Prostate Cancer-Strategies to promote healthy lifestyles

Question

 Discuss the causes of and risk factors for the problem.

 Provides data to support the magnitude of the problem. How many people die or get sick each year from this health problem? Is this a problem that affects women? If so are there any differences in its impact on men vs. women? Are there ethnic, racial, or economic class variations?  What is the yearly cost of this problem?

Identifies strategies to promote healthy lifestyles:

 Identifies wellness behaviors to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  Provides at least 2 web resources for information on the health problem.

Identifies current treatment measures:

 Discusses the current treatments for the problem?

How effective is the treatment?  Discuss any barriers to treatment such as side effects or high cost.

Sample paper

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men worldwide. In the United States, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer. Prostate cancer, like all other types of cancers, begins with unregulated cell division or growth. The unregulated cell growth has the potential to spread and invade other tissues of the body (Simon, 2004). Cancer begins when a single cell, also known as the malignant cell, undergoes abnormal cell division. Through continuous cell division, the malignant cell divides to form about 1 billion new malignant cells in not less than 30 generations (Simon, 2004). The 1 billion malignant cells form the smallest tumor that can be medically detected. The unregulated cell division continues, and the tumor increases in mass and area. With time, the tumor invades adjacent tissues, lymph channels, and blood vessels. Cancer cells may be carried to the healthy tissue through lymph channels and blood vessels, where they cause spread of cancer to the new tissues or organs.

There are certain risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Age is one of the risk factors that lead to prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is rare in men below the age of 40. Between 40 to 50 years, the disease is also uncommon. From 50 years, the risk of developing prostate cancer among men begins to rise. This risk continues to increase as an individual progress in age. For instance, men between age 50 and 59 have a 10% to 42% risk of developing prostate cancer, while those between 70 to 79 have a 25% to 66% risk of developing prostate cancer (Simon, 2004). Another risk factor for prostate cancer is a family history of cancer. There is a high risk of developing prostate cancer if there is a history of the disease in one’s family. For instance, men with a close relative (brother or father) diagnosed with prostate cancer are two times likely to develop the disease comparing to men whose families have no history of cancer.

Another risk factor is the nationality. According to Simon (2004), prostate cancer is more prevalent in the United States comparing to rural China and Japan. However, scientists argue that the reasons behind the different prevalence rates are due to genetic factors, environmental factors, and the lifestyle of individuals. This leads to the next risk factor, diet. Research indicates that poor diet (for instance eating too much red meat) increases the risk of developing prostate cancer and other types of malignancies. Race is another risk factor for prostate cancer. Various studies indicate that African-Americans are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than whites, even while taking into consideration age and poverty levels. Smoking also increases the risk of developing prostate cancer among men. Lastly, hormones may play a part in increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Men with higher levels of testosterone hormone are at an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is prevalent among men above the age of 50. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) (2016), one in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime. The risks are higher among men who are 65 years and older; about 6 in 10 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Estimates indicate that in the current year, about 161,360 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States. Further, about 26,730 deaths will occur from prostate cancer. Prostate cancer does not affect women. Racial, ethnic, and economic class variations do exist. Regarding race, prostate cancer is more common among African Americans than Whites (Simon, 2004). This could be due to genetic factors. Prostate cancer is also more common in the United States, particularly San Francisco than in rural China where it is 120 times less frequent. In terms of social class, those in the lower class are at higher chance of dying from prostate cancer due to late diagnosis and treatment.

There are several treatment options available to men suffering from prostate cancer. Treatment options are specific for each case, and may involve a combination of two or more options. The first option is surgery. This approach entails the surgical removal of the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues (“ACS,” 2016). Seminal vesicles are also removed. The medical term for this procedure is radical prostatectomy. Surgery is effective only when cancer has not spread to the nearby tissues or other parts of the body. Possible side effects include erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and problems that may arise during surgery such as infections at the surgical site. The second treatment option is radiation therapy, which entails the use of high-energy rays to kill the malignant cells (“ACS,” 2016). Radiation therapy is effective when the prostate cancer is not widespread. On the other hand, radiation therapy can help prevent symptoms from emerging early in a situation when cancer has spread to nearby tissues. Barriers include side effects such as erectile dysfunction, urinary problems, and bowel problems.

Another treatment option is cryotherapy. This refers to the use of cold temperatures to freeze cancerous cells (“ACS,” 2016). This treatment procedure is effective in treating prostate cancer at the early stages. Cryotherapy is often used when cancer comes back following radiation therapy. Barriers to treatment include the risk of erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and problems with rectum and bladder due to damage to nerves. Hormone therapy is another treatment option (“ACS,” 2016). This involves taking measures to lower the levels of androgens or male hormones in the body. Androgens are responsible for the growth of cancer cells. Hormone therapy cannot entirely cure prostate cancer but can help reduce the growth of cancer cells. It is effective if cancer has spread too much or after cancer comes back following surgery or radiation therapy (“ACS,” 2016). This treatment option has many side effects. These include low sexual drive, hot flashes, erectile dysfunction, heart problems, depression, osteoporosis, fatigue, low mental sharpness, breast tenderness, and others.

Chemotherapy is another treatment option for prostate cancer. Chemotherapy refers to the use of chemical drugs to cure cancer (“ACS,” 2016). These drugs are given orally or intravenously. The drugs kill cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy is effective in treating metastasized cancer. However, it is only useful when used in combination with other treatment options such as hormone therapy or surgery. Barriers to treatment include various side effects such as nausea and vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea, bleeding, and a higher chance of acquiring infections. The last treatment option is the vaccine treatment. This vaccine works by inducing the body’s immune system to kill the cancer cells (“ACS,” 2016). This treatment option is suitable for treating advanced prostate cancer. However, this treatment cannot eliminate cancer and has to be used in combination with other treatment options. The major barrier in using this treatment procedure is high cost.

Certain behaviors may promote healthy lifestyles among men. The first behavior relates to a healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy diet can help in preventing chronic illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and among others (Booth, Roberts, & Laye, 2012). Consumption of excessive calories from sugar, fat, or starch can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases and including prostate cancer. People should avoid eating too many sugary foods and moderate on salt intake. Another behavior that may promote healthy lifestyles is exercise. Physical activity is crucial in helping people maintain a healthy way of life. Maintaining high levels of physical activity enables one to avoid unhealthy weight gain, which is a major risk factor for chronic diseases (Booth, Roberts, & Laye, 2012). Physical activity such as brisk walking, lifting weights, dancing, and others have a significant positive impact on health.

Another strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle is to ensure that one attends regular medical checkups even without the presence of a disease. Regular checkups can help detect the presence of cancer at an earlier stage when it is possible to treat (Booth, Roberts, & Laye, 2012). For instance, men above the age of 50 should attend medical screening for prostate cancer since they are at increased risk of the disease. Another wellness behavior concerns health literacy. Health literacy is the ability access basic health information as well as services for appropriate decision-making. Health literacy can enable individuals to improve their health since they can be able to access healthcare at the right time. Further, it allows people to learn how to navigate the healthcare system. Such people can easily locate the appropriate health providers depending on their needs.

References

American Cancer society. (2016). Treating prostate cancer. Retrieved from             https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating.html

Booth, F. W., Roberts, C. K., & Laye, M. J. (2012). Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic             diseases. Comprehensive Physiology2(2), 1143–1211.        http://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c110025

Simon, H. B. (2004). The Harvard Medical School Guide to men’s health: lessons from the          Harvard Men’s Health Studies. New York, NY:  Simon and Schuster.

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