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What Are the Different Types of Prostate Cancer?

M. West
M. West

The prostate gland is a small component of the male reproductive system involved in manufacturing seminal fluid, a substance which has the function of transporting sperm. Although many types of prostate cancer exist, 95% of them are of the adenocarcinoma variety. Other forms include small cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The remaining types are more rare, and include sarcomas and transitional cell carcinoma.

Adenocarcinoma, which is the most common of the types of prostate cancer, starts its growth in the main glandular region of the prostate. The term can be more easily understood if it is broken up into sections. Adeno indicates that it pertains to a gland, while carcinoma means the cancer originates in epithelial cells. Epithelial cells are those which surround or line the surface of the prostate gland.

Prostate cancer refers to a cancerous growth that begins in the prostate gland.
Prostate cancer refers to a cancerous growth that begins in the prostate gland.

Small cell carcinoma is another of the types of prostate cancer. The malignancy is composed of small round cells and usually originates at nerve cells. This variety is more aggressive than adenocarcinoma. It is harder to diagnose since it does not cause an elevation in prostate specific antigens, substances which may indicate the presence of cancer. Because of this difficulty, it frequently has advanced before it is detected.

In addition to adenocarcinoma and small cell carcinoma, other varieties of prostate cancer exist. Squamous cell carcinoma is also one of the types of prostate cancer that does not produce an elevated prostate specific antigen level. Like small cell carcinoma, it is also very aggressive. Transitional cell carcinoma almost never originates in the prostate, but arises from primary cancers in the bladder or urethra. Sarcoma varieties of this cancer refers to those that originate in connective tissue

Early prostate cancer may not produce symptoms. Signs of the more advanced cases may include trouble urinating and the presence of blood in the urine or semen. Other symptoms may involve a reduced force in the urine stream, pelvic discomfort, and swelling in the legs. Patients experiencing any symptoms should see a doctor. They should also ask their physician if they are candidates for regular prostate screening.

Treatment of these types of reproductive cancers will depend on how early they are detected, how fast they are spreading, and the general health of the patient. Cases diagnosed very early may not necessitate immediate treatment but will be closely monitored. Once the cancer is progressing, surgery or radiation therapy may be advised. Another treatment choice is hormone therapy, which prevents the body from manufacturing the male hormone testosterone. Other treatment options include freezing or heating prostate tissue and chemotherapy.

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    • Prostate cancer refers to a cancerous growth that begins in the prostate gland.
      By: rob3000
      Prostate cancer refers to a cancerous growth that begins in the prostate gland.