Prostate is a gland found only in males and is a vital part of male reproductive system. The prostate gland makes fluid that forms part of semen. It lies just below the bladder in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra.
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. It is usually a very slow growing cancer and most patients do not have significant symptoms until the cancer reaches an advanced stage.
Previously it was thought, that prevalence of prostate cancer in India is far lower as compared to the western countries but with the changing life styles, increased awareness, and easy access to medical facility, more cases of prostate cancer are being picked up and it is coming to the knowledge that we are not very far behind the rate from western countries.
Prostate is the second leading site of cancer among males in large Indian and it is among the top ten leading sites of cancers in the rest of the PBRCs of India.
Prostate cancer, at its early stage, usually causes no symptoms. But more advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:
Every type of Cancer has risk factors, but they don’t tell us everything. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors. Some risk factors for Prostate Cancer include:
Risk of Prostate Cancer increases with increasing age. Prostate Cancer is very rare in men below 40 and the risk increases rapidly after the age 50.
Men who have a family history of Prostate Cancer (father or brother) have a higher chance of developing it themselves. The risk is more in case of an effected brother than father.
Including inherited mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes raises chances of developing Prostate Cancer and men with Lynch syndrome have an increased risk for a number of cancers, including Prostate Cancer.
Firefighters are exposed to substances (toxic combustion products) that may increase their risk of Prostate Cancer.
Cadmium and cadmium compounds are possible causes of Prostate Cancer. Cadmium is a type of metal that is in tobacco smoke and food. Non smokers are exposed to it through food. It is in most types of food including vegetables, meats, grains and fish.
The exact cause of Prostate Cancer is currently unknown. Hence, at this time it is not possible to prevent most cases of the disease. Natural and genetic factors are uncontrollable, but there are some precautions one may be able to take.
Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland, some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy: Uses non-invasive beam therapy using electron, proton, or neutron beams.
Radiation / hormonal therapy
Cryotherapy is a revolutionary minimally invasive therapy that uses ultrathin needles and freezing gases to destroy the cancerous tissue
Hormone therapy is treatment to stop the body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Medications that stop the body from producing testosterone are given.
Surgery to remove the testicles. Removing the testicles reduces testosterone levels in the body.
Chemotherapy: works by destroying quickly-dividing cells and is usually reserved for patients with advanced prostate cancer.
This is dependent on the stage the Cancer has reached. However, if the Cancer is detected at an advanced stage, where the cancer cells have spread to distant parts of the body, then in spite of treatment it can be rarely cured.
Having some of the symptoms associated with Prostate Cancer may not necessarily indicate the presence of the disease. However, expert advice to rule out the possibility is prudent, making curative treatment possible. So, regular self examination and a physical examination at least once a year is recommended to facilitate early diagnosis of the disease.
If any of the symptoms mentioned in the Symptoms section is experienced, then consulting a doctor is highly recommended. Furthermore, a genetic make-up test can also be done to see if one is prone to Prostate Cancer.