6 things to know about prostate cancer | Health - Hindustan Times

6 things to know about prostate cancer

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Oct 25, 2023 06:37 PM IST

Right knowledge and information about prostate cancer can be life-saving. Here are 6 things that men should know about prostate cancer

Prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the semen fluid and prostate cancer is a disease in which normal cells in prostate gland change and grows out of control, forming a tumour. Fortunately, in most cases prostate cancer is slow growing low-grade tumour.

6 things to know about prostate cancer (Photo by Twitter/gyn_doctor)
6 things to know about prostate cancer (Photo by Twitter/gyn_doctor)

Since right knowledge and information about prostate cancer can be life-saving, here are 6 things that men should know about prostate cancer:

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  1. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Preetham Dev, Urologist and Uro-oncologist at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, shared, “Globally, prostate cancer is one of the commonly diagnosed cancers and the third leading cause of cancer death in men. In India there are almost 34 thousand new cases and 16 thousand deaths from this disease every year.”

2. Initially, a person may have no symptoms of prostate cancer

According to Dr Preetham Dev, individuals with early prostate cancer may initially have no symptoms at all but at a later stage, men may face the following symptoms:

  • Dull pain in the lower pelvic area
  • Frequent urination
  • Trouble urinating, pain, burning, or weak urine flow
  • Blood in the urine (Hematuria)
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
  • Bone pain

3. Risk factors are important to identify

Dr Preetham Dev said, “There are several modifiable and non-modifiable factors that might affect risk of prostate cancer. Modifiable factors can include diet, obesity, smoking, chemical exposure and sexually transmitted infections. Long term smoking is also associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. Non-modifiable factors include age, family history etc. Hence, men should be aware of the risk factors and contact your doctor in case any adverse effects seen.”

4. Risk of prostate cancer increases with age

“The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, especially after age 50. Around 60% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in people who are 65 or older,” Dr Preetham Dev revealed.

5. Early stage detection helps in better improved survival:

Dr Rajesh Taneja, Senior Consultant, Urology, Andrology and Robotic Surgery, said, “Detecting prostate cancer in the early stages can have a huge impact on the overall survival and quality of life of the patient. One of the best ways to detect prostate cancer early is through screening by testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in blood. Complimentary to PSA testing is digital rectal examination (DRE) for detecting prostate cancer.”

6. Chemotherapy is not the only treatment option:

Dr Rajesh Taneja said, “When the cancer is limited to the prostate, it is considered localized and potentially curable. In this stage it is treated with surgery or radiotherapy. If the disease has spread to the bones or elsewhere outside the prostate it is considered stage 4 cancer. This is treated with pain medications, hormonal treatment, chemotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals, focused radiation and other oral targeted therapies. Outcomes depend on age, associated health problems, stage and extent of cancer.”

He concluded, “Choose to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce your chance of getting cancer. Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation, eat a healthy diet, Exercise regularly, get regular checkups and talk to your doctor about cancer screening, know your family history of cancer and talk with your doctor about it, quit using tobacco. Ask your health care provider for help quitting.”

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