If you’ve been told you have prostate cancer, you’re probably getting a lot of different options and opinions from various sources. You may even be told that most men get prostate cancer at some point, and it’s slow-growing, so you should “just ignore it.”
Even though most men eventually do get a slow-growing type of prostate cancer, many men develop a very aggressive kind – and this cannot be ignored. Let’s talk about why you shouldn’t disregard a prostate cancer diagnosis, and where you can go in Phoenix to have your prostate treated so you can continue to enjoy life.
What Happens if You Ignore Prostate Cancer?
Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of dividing cells. Your doctor will talk to you about whether your prostate cancer is still localized within the prostate, or whether it has spread (metastasized) to other tissues or organs in your body.
If your cancer levels have been increasing quickly, the urologist may recommend having a full prostatectomy, which is removal of your prostate gland. You do not need your prostate to survive, so this is a good and life-saving option for men who have prostate cancer.
If the cancer is still localized in the prostate, this is most survivable with the removal of the prostate, because it is unlikely to spread; and if the cancer does spread after prostate removal, it is more likely to be controlled with nonsurgical treatment. This is actually a somewhat common occurrence, and men then receive radiation and hormone therapy to keep the cancer cells under control.
If aggressive cancer is left untreated, it can become malignant and spread to other organs. Malignant cancer is life-threatening.
How Prostate Cancer Spreads
Undetected and untreated prostate cancer can begin spreading to nearby tissues and structures or even to distant organs. Usually, local tissues or lymph nodes are the first sites of spread. This is because of the very nature of cancer, which is uncontrolled cell division, and these cells can go into the circulatory system and travel to other places in your body.
Spreading to Nearby Tissues or Structures
The blood vessels and lymphatic channels entering and exiting the prostate are the first sites where prostate cancer can invade past the prostate itself. The most common sites of prostate cancer spread are the seminal vesicles, abdominal lymph nodes, rectum, and bladder.
Distant Sites of Metastasizing Prostate Cancer
Once the cancerous cells enter your blood stream and lymphatic system, they can seed in another organ or part of the body. Prostate cancer that spreads to another organ is called “prostate cancer” rather than cancer of that organ, because cancer is named based on its originating source.
When metastasized or spread to other organs or tissues, prostate cancer is difficult to treat. Chemotherapy, radiation, and/or hormone therapy are usually considered suitable treatment choices for prostate cancer that has spread.
Prostate Cancer Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
Prostate cancer warrants careful management from an expert urologist. Here at Ironwood Urology, Dr. Desi Avila is a board-certified urologist who treats men’s health conditions of all kinds, from erectile dysfunction to infertility, from urinary incontinence to prostate cancer.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Avila, call our Phoenix urology clinic today at (480) 961-2323 or fill out our convenient appointment request form online. We look forward to serving you!