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BRAIN ATTACK:

Myths And Facts About Prostate Cancer

By Dr. Puneet Ahluwalia in Uro-Oncology

Feb 03 , 2022 | 3 min read

2

Statement 1

Prostate cancer is rare in India.

WRONG!

National Cancer Registry Program reports that prostate cancer is ranked among top ten in all the regions.

Statement 2

Prostate cancer is an old man’s disease

TRUE BUT NOT A RULE !

There are many risk factors to consider. Your race, family history, physical health and lifestyle—even geographic location.

Statement 3

If you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t have prostate cancer

WRONG!

Prostate cancer is one of the most asymptomatic cancers in oncology, which means that not all men experience symptoms and many times these symptoms can be mistaken or attributed to something else.

Often, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up with high PSA levels (blood test).

Statement 4

Prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer I don’t need to worry about

YES. And NO.

With the 29 types of prostate cancer discovered by PCF-supported researchers, we can confirm that there are those prostate cancers a man may die with and not of, while others are very aggressive

Once a Biopsy confirms cancer, physician treats cancer based on the stage and aggressiveness based on certain tests , clinical examination, age and health status.

Statement 5

Prostate cancer doesn’t run in my family, so the odds aren’t great that I will get it

WRONG!

While a family history of prostate cancer raises a man’s odds of being diagnosed to 1 in 3, the fact remains that 1 out of every 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Father/brother affected : Risk is twice

Younger age of family member at diagnosis/ 3 or more relatives: Risk further increased

Statement 6

The PSA test is a cancer test.

WRONG!

PSA is produced by the prostate in response to a number of problems that could be present in the prostate including an inflammation or infection (prostatitis), enlargement of the Prostate Gland (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – BPH) or, possibly, cancer. Importantly, some rare aggressive variants of prostate cancer may not have raised PSA at all. Biopsy is needed to confirm cancer if PSA is raised.

Think of it as a first alert smoke alarm, instead of a fire alarm.

Statement 7

Prostate Biopsy leads to spread of cancer

WRONG!

Prostate Biopsy is the standard and only confirmatory test for the diagnosis of Prostate cancer. There is no evidence in literature as of now to prove that prostate biopsy leads to spread of cancer.

Statement 8

Sexual activity increases the risk of developing prostate cancer

WRONG!

High levels of sexual activity or frequent ejaculation were once rumored to increase prostate cancer risk. In fact, some studies show that men who reported more frequent ejaculations had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

Statement 9

Robotic surgery is done by a machine and is not safe.

WRONG!

Robotic surgery is the preferred modality worldwide for treating/operating localized prostate cancer. It offers all the advantages of minimal invasive surgery along with additional advantage of increased range of motions for surgical instruments and three-dimensional vision. At the same time, surgical instruments are always under the control of operating surgeon. Experience of surgeon in the field of robotic surgery is paramount for the best results.

Statement 10

PSA screening in asymptomatic individuals has been given up

WRONG!

Screening of otherwise healthy men in their late 50s and 60s, using PSA test is now recommended, but after a thorough discussion with the patient about the implications of the results, need for further investigations if PSA is found to be high and what the prostate cancer treatment entails if found to have prostate cancer.

This means that the patient has to be given an opportunity to make an informed decision.

Who should be screened for prostate cancer?

  • Men 55-69 years age
  • Men > 40 years age with family member who had prostate cancer
  • Men with BRCA gene abnormality
  • Men with PSA>1 at 40 years age
  • Men with PSA >2 at 60 years age
  • African men >45 yrs age