Most men, shy of approaching physicians, run to quacks for prostate problems and end with escalated problems.
“Almost 99 per cent of the patients who come to us with prostate problems have already approached quacks, thinking it is a sexual problem. By the time, the patients come to us, their disease has often worsened due to lack of awareness, bad treatment, wrong diagnosis and poor management,” Rajeev Sood, senior urologist at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, said.
Almost 5,000 cases of prostate diseases were registered in the RML hospital in 2008 alone. “While prostate cancer — being the number two cancer in men — needs increased awareness, there is also a need to check the growth of quacks,” he said.
According to a rough estimate, the incidence of prostate diseases is 50 per cent in men in the age group of 40-60, while it is 80 per cent in men above 60.
“Prostate diseases usually afflict men above 40 years of age. But prostate infections and can happen at any age,” Dr H.S. Bhatyal, head of urology, Batra Hospital, said.
“The exact cause of the disease is not known yet. Prostate cancer being a hormone-dependent disease is caused when there is an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. Increased level of testosterone causes prostate enlargement and needs to be controlled,” Dr Umesh Oza, senior urologist at Bombay Hospital, said.
Urologists say, there is a growing need to have a prostate diseases screening test included in the state health programme.
“A simple PSA test can help identify the problem. The test costs as low as Rs 500 and is available for a subsidised cost in government hospitals. It is imperative at all states have a free screening test in their health programme to avoid further
escalation of the disease,” Dr Oza said.