Prostate cancer is a common cancer in men with over 1 million cases per year in India alone. Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland of a man which is located near the bladder. Prostate gland produces the fluid that carries sperm cells. This is indeed a very crucial part of of a male body and so, cancer can hamper the life of the person. In most cases, prostate cancer has slow progression and remains confined to prostate gland but some cases see spreading of cancer that too across different locations. As misconceptions are common about everything around us, there are a number of such myths associated with prostate cancer as well. It is important that you do not fall prey to such myths or misconceptions. Read on as Dr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Andrologist at Practo bust these myths.
Myths About Prostate Cancer
Let’s take a look at some of the common misconceptions about prostate cancer:
Myth 1. Prostate cancer is an old man’s disease.
Fact. Though prostate cancer is more common in men above the age of 50, it can affect young adults as well. Your risk of developing the condition increases with advancing age. Other risk factors of the condition include your family history, being overweight, your overall health and lifestyle.
Myth 2. If you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t have prostate cancer.
Fact. Not showing symptoms does not mean that you don't have the condition. Prostate cancer generally does not show any symptoms during the early stages. It is usually diagnosed during routine health check-ups.
Symptoms start showing as the disease progresses. Common symptoms of prostate cancer include trouble urinating, blood in urine or semen and problems with getting or maintaining an erection.
Myth 3. As prostate cancer is slow-growing, you don’t need to worry about.
Fact. It is true that prostate cancer usually grows slowly and in most cases, it stays confined to the prostate gland. However, in some cases, the cancer cells grow aggressively spreading to the nearby organs and tissues.
It can also spread to the other parts of the body through your blood vessels and lymph nodes. Therefore, early detection and treatment are crucial in the case of prostate cancer to avoid complications.
Myth 4. If prostate cancer doesn’t run in your family, the odds aren’t great that you will get it?
Fact. Having a family history of prostate cancer increases your risk of developing the condition. What you should know is that your family history is not the only factor that increases your risk of prostate cancer.
Your lifestyle, general health, body weight and advancing age are all common risk factors to consider when you look at the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Myth 5. The PSA test is a cancer test.
Fact. PSA test or Prostate-Specific Antigen test is a diagnostic test that helps detect the levels of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. It is a kind of protein made by the prostate gland and is produced as a response to a number of problems. It could be an inflammation, infection (prostatitis), enlargement of the prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia) or, even possibly, cancer.
Think of the PSA as a first alert smoke alarm, instead of a fire alarm. The PSA test may be the first step in the diagnostic process for cancer. It has made detection of cancer in its early stages easier, improving the prognosis.
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