The 5-year survival rate for local prostate cancer is nearly 100%.

Prostate Cancer is one of the Top Ten most prevalent cancers in India. However, given that in most cases the tumour grows very slowly, the chances of successfully treating the disease are also quite high. Men should maintain a healthy prostate and make sure to meet the doctor if they feel any kind of pain or discomfort or difficulty in passing urine. Early detection makes it possible to treat cancer better.


#1 Prostate Cancer affects men aged 50 and above.


Age is a crucial factor when it comes to Prostate Cancer. The older the man, the higher the risk. While most prostate cancer patients are above 50, the number of cases amongst younger men in the 30 to 40 age categories, is also on the rise. The reason for this remains unknown, but awareness is the only way to save lives. Hence it is advisable for men aged 45 and above to check with doctor about screening for prostate cancer. If there have been cases of prostate cancer in your family, you are at elevated risk of prostate cancer. Get screened at the earliest. Obesity is yet another risk factor.


#2 Prostate Cancer develops over an extended period.


Most men who present with prostate cancer are yet in the initial stages. In stages I, II and III, there is still scope for cancer to be cured because the tumour grows very slowly. Men aged 40 and above must consider prostate cancer screening. There are two types of screening tests for Prostate Cancer.


  • Digital Rectal Exam. In this method, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate which is adjacent to it. He feels for any abnormalities in the gland. If he finds anything out of the ordinary in terms of texture, shape, or size, he will prescribe further investigative tests.
  • Prostate-specific-antigen Test (PSA). A blood sample is collected, and PSA levels are analysed. PSA is produced by the prostate. If the values are abnormally high, then it is indicative of prostate inflammation, infection, enlargement, or cancer.

Depending on the findings of the screening test the doctor will then prescribe a transrectal ultrasound, an MRI, or a biopsy to confirm a cancer diagnosis.


#3 Prostate Cancer Staging determines the type of treatment.


Once prostate cancer is confirmed the oncologist must decide the course of treatment. As the first step in this direction, the doctor needs to determine the nature of the cancer, and whether it is aggressive or not. The most common scale used to measure this is the Gleason Scale which can range from 2 to 10. Any score up to 6 is considered low-grade or non-aggressive. 7 is medium aggressive. 8, 9 and 10 indicate high-grade cancer which is likely to spread more quickly.


With the help of a Bone Scan, CT scan, MRI, and PET scan the stage of cancer is also determined. This indicates the extent to which cancer has spread – whether it is only in the prostate gland or if it has metastasised. Stage I to III indicates the cancer is confined to the prostate. Stage IV cancer has spread outside the prostate and depending on the Gleason score, the doctor decides the course of treatment. Surgery, Radiotherapy, Ablative Therapy, Chemotherapy, Immuno Therapy and Hormone Therapy are the available options for prostate cancer treatment.


#4 Surgical Removal of the Prostate is not always the course of action for Prostate Cancer.


Radical Prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate gland when prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland. However, it is not always the chosen mode of treatment. Common side effects of the removal of the prostate are Urinary Incontinence and Erectile dysfunction. However, with advanced and precision surgical techniques, both these conditions correct themselves within a year or two of surgery. Nevertheless, if the cancer is low-grade and in the first three stages, the doctor may choose other treatment modals.


Radiation Therapy uses high-energy X-rays to target and kill cancer cells. This could either be external beam radiation where high-energy X-rays are targeted at the cancer cells in the prostate. Currently, available radiotherapy equipment makes it possible to target only the cancer cells with minimal exposure to healthy cells, this reduces the side effects of radiotherapy.


Ablative Therapy used Heating or Freezing techniques to destroy the cancer cells in the prostate gland. These methods are chosen when the cancer is exceedingly small, and surgery is not an option. It can also be used in combination with other types of treatment.


Hormone Therapy uses medication to reduce the production of testosterone which is required for the growth of cells in the prostate. Cutting off the supply of testosterone can cause the cancer cells to die or retards their growth.


Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy use specific drugs to help the body attack and kill cancer that is no longer confined to the prostate gland.


#5 The 5-year survival rate for local prostate cancer is nearly 100%.


Prostate Cancer is one of the few cancers that is considered highly curable in the first three stages, or when cancer has not spread outside the prostate. However, the survival rate of advanced prostate cancer drops to 31%. The good news however is that 90% of patients are diagnosed with prostate cancer before it has reached Stage IV because in most cases prostate cancer progresses at a terribly slow rate. With timely screening and early detection, cancer is usually detected in its initial stages making it possible to treat and eliminate cancer effectively.


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