What is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland located near the rectum that weighs about 20 grams. It’s part of the male reproductive system and looks like a chestnut. It is below the bladder and its main function is to produce seminal fluid. 70% of semen is produced in the prostate, making it an indispensable fertility gland.
Because the prostate gland is between the bladder and the pelvis of the man and is in front of the rectum, which is the final portion of the intestine, the urologist in Delhi can easily palpate it with a rectal examination.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Prostate cancer diagnosis is usually made through 2 simple exams:
- Rectal Touch Exam
It is a quick (almost a few seconds) and virtually painless exam done by the urologist in Noida in the office itself. This exam allows the doctor to analyze the consistency of the prostate, its size and whether there are palpable lesions across the rectum.
- PSA (Specific Prostatic Antigen) measurement
It is obtained with a simple blood test and may indicate prostate changes. It is important to keep in mind that this is not a conclusive test for the presence of cancer and does not rule out the need for rectal touch.
Both tests together (touch and PSA) can diagnose 80% of prostate cancer cases.
About 20% of prostate cancer patients are diagnosed by rectal examination alone. If prostate cancer is suspected other tests may be ordered, such as biopsies.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Prostate Cancer. What is the relationship?
The prostate is a gland that continues to grow throughout man’s life. From age 45, the enlarged prostate can begin to press the urethra, reducing urine jet pressure. With this, the bladder does not empty completely and the man feels the need to urinate more often. This is a fairly common picture, especially from the age of 60.
When asked about this and the need to urinate so often, the answer to many men is simply “I drink a lot of water, you know.” But this is a dangerous thought.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is not cancer. But considering that difficulty urinating is a common symptom of both diseases, there is no way to differentiate them without proper examination by the urologist.
This underscores the importance of men over the age of 45 regularly approaching their urologist for tests that may detect not only Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, but also the presence of prostate cancer.
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
Maintaining physical activity and eating a healthy, vegetable-rich, low-fat diet, maintaining weight control, lowering alcohol and smoking (tobacco) help prevent cancer.
Below are some of the risk factors that increase the propensity to develop prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer – Risk Factors
– family history of prostate cancer: father, brothers and uncles
– hormonal dysfunctions
What are the symptoms of possible prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a disease that has no symptoms in the early stages, in most cases. The apparent absence of symptoms does not guarantee that everything is fine in the man’s prostate. Therefore, prevention is fundamental.
Most tumors grow so slowly that it takes about 15 years to reach 1cm³. Usually when the first evidence begins to appear, the tumors may already be at an advanced stage, making healing difficult.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
– constant urge to urinate and difficulty emptying the bladder
– difficulty in starting and stopping urine flow
– urine in successive drops or jets
– painful urination
– bone pain
– presence of blood in the urine and / or semen
– lower back pain (low back pain) or pelvis (below the testicles)
– pain when ejaculating
– renal insufficiency
How is the treatment of prostate cancer?
Treatment for early-stage prostate cancer has good success rates and cure is achieved in many cases.
Once prostate cancer is diagnosed, it can be treated with surgery to remove the tumor (in some cases total prostate removal is required). Other forms of treatment may also be employed in conjunction with surgery, such as radiation therapy, hormone treatment, and the use of drugs to shrink the tumor and reduce the risk of the disease returning.
The treatment is defined by the urologist always according to each case, taking into account the age of the patient, the severity of the disease, associated diseases and life expectancy.
Considering these factors is important because, after all, treatments may have some complications, which in some cases may be reversed at the end of treatment, such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction or infertility.
Overcoming prejudice and machismo is the best prevention.
Prejudice and chauvinism are probably the biggest enemies in preventing prostate cancer. A survey conducted in seven Brazilian state capitals by the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU), the Oncoguia Institute and the Bayer pharmaceutical company found that 21% of the male population considered that the rectal exam “is not a man’s thing”.
Of the total respondents, 76% say they know that digital rectal examination is an important diagnostic test and 48% say they believe machismo is the main reason why men do not have the exam.
Among men at higher risk, over 60 years, 27% never underwent the exam. And more than 1/3 of respondents say they know no symptoms of prostate cancer.
It is important to keep in mind that the best way to promote prostate cancer cure is early diagnosis. Even in the absence of symptoms, men over 45 with risk factors, or 50 years without these factors, should go to the urologist regularly.
Masculinity has nothing to do with simple, painless and quick exams. It’s a few seconds that can extend life for years. If you are over 45, visit your urologist or encourage your relative, brother or friend to do so. Health is too important to be neglected by mere prejudice.