Men’s Health Month is celebrated in June and raises awareness about the medical issues that affect men. In India, prostate cancer is in the top 10 of most common cancers. It mainly affects men in their sixties and seventies. However, the number of cancer reports among younger men aged 35-44 living in metropolitan regions has increased recently. Given the increase in cases among younger men, there is a need for greater awareness about early signs, risk factors, detection and treatment options for prostate cancer.
While prostate cancer is widespread in the west, urologists in India are now seeing a major increase in the disease. And despite the availability of a wide variety of current diagnostic tools, prostate cancer remains undetected due to the lack of certain symptoms that would raise clinical suspicion. As a result, the vast majority of cases are discovered too late.
Prostate cancer is a slow-growing malignancy that usually has no symptoms in the early stages. Urinary problems, such as difficulty urinating, urinating frequently, especially at night, difficulty emptying the bladder, painful or burning urination, are all symptoms of prostate cancer. Because all of these symptoms are thought to be a normal part of the aging process, they are often ignored. So it’s critical that men over the age of 40 get a prostate cancer screening at least once a year.
Factors That May Increase Risk
Prostate cancer can be serious if it grows quickly or spreads outside the prostate. It can be caused by a number of reasons, but the following are some crucial ones to watch out for.
Genetic Factors and Family History: The risk of prostate cancer increases in proportion to the number and severity of related relatives diagnosed with the disease.
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lifestyle: Smoking has been associated with an increase in cancer-related mortality, with smokers being twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as non-smokers. In addition, it is also linked to heavy alcohol consumption (more than 15 g per day).
Obesity is a major risk factor that promotes physical inactivity and dilutes PSA, resulting in delayed prostate biopsy and, as a result, late diagnosis. Physical inactivity is one of the modifiable risk factors, and men who exercise frequently have a much lower risk of prostate cancer.
Sexually Transmitted Infections: Human papillomavirus (HPV 16/18) and other sexually transmitted diseases can cause gene mutations, which can lead to prostate cancer.
Understanding the importance of early screening is most crucial right now. While prostate cancer often has few warning signs or symptoms, early detection and screening are critical. Early detection, while the cancer is still confined to the prostate gland, offers the best chance of successful treatment.
Treatment for prostate cancer should begin as soon as symptoms appear. With the discovery and availability of a blood test called Prostate Specific Antigen, early detection and treatment of prostate cancer (PSA) became a reality. If the cancer has not progressed beyond the prostate gland, surgical removal of the prostate and surrounding tissues (radical prostatectomy) is the primary treatment option.
DRE and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test are two of the most effective approaches to detect prostate cancer early. After age 45, people with a family history of prostate cancer should have regular checkups, including DRE and PSA, regardless of symptoms.
Treating prostate cancer in young men
Patients with an intermediate risk of prostate cancer are advised on a multimodal approach such as radiation and chemotherapy. With timely screenings, radical prostatectomy (RP) can be performed by open, laparoscopic, or robotic-assisted approaches. Total surgical removal in the form of RP offers great opportunities for curing localized prostate cancer.
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The most advanced minimally invasive approach to robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP), using da Vinci RAS technology, offers several advantages over traditional prostatectomy. Key benefits include potential retention of potency and continence, including the possibility of reduced blood loss and blood transfusions, as well as shorter hospital stays.
The introduction of robotic-assisted surgery is a game-changer in the surgical approach to urologic cancers, and most surgeons, especially urologists, agree that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
The importance of aftercare
Even if the patient has completed treatment, the doctors still want to keep a close eye on it. It is very important to go to all follow-up appointments. The doctor’s visits usually include PSA blood tests, which may include digital rectal exams (DREs) if the prostate has not been removed. These are likely to start within months of stopping treatment. The patient should talk to the doctor about developing a care plan for bereaved families.
by dr. Yuvaraja TB, chief of robotic surgery and consultant uro-oncologist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. India TV does not confirm the truth of it.