Image showing prostate cancer

4 Types Of Prostate Cancer

Introduction-

Cancer is a disease that impacts our health in more than one way. It is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells that can invade and destroy surrounding tissues.

It can lead to serious health issues and even death if not properly treated. In this article we will discuss about the cancer that affects the prostate, a male genital gland.

Prostate cancer marker tests

Image showing prostate cancer tests

As with any other investigations for different cancers, we also have prostate cancer marker tests which help us in diagnosis and prognosis [ improvement or not in its condition while treating]

Here is a table about various prostate cancer marker tests with normal range and abnormal range

Marker TestNormal RangeAbnormal Range
PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen)0-4 ng/mL>4 ng/mL
Free PSA>25% of total PSA<25% of total PSA
PCA3<35≥35
PHI (Prostate Health Index)<28≥28
4Kscore<7%≥7%
Prostate Cancer Gene 3 (PCA3)<25≥25
Prostate Health Index (PHI)<35≥35
Multiparametric MRIProvides health
status of
prostate gland
Provides
prognostic
guidance if abnormal
BiopsyShows healthy cellsShows cancer cells
Gleason Score6 or lower7 or higher

Gleason prostate cancer score helps us to accurately diagnose presence and prognosis of the cancer.

Types of Prostate Cancer-

Depending on the type of cells involved in the prostate, here is a list of different varieties of Prostate cancer-

1.Adenocarcinoma of prostate gland-

Roughly 95 t0 99 percent of all prostate cancers fall into this category. Prostate-specific antigen levels are very high in this category.

Adenocarcinoma of the prostate is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the prostate gland. It is characterized by abnormal growth of glandular cells, which can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Signs and symptoms of adenocarcinoma of the prostate may include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting and maintaining urine flow
  • Weak urine flow
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area or lower back

Investigations commonly used to diagnose and evaluate adenocarcinoma of the prostate include:

  • Digital rectal examination (DRE): A physical examination of the prostate gland through the rectum to check for any abnormalities.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test: Measures the levels of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer.
  • Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS): Uses sound waves to create images of the prostate gland, helping in the identification of tumors or abnormal areas.
  • Prostate biopsy: A procedure where small tissue samples are taken from the prostate gland to be examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells.
  • Imaging tests: Such as MRI, CT scan, or bone scan may be done to determine the extent of cancer spread.

Treatment options for adenocarcinoma of the prostate depend on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Common treatment approaches include:

  • Active surveillance: Monitoring the cancer closely without immediate treatment, especially for low-risk or early-stage cancers.
  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) may be an option for localized cancers.
  • Radiation therapy: High-energy beams are used to kill cancer cells or prevent their growth. It can be delivered externally (external beam radiation therapy) or internally (brachytherapy).
  • Hormone therapy: Medications or surgical procedures are used to block the production or action of male hormones (androgens) that fuel cancer growth.
  • Chemotherapy: Drugs are used to destroy cancer cells or slow down their growth. It is usually reserved for advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.
  • Immunotherapy: Stimulating the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells, which is a newer approach for advanced prostate cancer.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for adenocarcinoma of the prostate.

2.Sarcomas of prostate gland-

Comprise less than 0.1% of all prostatic cancers. Two varieties of this type of prostate cancer-

  • Leiosarcomas and
  • Rhabdomyosarcomas

It affects younger men aged 35-60 years. the PSA levels are normal, so it may be hard to detect.

Sarcomas are rare types of cancer that can occur in the prostate gland. Unlike the more common adenocarcinomas, which originate from glandular cells, sarcomas arise from connective tissue cells.

Sarcomas of the prostate gland account for a small percentage of prostate cancers, and they can present unique challenges in terms of diagnosis and treatment. It is important for individuals with suspected prostate sarcomas to consult with a medical professional to discuss appropriate management strategies.

3.Small cell carcinoma of prostate gland-

This type comprises less than 1% of the total number of prostate cancers. The PSA values are normal in this case.

Small cell carcinoma of the prostate gland is an aggressive and rare type of prostate cancer. It typically grows and spreads quickly, making it challenging to treat.

4. Transitional Cell Carcinoma type of Prostate cancer-

Transitional cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that can develop in a healthy prostate gland. It is a rare form of prostate cancer and accounts for a small percentage of cases.

Transitional cell carcinoma is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells in the lining of the prostate gland.

It may present unique challenges in terms of diagnosis and treatment, and individuals suspected of having this type of cancer should consult with a medical professional for appropriate management strategies.

Ct scan image showing proste cancer invading bladder and surrounding tissues
Prostate cancer CT scan
image in one of my patients

It typically presents with blood in urine with the invasion of local areas like bladder, urethra, etc. [see the image of a CT Scan above]

Well, the list is quite extensive. If you would like to learn more, Click Here

How you can prevent prostate cancer and the precautions to take

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising regularly, consuming a balanced diet, reducing red meat and dairy product intake, and avoiding smoking, may help in preventing prostate cancer. Additionally, having regular check-ups and discussing with a healthcare professional about the need for prostate cancer screening can also be beneficial. If you are a male above middle age, and are suspecting having prostate cancer discuss with your doctor or surgeon about various detection tests [discussed above].

Final Words-

Hope you have found this article useful.