The most commonly diagnosed male malignancy cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death among men is PROSTATE CANCER. In 2018 among the 1,280,000 newly diagnosed prostate cancers 359,000 deaths occurred around the world. Luckily, many of the prostate cancers grow slowly and are of low-grade and with low risk and not very aggressive so early stages it is treatable.
Prostate cancer occurs in older men over 65 years of age. Though uncommon, men even in their 30’s and 40’s can also get prostate cancer. It forms in the tissue of the prostate that is in a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES OF PROSTATE CANCER:
All men are at risk of having Prostate Cancer. During their life time one man in nine will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, but only one may die in 39 cases. 80% of the men who have reached 80 will have cancer cells in their prostate.
If a person is white and has no family history, this disease can occur after the age of 50. If a person is black and a close relative has prostate cancer any time after 40 he might get it. Two-thirds of the men above 65 are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. But especially after 70 the disease is less aggressive.
If the father or brother has Prostate Cancer a person is likely to get it, even more if the brother has. If multiple family members are affected risk is higher, so the men in the family must get tested once they cross 40 years of age.
Doctors are also unaware why different races have different levels of Prostate Cancer, may be because of the environment like African-American men are affected more with this disease than African and Japanese men.
Fatty foods can cause this disease as men consume less of fruits and vegetables. Especially in countries where men consume more of meat and dairy products compared to those who consume more of rice, soybean products and vegetables.
Extra weight may not be a risk factor to get Prostate Cancer and the disease may be of a lower-grade type but can be more aggressive in nature. Obese men can have an advanced stage of Prostate Cancer and can even die from it.
There is no particular reason to get Prostate Cancer because of a sedentary lifestyle but lack of physical activity and obesity can be a cause for Prostate Cancer.
TREATMENT FOR PROSTATE CANCER:
1. WATCHFUL WAITING:
This treatment is for older men who do have any symptoms or if prostate cancer is found during a screening test. In this the patient is closely watched without administering any treatment until some symptoms appear and then they are treated. A few tests are done and then when the cancer begins to grow treatment starts to cure it.
To remove the tumor from the prostate gland surgery is done. There are a number of types of surgery, like Radical Prostatectomy; Open radical prostatectomy; Radical laparoscopic prostatectomy; and so on.
3. RADIATION THERAPY AND RADIOPHARMACEUTICAL THERAPY:
Treatment is done by using high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or to keep them from growing. There are different types of radiation therapy, like External and Internal radiation therapies; Hypofractionated radiation therapy and Radiopharmaceutical therapy. The therapy is given according to the stage and type of the cancer being treated.
4. HORMONE THERAPY:
This therapy removes hormones or blocks the cancer cells and stops them from growing. Hormones are substances made by glands in the body and that are circulated in the body.
Drugs are used to stop the growth of cancer cells it either kills the cells or stops them from dividing. Chemotherapy is by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle and the drugs enter the bloodstream and reach cancer cells throughout the body.
6. TARGETED THERAPY:
Drugs are used and specific cancer cells are identified and attacked. This treatment causes less harm to normal cells.
This treatment uses the patient’s immune system and fights the cancer. Substances made in the body or laboratory is used against cancer.
8. BISPHOSPHONATE THERAPY:
Drugs are given when cancer has spread to the bones to reduce the bone disease. Certain types of hormone therapy can weaken the bone and cause pain so treatments are given to reduce the bone pain.
NEW TYPES OF TREATMENT FOR PROSTATE CANCER:
An instrument is used to freeze and destroy prostate cancer cells.
2. HIGH-INTENSITY-FOCUSED ULTRASOUND THERAPY:
Ultrasound is used to destroy cancer cells.
3. PROTO BEAM RADIATION THERAPY:
High-energy, external radiation therapy is used with streams of protons to kill tumor cells.
4. PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY:
A drug and certain type of laser light is used to kill cancer cells.
PROSTATE CANCER IN INDIA:
Prostate Cancer is prevalent mostly in Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkatta, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore and Mumbai. Among the cancers in male Indian members Prostate Cancer stands first followed by Mouth and Kidney Cancers. Urban areas men have more cases of Prostate Cancer. The medical facilities are also available in cities, so people get cured faster if diagnosed early.
KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF PROSTATE CANCER:
Most of the men between the age group of 40 and 60 do not have total knowledge of Prostate Cancer and the treatment procedure.83% of the men are aware that Prostate Cancer is a terrible disease and can be cured if diagnosed early. Many of them depend on the doctor to know the facts about the disease. Most of them due to financial problems do not go to the doctor even if symptoms are seen. Mostly middle-income groups and the educated have a better knowledge than the others. Most of them have a positive outlook on the disease and are pretty sure if treated early, the disease can be cured. Those with a family history of Prostate Cancer are aware of the disease. People should be educated about the disease from school level itself.