Incidences of prostate cancer continue rising globally although its causes remain unknown. Therefore, varieties of strategies are necessary to reduce the prevalence of prostate cancer in patients at risk. This paper explains how to prevent and treat prostate cancer. It also illustrates the side effects of the various therapies and explains how ethnicity and age influence the disease.
Prevention of Prostate Cancer
Nurse practitioners (NPs) prevent prostate cancer through active surveillance in asymptomatic patients above the age of seventy. This approach requires periodic digital rectal examinations, prostate surface antigen tests and monitoring of symptoms (Porter & Kaplan, 2011).
Prostate cancer prevention has three wide categories that focus primarily on controlling steroid hormones, diet changes and control of prostate inflammation (Held-Warmkessel, 2006). The NP may administer non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by controlling inflammation, which is an important factor in the carcinogenesis of the disease.
The NP emphasizes the consumption of natural foods that comprise a balanced diet. The NP also encourages patients to reduce the consumption of animal proteins. Deficiency of vitamin D and intake of synthetic folic acid supplements also increase the risk of prostate cancer. The NP, therefore, provides vitamin D supplements and encourages the consumption of natural folic acid. People at risk should maintain normal body weight and avoid obesity. The NP prevents prostate cancer in overweight clients by encouraging them to lose weight and undertake exercises (Held-Warmkessel, 2006).
Androgens are crucial in the normal growth and functioning of the prostate gland. Androgens, consequently, promote the growth of malignant prostate cells by adhering to and triggering the androgen receptors on prostate cells. Therefore, the NP administers antiandrogen drugs that reduce androgen production and functions in the body (Mäkinen & Huhtaniemi, 2011).
Influences of Ethnicity and Age in Prevention Measures
The chances of suffering from prostate cancer are greater in Black men compared to Caucasian males. Moreover, the diagnosis often occurs in the disease stages. Ethnicity, therefore, influences prevention measures to target African-American men (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2012).
Prostate cancer risk increases with advancing age particularly after the age of 50. The immune system functions dwindle as one age thereby reducing the body’s ability to recognize cancerous cells and mark them for elimination. Therefore, prevention measures should target aging men to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer (American Cancer Society a, n.d.).
Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Treatment options vary depending on factors such as age, other underlying health conditions, disease stage, and potential benefits of each treatment. These options include prostatectomy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, cryosurgery (cryotherapy), and chemotherapy (American Cancer Society, n.d.).
Prostatectomy is the severing of the prostate gland in localized cancer and locally advanced prostate neoplasms. Radiotherapy mainly treats localized prostate cancer and locally advanced prostate cancer cells. Radiotherapy slows down metastatic prostate cancer and relieves the disease symptoms (Arcangelo, & Peterson, 2011). Hormone therapy alongside radiotherapy increases the chances of successful treatment by diminishing the likelihood of regeneration of cancerous cells. Cryotherapy kills the malignant cells by freezing them and is effective in localized tumors.
Chemotherapy is mainly effective in metastatic prostate cancer, which is unresponsive to hormone therapy. Chemotherapy interferes with the multiplication of cancerous cells but does not cure prostate cancer. Chemotherapy reduces uncomfortable symptoms such as pain (Arcangelo, & Peterson, 2011).
Implications of the Above Treatments
Prostatectomy causes urinary incontinence, which usually clears three to six months post-surgery in most men. Other men experience erectile dysfunction that improves with time. Short-term effects of radiotherapy include loss of pubic hair, fatigue and cystitis. Hormone therapy complications include hot flushes, sweating and weight gain. The consequences of cryotherapy include erectile dysfunction, incontinence and fistulas. The main spin-offs of chemotherapy are an increase in susceptibility to infections, lethargy, alopecia, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting (Arcangelo, & Peterson, 2011).
Prostate cancer prevention requires aggressive prevention measures and treatment to reduce disease morbidity and mortality. Like most cancers, the success of prostate cancer treatment depends on early diagnosis.
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