About Prostate Cancer By Dr. Amitabh Upadhyay
Prostate cancer is very common and all cases do not require treatment. Carcinoma prostate is one of the most common malignancies of the world. It is a disease of elderly males and its incidence increases with age faster than any other disease. There is evidence that some 40-50% of males will have prostate cancer by the age of 90 years. Most of these cases go undetected and will not cause any symptoms to patients. Its incidence is more common in the western population, especially African Americans.
Age is a most important factor as the cases start increasing after 50 years. If there is family history then chances of getting prostate cancer increase 2-3 times that of the normal population. Smoking and obesity are related to more aggressive prostate cancer and more number of deaths due to prostate cancer. Diet rich in tomato based products which contain the high amount of lycopene and carotenoids may reduce prostate cancer. A low-fat diet, regular exercise, and maintenance of normal weight are likely to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Screening of persons over the age of 55 years with PSA test plus clinical examination is an option. A mere increase of PSA is not diagnostic of cancer as it increases in many conditions, but it is a warning sign.
Prostate cancer is diagnosed is divided into various risk groups depending upon the stage and other factors. There are very low and low-risk groups also, which may or may not require treatment in all cases. Other risk groups will require treatment. In early stages, surgery, as well as radiotherapy, are options. In stage 4 disease, chemotherapy plus hormonal therapy is the treatment of choice.
Prostate cancer is one cancer in which early stage treatment is curative and even in stage 4, we may expect many years of survival with good quality of life with most recent chemotherapy and hormonal therapy options. There are very good oral drugs are also available which have excellent results and good tolerance.