Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow out of control.1 The prostate is a gland found only in males. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer.
Many prostate cancers grow slowly and are confined to the prostate gland, where they may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly in the body.2
There are different types of prostate cancer and is dependent on the type of cell cancer started. There are commonly four types of prostate cancer:1
- Small cell carcinomas
- Neuroendocrine tumors
- Transitional cell carcinomas
Prostate cancer is the second leading site of cancer among males in India.3
Prostate cancer Symptoms and Signs:2
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms or signs at all. Symptoms of Prostate cancer are as follows:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- Bone pain
- Losing weight without trying
- Erectile dysfunction
Risk Factor for Prostate Cancer:4
Age: Prostate cancer risk rises with age, particularly beyond the age of 50. Men 65 and older account for about 60% of diagnoses of prostate cancer.
Race: Black men and other men of the African race, are diagnosed with prostate cancer more than men of other races.
Family history: Prostate cancer that runs in a family, called familial prostate cancer, makes up about 20% of all prostate cancers. This type of prostate cancer develops because of a combination of shared genes and shared environmental or lifestyle factors.
Hereditary prostate cancer: Which is inheriting the risk from a relative, is rare. It occurs when changes in genes, or mutations, are passed down within a family from 1 generation to the next.
Genetic Changes: Other genes that may carry an increased risk of developing prostate cancer include HPC1, HPC2, HPCX, CAPB, ATM, FANCA, HOXB13, and mismatch repair genes.
Eating habits: Eating behaviors indirectly link to developing prostate cancer. For example, obesity is associated with many cancers including prostate cancer, and a healthy diet to avoid weight gain is suggested.
Spread of prostate cancer: Prostate cancer can spread to nearby organs, such as your bladder, or travel through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to the bones or other organs. Prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain and broken bones.
Incontinence: Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Treatment for incontinence depends on the type of cancer if it is severe, it will improve over time.
Erectile dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction can result from prostate cancer or its treatment, including surgery, radiation, or hormone treatments. Medications, vacuum devices that assist in achieving an erection, and surgery are available to treat erectile dysfunction.
Treatment for Prostate cancer:5, 6
There is main eight types of standard treatment are as follows:
Active surveillance – This treatment is used for older men and persons not having signs and symptoms.
Surgery – Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue, and a few lymph nodes. Surgery is an option for treating cancer that’s confined to the prostate. It’s sometimes used to treat advanced prostate cancer in combination with other treatments.
Radiopharmaceutical therapy – It includes external radiation therapy and hypofractionated radiation therapy. Internal radiation therapy involves placing the rice-sized radioactive seeds into your prostate tissue. The seeds deliver a low dose of radiation over a long period.
Hormone therapy – Hormones include estrogen, Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists, and Antiandrogens are used to reduce the number of male hormones or block them from working.
Chemotherapy – It is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
Targeted therapy – It is a therapy to identify and attack specific cancer cells.
Immunotherapy – It is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Sipuleucel-T is a type of immunotherapy used to treat prostate cancer.
New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials including Cryosurgery, High-intensity–focused ultrasound therapy, Proton beam radiation therapy, and Photodynamic therapy.
Select a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables: Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to preventing prostate cancer.
Choose healthy foods over supplements: select foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals so that you can maintain healthy levels of vitamins in your body.
Exercise most days of the week: Exercise maintains weight and improves your mood.
Maintain a healthy weight: Work on maintaining weight by choosing a healthy diet and exercising.
Talk to the doctor about the increased risk of prostate cancer: At high risk of prostate cancer, a doctor may consider medications/ other treatments to reduce risk.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about prostate cancer and generate support for those affected by the disease. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men.7Building awareness for prostate cancer and getting regular screenings can drive research, encourage people with prostate to sign up for clinical trials, and potentially save lives.8
- What is Prostate cancer? Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/what-is-prostate-cancer.html. Assessed on 22nd August 2022.
- Prostate cancer. Available at:https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20353087. Assessed on 22nd August 2022.
- Epidemiology of prostate cancer in India. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4287887/#. Assessed on 22nd August 2022.
- Prostate Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/patient/prostate-treatment-pdq. Assessed on 3rd September 2022.
- Prostate Cancer Treatment, Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353093, Assessed on 3rd September 2022.
- Prostate Cancer: Risk Factors and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention. Assessed on 22nd August 2022.
- Prostate cancer month. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/media-center/prostate-cancer-info-center. Assessed on 22nd August 2022.
- 9 Ways to Get Involved in Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/advanced-prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-awareness-month-participation. Assessed on 22nd August 2022.