The prostate gland which is about the size of a walnut produces the fluid needed to preserve and carry sperm that is held in the testicles.
Can I survive without my prostate gland ?
The prostate has a special purpose in a man’s body and you can definitely survive a long and full-filling life without it.
Prostate cancer is a disease which affects a large number of men and especially black men. How you are affected by the treatment of this disease depends on your choice of treatment. In general, it helps to have a Urologist / Surgeon who is highly skilled in this area because of how complexed even the side effects can become.
I am referring to side effects such as erectile dysfunction which can be temporary or treatable and even long lasting. Men will also experience different degrees of incontinence or urine leakage and in some instances they may find that there is a period after the radical prostatectomy (prostate surgery) when the leakage slowly begins although there was a dry period following the surgery, this is a sign of a side effect of prostate surgery called Bladder neck contracture which is a closing off of the bladder by scare tissue at its connection to the urethra after the prostate has been removed.
Bladder neck contracture is repaired by your surgeon with Cystoscopy / laser incision of the bladder neck in the hospital during a procedure which lasts for up to 45 minutes usually under general anesthetics. Bladder neck contracture may reappear after a successful laser incision surgery .
Prostate cancer treatment may also involve Radiation, Harmonal therapy or just a Watchful waiting, these avenues of treatment depends of your particular circumstance and consultation with your urologist and family.
Stage T1C Prostate Cancer means that the tumor is very small and cannot be felt on a digital rectal examination. (DRE)
Stage T2 Prostate Cancer means that the tumor grows in one (T2a) or both lobes (T2b) of the prostate and can be felt on examination.
Stage T3 Prostate Cancer means the tumor has spread locally outside of the prostate capsule (T3) or involves seminal vesicles (T3b).
Stage T4 Prostate Cancer has the tumor spreading into surrounding tissue such as the bladder and the rectum
As you might guess the “T” here stands for tumor eg. T3.
Biopsy – This is a removal of prostate tissue for microscopic examination to diagnose and assess the presence of cancer.
Clinical stage – Assessing the size and extent of the tumor in particular if it is confined to the prostate. eg. as in Stage T1C. Also involves checking out the lymph nodes adjacent to the prostate and figuring out if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. (TNM SYSTEM – Tumour, Node, Metastasis)
Gleason Grade : This is a system used by a pathologist when examining the biopsy sample. The pathologist looks at the pattern of the cancer cells to assess the aggressiveness of the cancer and gives a score out of 10. Scores 4 – 6 are considered low grade or less aggressive, 7 is intermediate grade / moderately aggressive while 8 – 10 are the most aggressive, high grade.
Malignancy : describes a tumour as being cancerous, a benign tumor is non-cancerous.
Metastatasis : This refers to the spread of the cancerous cell from a tumor to nearby or further parts of the body.
PSA : Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein produced only by the prostate cells; this is measured by a blood test used to monitor tumor growth.
Your treatment options for prostate cancer are based on your age, the stage and grade of the prostate cancer and your PSA level.