Awareness, accessibility and affordability key factors in countering this disease

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Men. The incidence of this cancer increases with advancing age. From the outset, Stages 1 and 2 are potentially curative whilst Stages 3 and 4 are considered advanced (non-curative). This cancer is diagnosed by obtaining a blood test called PSA. The same blood test is utilised to follow up the previously treated patients.

Treatment:

Amongst all the cancers, prostate cancer has a relatively slower progression. Therefore the patients who have completed their treatment (surgical removal) or patients in whom any form of treatment is underway (hormone or chemotherapy), periodical PSA assessment is part of the standard evaluation which is done with every 3 months interval.

Expert advice:

In post-Covid era, many patients got delayed diagnosis, as a result of which several patients got presented in advanced form of disease. Moreover, those who were under any form of treatment such as Radiation, Hormone or Chemotherapy received delayed medical attention as the priority was given to the Covid sufferers. Cancer patients who showed shorter PSA doubling time (under 3 months), were found to have an aggressive form of disease and they needed more frequent PSA assessments.

Needless to mention, along with the PSA blood test, visit to a urologist and upon his/ her recommendations any further radiological scans would involve part of the follow up evaluation.

Early detection signs

Prostate cancer may not exhibit any symptoms in its early stages. Early prostate cancer symptoms can include the following:
1. The inability to pass urine.
2. A sluggish, erratic urine flow

Prevention tips:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Prostate cancer can become more aggressive when a person is obese. In general, losing weight and keeping it off as you get older can help lower your risk of cancer and numerous other health issues.

2. Regular Exercise
Exercise can fight some of the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle, lower inflammation, and improve immune function in addition to assisting you in achieving a healthy weight—all of which can help prevent cancer.

The author is the Director Urology, Director Urological Oncology & Director of Robotic Surgery, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai

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