Book Appt. Call Now
Understanding Prostate Cancer
  • Find a doctor
  • Send a query
  • Book an Appointment
  • Second Opinion

Send a Query

Book an Appointment

Ask for a Second Opinion

Home >> Blogs >> Understanding Prostate Cancer

Understanding Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a significant health concern for men worldwide, being one of the most common types of cancer in men. It starts in the prostate gland, which is responsible for producing seminal fluid. This blog briefs the aspects of prostate cancer, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures.

What Causes Prostate Cancer?
The exact cause of prostate cancer remains unknown. However, it's understood that changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell lead to abnormal cell growth, culminating in cancer. Risk factors include:

  • Age: The risk increases with age, particularly after 50.
  • Family History: A family history of prostate or breast cancer can raise risk levels.
  • Race/Ethnicity: African-American men are at a higher risk and more likely to experience aggressive forms.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Diet, obesity, and physical activity levels may play a role.

Symptoms to Watch For
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms. As it progresses, symptoms might include:

  • Difficulty urinating or weak urine flow
  • Blood in semen
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

Diagnosis and Screening
Prostate cancer screening is crucial for early detection. Common diagnostic methods include:

  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: Elevated PSA levels in the blood can indicate prostate cancer.
  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): A physical examination to check for prostate abnormalities.
  • Biopsy: If initial tests are abnormal, a biopsy is performed to confirm cancer.

Staging and Treatment Options
Once diagnosed, staging determines the extent of the cancer. Treatment options vary based on the stage and include:

  • Active Surveillance and Watchful Waiting: Monitoring for early-stage or slow-growing prostate cancer.
  • Surgery: Radical prostatectomy involves removing the prostate gland and some surrounding tissue.
  • Radiation Therapy: External beam radiation or brachytherapy (radioactive seeds) to destroy cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy: Reducing androgen levels, which prostate cancer cells need to grow.
  • Chemotherapy: Using drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells.
  • Targeted Therapy: Drugs that target specific weaknesses in cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: Boosting the immune system to fight cancer.

Treatment side effects can include urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and bowel problems. Rehabilitation and support services can help manage these effects.

Preventive Measures

  • Prevention strategies include:
  • Regular screenings, especially for those at higher risk.
  • A healthy diet, limited to red meat and high-fat dairy products.
  • Regular physical activity.

Prostate cancer, while serious, is often treatable, especially when diagnosed early. Awareness of risk factors, symptoms, and the importance of regular screenings can lead to early detection and more effective treatment. As research continues to advance, there is hope for even more effective treatments with fewer side effects. If you are at risk or experiencing symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional for the best course of action.

Dr. Sumit Sharma, Director and Head of the Department

Urology, Uro-Oncology, Andrology, Uro-Robotics

Book an Appointment

Send a Query