Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers worldwide and can be detected by being alert to issues related to the stomach, specifically the urinary system. Prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system. Prevalent in men aged 65 and above, prostate cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate start to grow uncontrollably, resulting in the formation of a tumour. Since the prostate gland lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, cancer of the prostate mainly triggers urological symptoms.
Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr Sandeep Prasad, Consultant, Urology, Fortis Anandapur, Kolkata, discusses the common symptoms of prostate cancer, the screening methods and treatment options.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
“Prostate cancer may not cause any noticeable symptoms during the early stages,” says Dr Prasad. “It is important to note that it demands timely diagnosis and intervention,” the doctor adds.
Hence, people need to be mindful of the symptoms associated with it. These include:
- Difficulty in urination
- Weak or disturbed urine flow
- Frequent urination
- Feeling that the bladder is not empty
- Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, around the waist
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swelling in the legs or feet
Prostate Cancer Screening
According to Dr Prasad, prostate cancer can be detected by following medical screenings:
Digital rectal exam
It involves a medical expert inserting a lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the prostate gland for abnormalities.
Prostate-specific antigen test
This blood test measures a protein produced by the prostate gland. Elevated levels of PSA can be a sign of prostate cancer but can also result from other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate or inflammation.
If an abnormality is found during the DRE or PSA tests, a biopsy may be performed to check for the presence of cancer.
Various tests, like CT scan, MRI, or bone scan, as prescribed by the health expert, may be used to determine the extent of cancer.
Treatment Options For Prostate Cancer
“Treatment for prostate cancer may include surgery, radiation treatment, hormone treatment, chemotherapy, or a mix of these approaches. The treatment choice can depend on several factors, like the stage of cancer diagnosed, cancer severity and overall health of the patient,” says Dr Prasad.
Regular screening for prostate cancer can help detect the disease early when it is most treatable.