination can be preformed by your doctor through a digital rectal examination or a trans-rectal ultrasound.

There are many ways in which it may be determined how aggressive, prostate cancer may be. Included are tumor markers which are often used to determine if the cancer is low-risk, intermediate risk, or high risk. Aggressive prostate cancer comes under the high risk category. These markers will include prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, the PSA velocity, and the Gleason score.

PSA is a substance which is normally produced by the prostate gland in small amounts. Levels that are higher than normal, will many times point to an infection, an enlargement, or a disease in the prostate. The PSA velocity can also show if the cancer is aggressive or not. Studies have shown that when PSA levels rise sharply for a few months before surgery, it is often an indication that the cancer is aggressive.

The Gleason score, on the other hand, can also show how aggressive the cancer is by grading the appearance of mutated cells. The more abnormal the cells appear, the more aggressive they are.

As with any serious disease, the early detection may make the difference between a good and bad prognosis. Although it cannot lower the risk for aggressive prostate cancer, annual digital prostate exams, trans rectal ultrasound and other medical tests can identify potential cancerous tumors at a time when treatment can be the most effective.

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