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Prostate Cancer: Things to Know

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As per the latest statistics, prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed form of cancer among men in Delhi. Read ahead to know more about this easily detectable and treatable form of cancer.

ABOUT:

Prostate is an organ of the size of walnut, located below the urinary bladder and in front of rectum. It encircles a part of urethra (urine pipe), which is the reason why any increase in the size of prostate causing urinary troubles. 

RISK FACTORS

Every male is at risk of getting prostate cancer. The most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age. Smoking, obesity of lack of physical exercise are other contributing factors.

SYMPTOMS:

One may complaint of

  1. Dull pain in lower abdomen
  2. Increased frequency of urination
  3. Pain or burning sensation while passing urine
  4. Presence of blood in urine or semen
  5. Lower back pain
  6. Loss of weight and appetite
  7. Bone pain
  8. Weakness in legs

Presence of these symptoms should not be ignored at any age and should be discussed with the clinician right away.

SCREENING:

Screening is a method of detecting cancer in early stages when it is easily curable. Usually cancers that cause symptoms or troubles have reached advanced stages and make treatment options limited and difficult. Early detection goes a long way in improving treatment prospects and quality of life.

Prostate cancer screening can be done by a combination of 2 different modalities- Serum PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) and DRE (digital rectal examination). If any of these two tests give abnormal results, then the patient is advised a TRUS (Trans-Rectal ultrasound) and prostate biopsy. It is recommended that all patients with a family history of prostate cancer or with urinary complaints should undergo yearly PSA and digital rectal examination after the age of 50 years and 40 years respectively.

DIAGNOSIS:

The diagnosis of prostate cancer is achieved by putting the complete picture together which includes symptoms of the patient, his serum PSA levels, DRE findings and imaging features on USG, CT and MRI.  As cancers of prostate rapidly spread to the bones, a bone scan is also done to look for distant spread.

TREATMENT:

Prostate cancer is easily treatable if limited to prostate only. We have numerous options like chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. As testosterone stimulates prostatic growth, hormone therapy is also given to arrest the production and action of testosterone.

So one can live an essentially very normal life even with prostate cancer, extending up to decades if detected early. So know all your screening options and speak to your doctor to resolve any queries.

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