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10 Essential Facts You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer  : Prof. Dr. Somashekhar S P, Chairman – Medical Advisory Board, Aster DM Healthcare – GCC & India.

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Bengaluru, 27th of June, 2024 : 10 Essential Facts You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer  : Prof. Dr. Somashekhar S P, Chairman – Medical Advisory Board, Aster DM Healthcare – GCC & India, Global Director – Aster International Institute of Oncology – GCC & India, Lead Consultant – Surgical & Gynaecological Oncology & Robotic Surgeon, HIPEC & PIPAC Super-specialist, Aster Whitefield Hospital, Bengaluru.

Prostate cancer is one of the routine checkups that a man must undertake in life. These checkups should start at the age of 50 or even 45 if there is a family history of the disease. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men worldwide, and mainly affects those aged 65 and above. Early detection through regular screening can significantly enhance chances of successful treatment and survival. This gland, located beneath the bladder, is important to male reproductive system; it produces seminal fluid that provides nourishment for and transports sperms. Older men are more prone to developing prostate cancer hence making regular check-ups essential for early detection and effective care management. How would you know if you have prostate cancer? The following information will be useful to you, your family members and friends.

1.Importance of Routine Checkups: Regular check-ups for prostate cancer are always necessary for men’s health, especially from the age of 50. If there is a family history of prostate cancer, screening should begin at an earlier age such as 45 years. Regular tests can help in early detection thus increasing chances of successful treatment and survival.

2. Prevalence: Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men worldwide. It mostly affects older people aged 65 and above; however, younger adults such as those aged between thirty-five and forty-five are also at risk. One out of seven men globally will be diagnosed with prostate cancer making it a significant public health problem.

3.Role Played by the Prostate Gland: The prostate gland is found beneath the bladder and is important in male reproduction system. This organ produces seminal fluid that nourishes spermatozoa and carries them along during ejaculation. Good function of this gland is essential to reproductive capacity.

4. Symptoms of Prostate Cancer:

Early symptoms of prostate cancer can include:

  • Physical discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Painful urination
  • Decreased urine stream force
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Blood in urine

These symptoms are more common in the early stages of the disease and can vary depending on the tumor’s location and size.

5. Advanced Stage Indicators:

In later stages, prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body, leading to more severe symptoms such as:

  • Swelling of the legs or pelvic region
  • Numbness in the hips and feet
  • Brittle bones, which may lead to fractures

6. Risk Factors and Early Detection: Recognizing the symptoms and consulting medical professionals are the first steps in early detection. Regular screenings, such as the annual Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, are crucial. Genetic testing, particularly for BRCA2 mutations, can also be important, as these mutations significantly increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

7. Treatment Options: Treatment for prostate cancer varies depending on the tumor’s size, location, and the patient’s overall health. Common treatments include:

  • Surgery: Robotic Nerve Preserving/Sparing Radical Prostatectomy can remove cancer cells before they spread but may cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction and infertility.
  • Radiation Therapy: Uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy: Reduces levels of male hormones that can fuel cancer growth.
  • Chemotherapy: Uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Targeted Therapy: Targets specific cancer cells with minimal damage to normal cells.

8. Side Effects of Treatment: Treatment side effects can vary. For example, surgery in older men can lead to urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. It’s important to discuss potential side effects with your medical professional to manage and mitigate them effectively.

9. Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk. This includes:

  • Eating a low-fat diet
  • Increasing intake of green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits
  • Decreasing daily consumption of dairy and fatty foods

10. Proactive Health Management:

Understanding risk factors, identifying symptoms early, and maintaining regular screenings are vital in managing prostate cancer. Adopting a healthy lifestyle not only reduces the risk of developing the disease but also improves the prognosis for those diagnosed with it.

In summary, prostate cancer is a serious yet manageable disease. By staying informed about risk factors, recognizing symptoms, and undergoing regular screenings, men can significantly improve their chances of early detection and successful treatment.

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