Categories: Urology

10 Frequently Asked Questions about Prostate Cancer

  1. Do I want to know about Prostate Cancer?

In India, there are 25,696 new cases in the year 2019, which is much higher than last year and still growing in geometric progression. It is projected to be doubled by 2020. The number of deaths occurring through the same is 17,184. As much is the incidence, the 5 years prevalence of the disease is 47,558. It is the 4th most commonly diagnosed tumor worldwide. This means both mortality and morbidity.

The only copper lining is that no regional or ethnic difference in Indians is reported as yet.

So if you are an Indian man at your 40s, you do want to know about Prostate Cancer.

  1. What is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and mobilizes sperm. When cancer happens in the prostate gland, it may present as slow-growing and confined, which may not require medical assistance, or it may grow severely and move to close by organs.

  1. How can we know if Prostate Cancer will grow rapidly or slowly?

Neither can one differentiate between fast and slow-growing tumors, nor can you predict the prognosis in terms of how severe it may transform. It can remain harmless all through without causing any trouble or it may grow fierce and spread to nearby organs.

The chances of the total cure of prostate cancer are much higher in cases where it is confined and small. This prognosis can only happen if it is detected at an early stage. Early detection can only come about through screening.

  1. What is Prostate Cancer screening?

Screening is a method through which we can detect a disease way before actual physical symptoms start to appear. These methods are mostly less expensive as are supposed to be practiced preventively by masses as an intervention to reduce the numbers we just read a paragraph above.

Prostate Cancer screening consists of 2 major procedures:

  • Prostate-Specific Antigen Test – Blood Test
  1. Free PSA test (<25% Free PSA indicates a greater risk of having cancer)
  2. PSA velocity or the rate of rising over time (faster increase means more risk)
  3. PSA density, or the PSA per volume of prostate (higher density means more risk)
  4. PSA-based markers (for instance the prostate health index, 4K score)
  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) through hand
  1. Is there anything I can do to prevent Prostate Cancer?

Like other cancers, the cause is unknown, so you cannot work there. What you can do is practice a healthier lifestyle and exclude risk factors. Start with:

  1. Eat smaller frequent meals
  2. Add more vegetable and protein to your plate
  3. Switch to low fat and calorie options
  4. Avoid consuming more than 1,500 mg of calcium/day
  5. Trying fish
  6. Cooked tomato, soy, and green tea
  • Maintaining a healthy weight by managing diet and physical activities –
  1. Zumba
  2. Dance
  3. Aerobics
  4. Swimming
  5. Cycling
  6. Light Weight exercises
  • Light Yoga and Pranayama
  • Reducing Stress – Try meditation, yoga, pranayama, and other stress-reducing activities
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Smoking has to be a big no-no
  • Take all your existing medication timely
  1. Is Prostate Cancer Curable?

With the technological advancement in healthcare, nearly 100% of men diagnosed at an early stage will be disease-free after five years.

  1. Is Prostate Cancer treatment painful?

As early as it detected, Prostrate Cancer management may not require surgery and be addressed by chemo and radiotherapy. Both of these are extremely targeted to pinpoint precision reducing pain and suffering all through treatment sessions.

  1. I am 50, why screening may not be for me?

Just age doesn’t keep you in a high-risk category, there are other factors too. Sometimes screening may slip certain facts which may be of vital importance. Similarly in screening something may be detected which otherwise was harmless. Neither can screening be differentiated between fast-growing fatal tumors or slow-growing harmless tumors. On top of everything, the side effects of the treatment are too much interfering with a patient’s quality of life.

  1. If Screening has loopholes how is Prostate Cancer confirmed?

It is confirmed by:

  • A urinary PCA3 test
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate
  • Biopsy
  1. Does Prostate Cancer affect my sexual ability?

Not in earlier stages. During a later stage, it may or may not affect your sexual ability. This outcome varies from case to case.

I am certain that the above write-up must have added bits to your familiarity with Prostate Cancer. Stay aware, stay protected!

Dr. Amit Goel, Consultant – Urology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram

Narayana Health

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