Movember: Facts about Prostate Cancer and Treatment
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and is a leading cause of death in men, second only to lung cancer. With increase in life expectancy, adoption of newer lifestyles and screening using prostate specific antigen (PSA), the incidence of prostate cancer is still on the rise. In India, this disease is growing by 1% every year. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.
1) One new case occurs every 2.5 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 17 minutes.
2) A non-smoking man is more likely to get prostate cancer than lung, bronchus, colon, rectal, bladder, lymphoma, melanoma, oral and kidney cancers combined.
3) Prostate cancer is a relatively slow growing cancer and long term survival is possible.
4) The chance of having prostate cancer increases rapidly after the age of 50 years. More than 70% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. It is still unclear why there is an increasing incidence of prostate cancer amongst elderly gentlemen.
Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Early Stage: For localised prostate cancers the options are either surgery (prostatectomy) or radiotherapy. Both have been observed to be equally effective.
Advance Stage: For advancing prostate cancer, hormonal therapy using androgen-depriving drugs and radiotherapy are commonly used.
Metastatic – Spread to other sites as well: For advanced prostate cancers that have spread the best initial therapy is androgen deprivation, which is quite effective but is usually shortlived and when the disease relapses, chemotherapy may provide further relief.
Prostate cancer is 100% curable if caught early and it can be caught early ONLY if every male above 50 does a PSA blood test every year. It is a cheap test, no fasting is required and can be done at any time of the day. Most labs offer this simple test.
*Data Courtesy: Dr. Anup Ramani, Uro-Oncological Surgeon- Lilavati, Breach Candy, Asian Robotic Institute, Mumbai & Welcare Hospital, Dubai.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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