5 Indicators of advanced prostate cancer

Detecting early-stage prostate cancer can be challenging as it often doesn’t manifest specific symptoms.

5 Indicators of advanced prostate cancer

In metropolitan areas like Delhi, Kolkata, and Pune, prostate cancer ranks as the second most common cancer among males, according to the Indian Medical Council of Research. Similarly, in cities such as Mumbai and Bengaluru, it holds the position of the third most prevalent cancer. However, in its early stages, prostate cancer often remains asymptomatic, making it challenging for individuals to recognize any underlying issues. As indicated by cancerindia.org, the incidence rate of prostate cancer in India is escalating rapidly. To shed light on this disease, Onlymyhealth consulted Dr. Shalabh Agarwal, a urologist at CK Birla Hospital in Gurgaon.

Dr. Agarwal suggests that prostate cancer cases are more pronounced in India’s major cities due to two primary reasons. Firstly, lifestyle factors such as stress, poor dietary habits, and sedentary lifestyles elevate the risk of various illnesses, including prostate cancer. Secondly, the accessibility of disease diagnosis and screening facilities is more extensive in tier 1 cities compared to tier 2 and 3 cities and towns. Dr. Agarwal emphasizes that expanding screening facilities in India’s smaller cities and towns could lead to a higher detection rate of the disease.

What factors contribute to the development of prostate cancer

Several factors can elevate your risk of developing prostate cancer:

  • Genetic Predisposition: Individuals with a family history of prostate cancer are at a higher risk. If a close relative has had prostate cancer, there’s a possibility of developing it, often at an earlier age and with increased severity.
  • Racial Factors: While the Indian population has a relatively lower susceptibility to prostate cancer compared to some other ethnic groups, the prevalence of the disease still exists.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Poor dietary habits, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Early signs and symptoms of prostate cancer may include

Dr. Agarwal notes that prostate cancer often lacks specific signs or symptoms, making it challenging for individuals to detect. Moreover, the initial symptoms of prostate cancer can overlap with those of other common conditions, particularly benign prostate enlargement (BPH).

BPH, characterized by prostate enlargement, presents symptoms such as:

  • Obstruction to urine flow
  • Frequent urination
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Presence of blood in urine
  • Increased nighttime urination

Given the similarity in symptoms between BPH and prostate cancer, individuals experiencing urinary issues should seek medical advice for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

What signs indicate advanced prostate cancer

What signs indicate advanced prostate cancer

Advanced prostate cancer presents the following signs and symptoms:

  • Bone and joint pain, particularly in the hips, back, and shoulders
  • Heightened irritability
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Renal obstruction, where urine drainage from the kidneys is impeded due to blockage
  • Obstruction to stool passage, leading to symptoms such as constipation or presence of blood in the stool.

How do doctors diagnose prostate cancer

Diagnosing prostate cancer typically involves two main steps:

Step 1: Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test: This blood test measures the level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer or other prostate conditions.

Step 2: Digital Rectal Examination (DRE): During this exam, a urologist or healthcare provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland for any abnormalities, such as lumps or hard areas.

If abnormalities are detected during the PSA test or DRE, further diagnostic tests may be recommended. These may include:

  • Imaging Tests: Imaging tests such as PET scans or MRI scans can provide detailed images of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues, helping to identify any abnormalities or areas of concern.
  • Prostate Biopsy: A prostate biopsy involves taking small tissue samples from the prostate gland using a thin needle. These samples are then examined under a microscope to check for the presence of cancer cells, providing a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Therapy

Similar to other illnesses, the approach to treating prostate cancer varies based on its severity. Prostate cancer can present as low, medium, or high risk.

For Low-Risk Cases: Radiotherapy or radical surgery are viable options. These treatments are highly effective with minimal side effects, often leading to complete remission of the cancer.

For Medium-Risk Cases: Radiotherapy or radical surgery may still be utilized, often accompanied by additional measures like androgen deprivation therapy for more comprehensive treatment.

For High-Risk Cases: More aggressive interventions such as systemic therapy and chemotherapy become necessary to effectively combat the cancer.

Cautions and Precautions During Prostate Cancer Treatment

Cautions and Precautions During Prostate Cancer Treatment

Dr. Agarwal advises the following care and precautions for patients undergoing treatment for prostate cancer:

  • Maintain adequate protein intake.
  • Ensure proper hydration.
  • Engage in regular exercise.
  • Manage any existing health conditions effectively.

These recommendations are crucial for bolstering the patient’s ability to combat the disease and endure the treatment process. However, should any anomalies arise during the treatment, it is imperative to promptly seek medical advice from your doctor.

Prevention Tips

While there’s no foolproof method to prevent prostate cancer, adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk. This includes maintaining a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and managing weight effectively. These practices enhance overall fitness, thereby lowering the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Additionally, for individuals aged 50 and above, it’s crucial to promptly consult a doctor if experiencing any urinary issues as they could be indicative of prostate problems.