Opinion

Hesitancy could make you prey to India’s most silent killer

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in India and the sixth leading cause of deaths among men worldwide. One in every six men over 60 years of age tends to suffer from this disease. Every year, as many as 15 lakh prostate cancer cases are detected in India, of which 85 percent are at stage four. However, according to a new research, unlike other cancers prostate cancer can be detected at an early age of 40 and chances of treating him is almost 100 percent.

It is therefore recommended that men over 40 years should visit a doctor for prostate evaluation. Also, if they are experiencing any unusual signs especially, pertaining to urination, ejaculation, backache, swelling of lower limbs, bone pain etc. then they should visit to a doctor is highly recommended. These signs are often mistaken for minor or unrelated problems but are early detection symptoms of Prostate cancer. It is also observed that sometimes the men with prostate cancer have no symptoms till the prostate increases in size and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) similar to benign enlargement may occur.

Early detection is easily possible by digital rectal examination and PSA estimation once a year in all men above the age of 50 years and above the age of 45 in those who have a family history of prostate cancer for early detection of cancer. A person diagnosed with prostate cancer, medical recourse is sought either with medicines or through surgery. There are certain drugs, which administered in combination with others, decrease the size of the stricken prostate. Under what is known as Combination Therapy, these drugs are usually taken for a period of six to twelve months. The drugs induce remission, reduce morbidity and prevent complications.

The other alternative is surgery, usually at a later stage when the malignant cancer has increased rapidly and the patient does not respond to medication. There are laser techniques available that make removal of prostate easy. There is also hormone therapy and radiotherapy, but they only come in at more advanced stages.

Hormone therapy works by stopping the hormone testosterone from reaching prostate cancer cells. Testosterone doesn’t usually cause problems, but in case of aggressive prostate cancer, it can make the cancer cells grow faster. Hormone therapy alone won’t cure prostate cancer but it can keep it under control, sometimes for several years, before further treatment is administered. It is also used with other treatments, such as radiotherapy, to make them more effective.

Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to treat cancer. It is used along with hormone therapy for cancers that have grown outside the prostate gland and into nearby tissues. Radiation may also be used as the first treatment for cancer that is still just in the prostate gland and is low grade.

Prostate cancer is common among those who have a family history of the disease. The chances of it are higher especially, if someone in the blood relation have suffered from it.  While doctors haven’t been able to zero in on specific causes, prostate cancer is found to be more common among urban Indians, which indicates that pollution, stress, unhealthy eating habits, obesity, smoking and sedentary living could play a significant role in raising risk.

Urologists recommend cutting down on dairy, red meat, sugar and starch-rich foods as one of the means of preventing this disease. These foods are perceived to raise risk. On the other hand, cereals, fish, green leafy vegetables, and green tea are considered to help prevent it. Also, leaving and avoiding tobacco and cigarettes reduces the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 10-15 percent. It is also important to exercise and keep a check on the weight that will thereby, help reduce risk even further.

To conclude, living a simple life, eating healthy, and being responsible by getting regular check-ups are few steps to prevent this disease.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Dr. Narmada Prasad Gupta is  Chairman, Academics and Research Division Urology, Kidney & Urology Institute, Medanta – The Medicity

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