Prostate is a glandular organ present only in males. It surrounds the neck of bladder and the first part of urethra and contributes a secretion to the semen. The gland is conical in shape and measures 3 cm in vertical diameter and 4 cm in transverse diameter.
Common Diseases of the prostate glands are:
Prostatitis: This is the inflammation of the prostate gland due to bacterial infection.
Benign enlargement of the prostate: This is a non cancerous tumor of the prostate seen after the age of 50.
Cancer of the prostate: This is the 4th most common cause of death from malignant diseases in males.
Prostate Cancer: Prostate Cancer is directly linked with the male sex hormones – Androgens. If the levels of sex hormone increases the growth rate of cancer also increases. It is found that after the removal of testes there is marked reduction in the size of tumor. Prostate cancer is mainly found in the posterior lobe. The gland becomes hard with irregular surface with loss of normal lobulation. Histologically prostate cancer is an adenocarcinoma.
Growth of Prostate Cancer: Growth rate is very fast in prostate cancer. The tumor compresses the urethra and produce difficulty in urination. Metastasis in cancer of prostate is very early. From the posterior lobe the cancer cells go to the lateral lobes and seminal vesicles. Tumor cells also move to the neck and base of the urinary bladder. Cancer cells reach the internal and external illiac group of lymph nodes through the lymph vessels. From there cells move to retroperitoneal (Behind the peritoneum) and mediastinal lymph nodes (in the chest). Spreading of cancer cells take place through the periprostatic venous plexus and reaches the vertebral veins while coughing and sneezing and finally enders the vertebral bodies of the lumbar vertebrae.
Signs and symptoms depend upon the stage of the cancer. The following symptoms may be seen:
No symptoms: Tumor is small and only in the posterior lobe. This is diagnosed accidentally.
Slight difficulty in urination: Here the tumor is enlarged and urethra is slightly compressed. Shortly there will be frequent urge for urination with difficult urination. When the tumor spread to all nearby areas including neck of bladder and urethra there will be painful urination with bleeding. Urine may come out drop by drop.
Retention of urine: When the urethra is completely compressed there will be retention of the urine. This can may lead to hydronephrosis, renal failure etc. In this condition patient may get convulsions due to renal failure and finally to coma.
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