Currently, there is a surge in the incidence of prostate cancer among men over 65. However, even men in their 40s are increasingly getting diagnosed with this form of cancer, shares Dr Jyoti Mehta, MD Radiation and Clinical Oncologist, TGH Onco-Life Cancer Centre Talegaon.

According to a new Lancet study, the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is predicted to double by 2040. The data suggests that annual prostate cases are projected to rise from 1.4 million in 2020 to 2.9 million in 2040. An estimated 33,000 to 42,000 new prostate cancer cases are diagnosed annually in India. These figures are distressing and demand timely screening and intervention.

To commemorate Men`s Health Week, we shed light on the importance of timely screening through Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) and Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), enabling prompt initiation of treatment. 
 
Just like people take care of their heart, lung, liver and kidney health, even prompt attention is required when it comes to the prostate. “While considered as a disease of older men aged 65 and above, there has been a concerning uptick in prostate cases among young men over 40. The causes are genetic predisposition, family history, old age, smoking habits, poor diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, obesity and exposure to harmful chemicals. In the initial stages of prostate cancer, individuals may not exhibit any symptoms,” remarks Mehta.
 
As cancer advances, men notice signs like mild discomfort in the lower pelvic area, difficulties with urination such as pain or burning sensation or reduced urine flow, blood in the urine (hematuria), and painful ejaculation accompanied by bone pain.  These symptoms need immediate attention to improve the quality of life of the patients. 
 
“3-4 patients are detected with prostate cancer in OPD every month. Detecting prostate cancer early greatly enhances the chances of survival and quality of life for patients. Screening through testing of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in the blood is one of the most effective methods for early detection, along with digital rectal examination (DRE). A multidisciplinary approach inclusive of radiation, surgery, hormone therapy or chemotherapy will be required for the patient. Challenges in addressing prostate cancer are due to the lack of awareness and taboos mainly in rural areas. This highlights the urgent need for education and screening programs to spot the disease in its early stages,” she adds.

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