According to the National Cancer Registry Program in India, prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in men, accounting for 7 percent of all cancers. Located near the bottom of the bladder, the prostate is a small walnut-sized gland that grows in size as men age. Regular prostate exams are very crucial to preventing diseases like prostate cancer and prostatitis, however, the lack of awareness around it leads to an aggravated condition.Also Read - EXCLUSIVE : Actor Gautam Rode And Pankhuri Awasthy On Their Fitness Secrets And Workout Routine, Watch Video
There is also a certain level of stigma and hesitancy associated with meeting a doctor for prostate checkups in India. The disease can manifest in men across all age groups but those over the age of 50 are at a higher risk and should have frequent exams. Also Read - Health Tips: What Is Dengue Fever? Causes, Symptoms And Preventive Measures, EXPLAINED | Watch Video
Prostate cancer is treatable if diagnosed at an early stage and the patient can go on living a healthy life for over a decade. However, in most cases, patients miss the early warning signs, making this disease potentially fatal. At an early stage, the cancer is only confined to the prostate gland which makes it easily treatable with the help of radiation or can be removed through a surgical procedure. Also Read - Why Crash Dieting is Bad For You, Nutritionist Manisha Chopra EXPLAINS | Watch Video
Once the diagnosis is done, the patients can take a few steps to understand how to live with prostate cancer. The disease can be managed through a few simple changes alongside treatment and surgeries. Creating a pain chart to determine the amount of pain experienced every day at different times will help in the modification of pain medication. A healthy diet and lifestyle will also be required, as this will result in more effective treatment. Understanding the limitations and side effects of the treatments is also very crucial. Some of the treatment plans can lead to erectile dysfunction and discussing it with the doctor can alleviate such problems.
There are a few early warning signs one can take to identify symptoms and reach for medical help:
- Frequent Urination particularly at night – An enlarged prostate gland will put pressure on the urethra which will result in blockage of urine flow and irritation to the wall of the bladder. The pressure can make the bladder contract even before its full and this happens more during the night.
- Trouble While Urinating – There will be a number of discomforting signs like pain during urination, a weak stream while passing urine, and trouble standing up while urinating. All of these occur when cancer blocks the prostate gland.
- Blood in Urine or Semen – Blood in any unusual place is a sign of trouble. If there is blood in urine or semen, immediate checkups should be done.
- Trouble during ejaculation – The prostate gland is a crucial part of the male reproductive system hence an abnormality in this gland can cause a burning sensation or pain during ejaculation.
- Pressure on Rectum – When the prostate gland becomes enlarged it will put excess pressure on the rectum and the patients would feel the pressure at all times.
Conclusion: While cancer can be frightening and cause a loss of will to live and fight, however, prostate cancer is a disease that can be treated if one pays attention to early symptoms. It is also very important to encourage regular prostate exams in people with a family history of this disease.
Obese people are also more at risk of developing prostate-related problems. While all the symptoms don’t always mean cancer, it is imperative to seek help and determine the right cause.
(Inputs by Dr. Rajeev Bashetty,M.Ch (Urology), Consultant Urologist at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Bangalore)