Prostate Cancer- A Male Hormone Dependent Cancer!
Prostate Cancer has a unique feature that implies growth of cancer using male hormone, Testosterone as a trigger. In a way, breast cancer manifests in a similar fashion using Estrogen & Progesterone hormone-dependent on most of the occasions.
Prostate Cancer is 2nd highest cancer in men in west whereas not so common in India but has an increasing trend. There are certain interesting facts that people at large should know about Prostate Cancer.
First of all, Prostate Cancer is a slow growing cancer to such an extent that if it is found in early stage (Localized Prostate Cancer/Stage 1), the immediate treatment prescribed for a fairly long time is "NO TREATMENT" (Watchful Waiting); Secondly, being a hormone dependent cancer, it could be controlled for a long time by injections for hormonal manipulation or a simple surgery called Orchiectomy (removal of testicles). In most cases these days including advanced stages, we do not recommend Chemotherapy & we reserve it for only aggressive disease. With the invent of newer medicines which are also called as newer forms of hormonal therapies like Abiraterone & Enzalutamide, we are able to offer good quality of life to patients while on treatment & post treatment.
These facts about Prostate Cancer are exciting & encouraging for us as well as for patients. Key is to remain alert about symptoms of Prostate Cancer so that it can be diagnosed at very early stage & can be treated with curative intent. Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer are ‘frequent urination’ especially at night, ‘blood in urine/seminal fluid’, ‘interrupted urine flow’, ‘pain/irritation while urinating’, ‘backache’, ‘bone pain’ etc. It is imperative to be aware about these symptoms & adapt a preventive strategy.
I strongly recommend men above 50 years of age to undergo ‘PSA’ (Prostate Specific Antigen) test every year as a preventive measure.
Dr. Udip Maheshwari
MBBS, MD (Medicine), DNB (Medical Oncology)
Medical Oncologist & Hemato-Oncologist
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