Prostate cancer is a disease that generally that progresses at a fairly slow pace. quite slowly and, when detected early, is highly curable. In the majority of cases, when detected at a localized stage, that is to say in the absence of it spreading to other parts of the body (metastasis), the survival rate is excellent. That’s why early detection is important.
Nowadays, advanced techniques are used to produce an extremely accurate diagnosis. In addition, multiple effective therapeutic approaches can halt or slow the progression of the disease. In most cases, the prognosis is encouraging.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. It is sometimes indolent, sometimes fatal and it causes little or no symptoms at first. Although it strikes on average around the age of 67, it can affect men in their forties or fifties. In Quebec, twelve (12) men are diagnosed daily.
Although the incidence of prostate cancer continues to increase, the latest advances in treatment have reduced the risk of death. Indeed, considerable progress has been made in terms of invasive surgeries or specific radiation therapies to treat certain forms of prostate cancer, which in turn has reduced the risk of complications and allow for a faster recovery.
The exact causes of prostate cancer remain largely unknown. However, research has highlighted some risk factors.
Facts and figures
Generally speaking, cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. It can affect any type of cell in an organ, a gland, muscle tissue, blood or the lymphatic system.
Under normal conditions, the cells in our bodies contain all the information they need for their development, function, reproduc¬tion and death. Usually, our cells do their work properly and we remain healthy. However, sometimes a few of the cells do not behave normally and begin multiplying uncontrollably, eventually forming a group of abnormal cells. After a while, this group forms a detectable lump known as a tumour.
Over time, the malignant cells in cancerous tumours can invade neighbouring tissue or organs. They may even spread to the rest of the body through the blood or lymphatic system. This stage is known as “metastasis.”
In the case of prostate cancer, the secretory cells are usually the ones that become cancerous. Once the cancer has been diagnosed, treatment is determined depending on the stage of the disease and the overall health of the patient
Types of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a very heterogeneous disease, some progress very slowly while others are more aggressive. In reality, most cases are somewhere between the two. For the moment, science does not have the tools to accurately predict the growth rate of a person’s cancer once it has been diagnosed. Clinicians use a variety of information to estimate the speed of the cancer.
About 14 percent of Canadians suffer from “clinical” prostate cancer, meaning their disease has been detected by a doctor and officially diagnosed. However, studies of autopsy reports have shown that another 30 percent of men have latent cancer, meaning the cancerous cells lie dormant in the prostate. Although present, the cancer does no harm because it does not attack the body. Not all men develop latent prostate cancer, but the probability of doing so increases with age.
According to the current state of knowledge, prostate cancer is one of the few cancers that can remain in latent form for such a long period of time. Researchers are trying to understand why some cancers remain latent while others develop into full-blown diseases. While it is generally believed that risk factors and genes play an important role in the development of clinically significant cancer, the precise mechanism is still unknown.
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You have questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate. Contact us at 1 855 899-2873 to discuss with one of our nurses specialized in uro-oncology. They are there to listen, support and answer your questions, those of your family or your loved ones. It’s simple and free, like all of our other services.
Also take the time to visit each of our pages on this website, as well as our YouTube channel, in order to get familiar with the disease, our expert lectures and webinars, our section on available resources, the support that is offered to you, our events and ways to get involve to advance the cause.
Pages that might interest you
Want to know more? Just click on one of the links below.
The latest PROCURE news that might interest
Every week we publish a blog article. Here’s some we chose for you.
- Prostate cancer: Did you say zero symptoms?
- Scared stiff of having a prostate biopsy?
- Can a MRI of my prostate replace a biopsie?
The medical content and editorial team at PROCURE
Our team is composed of urologists, nurses certified in uro-oncology with a deep knowledge of prostate cancer and other diseases related to the genitourinary system. Meet our staff by clicking here.
Sources and references
- Prostate Cancer – Understand the disease and its treatments; Fred Saad, MD, FRCSC and Michael McCormack, MD, FRCSC, 4th et 5th editions
- Canadian Cancer Society
- Prostate Cancer Foundation-PCF.org
- National Cancer Institute-USA
- American Cancer Society
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
- Prostate Cancer UK
Last medical and editorial review: July 2019
Written by PROCURE. © All rights reserved – 2019