What is prostate cancer? Is it slow-growing or aggressive cancer?
The prostate is a Walnut size gland located at the base of the urinary bladder in Males. The cancerous growth of this gland is seen some time. Most of the Prostate cancer is slow growing however there is a subset of aggressive prostate cancers which must be identified and treated before it turns lethal.
Why are we seeing a rise in prostate cancer diagnosis in the last decade or so?
Considering the Indian demography there is a rise in aging male population as Prostate Cancer is the disease of elderly so its incidence is rising, moreover with better availability of diagnostic centers and hospitals and awareness about the disease in general population more & more prostate cancer is being detected.
What are the risk factors and typical age?
This is a disease associated with aging so the risk increases as the age increase after 50years in a lifetime. It is more often in African males and in persons with a history of prostate cancer in his family.
What are the symptoms?
Interestingly this disease doesn’t have any symptoms in early stage however as the disease progresses a person can have difficulty in passing urine, need to frequently visit washroom particularly at night, blood in urine and semen. When the disease is very advanced it can cause back pain and weakness of the leg
How is it diagnosed?
For the diagnosis of this disease evaluation by a urologist to feel the prostate is most important. Besides this, a blood test (Serum, PSA) & sonography are the primary screening methods. In suspicious cases, MRI of the prostate and biopsy of the prostate is done.
How is it staged and treated?
For Staging of the disease CT Scan of the abdomen, bone scan or PET scan is necessary treatment is based on stage. In localized cancers cure is possible either surgery (open conventional/laparoscopic/ robotic) or radiation therapy. In advance cases where the cure is not possible this disease can be managed by hormone therapy (castration) and chemotherapy.
What is the success rate and follow up treatment?
Early Prostate cancer can be cured with good success rate however they need to be following up every 3 to 6 monthly. Advanced prostate cancer can be managed with good results in significant no of cases
Are there any ways to cut the risk?
To decrease the risk early detection is the key it advisable to have a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet with adequate vegetables & fruits, avoid smoking and red meat, exercise regularly.
What is the role of the drug finasteride in reducing the risk?
The role of finasteride in the prevention of Prostate Cancer is not clearly defined
Some studies claim ejaculation can have a preventative effect. True?
The preventive effect of ejaculation on Prostate Cancer is yet to be substantiated by good clinical studies.