After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death, which is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed in men. In 2020, there will be 34,500 cases of prostate cancer, with a projected increase to 48,700 by 2030. The mortality rate in 2022 will be 16,600. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and covers the urethra. Fluid, which is a component of sperm, is produced by the prostate gland.
Pharma companies are on their toes in terms of R&D and manufacturing of more effective drugs for prostate cancer. According to a study published in The Lancet Oncology report, more boys than girls are diagnosed with cancer in India, and the likely cause is societal gender bias. Between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2019, the researchers collected individual data on children aged 0 to 19 years with cancer from hospital-based records at three cancer centers in India.
Almost all prostate cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Early symptoms of Prostate cancer are frequently absent. Advanced prostate cancer patients may urinate more frequently or have weaker urine flow, but these symptoms can also be caused by other prostate conditions.
Because of effective prostate cancer screening options, this disease is frequently detected before it spreads, and overall survival rates for this type of cancer are favourable. With a 5-year survival rate of 64% in India alone, prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. It primarily affects men over the age of 65. However, there has been a recent increase in the number of cases of prostate cancer among the younger population.
Prostate cancer symptoms are frequently ignored, resulting in the disease progressing to an advanced stage. Keep an eye out for any early signs of prostate cancer and don’t dismiss it as a minor illness. The most common type of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma, which develops in the glands that line your prostate. Adenocarcinoma can develop in breast, stomach, lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers.
Most common symptoms of prostate cancer:
Because the prostate gland is so close to the bladder and urethra, there is a good chance that a variety of urinary symptoms, among other things, will be experienced. This is common in the early stages of cancer and is determined by the size and location of the tumour. Among the red flags are:
– Trouble or difficulty in urination- Burning, pain, or discomfort during urination- Blood in the urine- Blood in semen- Frequent urination at night- Erectile dysfunction (ED)- Painful ejaculation- Loss of bladder control
Advanced or metastatic prostate cancer symptoms:
Cancer can spread outside the prostate gland to other parts of the body, including the bones and lymph nodes, resulting in more severe complications if diagnosis and treatment are delayed. Symptoms of advanced or metastatic prostate cancer, on the other hand, include:
– Swelling in the legs or pelvis- Numbness or pain in the hips, legs, or feet- Prolonged bone pain that results in fractures
What should young men know about prostate cancer?
The average age of the first prostate cancer diagnosis is 68. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to develop prostate cancer at a younger age. Worldwide, there has been an increase in early-onset prostate cancer in men aged 15 to 40.
Understanding the risk factors, getting regular screenings, and being aware of the disease’s signs and symptoms, on the other hand, can help in early detection.
Prostate cancer in younger men, according to doctors, is more advanced and has a lower chance of survival than prostate cancer in older men.
Treatments, however, may vary depending on the stage, age, symptoms, and overall health.
Prostate cancer among Indian men
Prostate cancer is the world’s second most common cause of cancer in men and the sixth leading cause of cancer death. Prostate cancer is the second most common site of cancer in males in large Indian cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, and Thiruvananthapuram, the third most common site of cancer in cities such as Bangalore and Mumbai, and one of the top ten most common sites of cancer in the rest of the population, according to data from national population-based cancer registries.
Who is at greater risk?
Advanced age, a cancer family history, and obesity are all risk factors for prostate cancer. Poor lifestyle choices also play a role. Experts believe that a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
What are the test options available?
These individuals should be screened for prostate cancer.- Men over the age of 50 with an average risk of prostate cancer and a life expectancy of at least ten years longer.- High-risk men aged 45 and up, including African-American men and those who have a first-degree relative (brother or father) who had prostate cancer before the age of 65.- Men in their forties and older who have higher risk factors, such as having more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at a young age. You can also have an ultrasound, an MRI, or a prostate biopsy, which involves the collection of a tissue sample from your prostate.
How to self-diagnose prostate cancer?
The best way to self-diagnose prostate cancer is with a PSA blood test. You can always refer to the list of disease-related symptoms. If you suspect something is wrong, see a doctor for a digital rectal exam, during which they will look for any lumps in your prostates.
How can you lower your risk of prostate cancer?
Although there is no clinically proven method of lowering your risk of prostate cancer, you can always live a healthy lifestyle. Eating a low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as limiting your daily dairy intake, can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and getting regular screenings can reduce your risk significantly.
The author is the Director of Business Development at BDR Pharmaceuticals Int’l Pvt Ltd. Views expressed are personal.