I am dr. Shrikant M.Badwe. I am urologist practicing for the last 38 years. Let me tell you something about prostate cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cancer all over the world and in the large metropolitan cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, trivandrum and 3rd leading cancer in Mumbai and Bangalore. The unique think about prostate cancer is that in early-stage most often there are no signs and symptoms whatsoever. It's only when the prostate cancer becomes advanced or it spreads the symptoms like blood in the urine or back pain, bone pain, hip pain or blood in the semen all these symptoms are seen.
So it is extremely important to look for prostate cancer with high index of suspicion and this is done by doing screening test beyond the age group of 50 and this screening should be done at regular intervals by urologist. Screening consist of doing a blood test which is known as prostate-specific antigen and a regular examination of the prostate gland by putting a finger in the rectum which is known as digital rectal examination.
Whenever there is a suspicion of the presence of prostate cancer, the urologist will advise you further appropriate test like a CT scan or MRI or one more advanced PSMA scan; However, the fact remains that diagnosis of real prostate is confirmed by doing a biopsy through ultrasound guidance.
There are multimodal, that is various ways of treating prostate cancer depending upon the stage of prostate cancer. It needs to be emphasized that early diagnosis in early-stage prostate cancer can be completely cured by surgery or radiation therapy. However, in disease which is advanced or spread, various treatment modalities which are available which gives rewarding results and significant relief to the patients who are suffering from advanced disease. Now let me talk to you some common myths about prostate cancer and what are the actual facts about prostate cancer.
One of the myths is that prostate cancer is an uncommon disease, a rare disease in India and it is a disease of only affluent countries like USA or European countries, the fact is this is completely wrong, in fact, it is the second leading cancer as I said before in all over the world and even in Indian cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Pune and also in Bangalore and Mumbai.
Another myth is prostate is a disease of elderly people or older men, again not true. Majority of the patients, that is 65% are of the age of 65 or more however in 30% of the cases this cancer occurs before the age of 65 years and also in men with a family history of prostate cancer, the risk doubles and cancer can occur in a much earlier age.
One myth is that CA prostate is very non-aggressive, extremely slow-growing disease and patient of CA prostate die with the disease and never dies because of the disease, again it is a myth the fact is it isn't true. Many prostate cancer patients die prematurely, early and in our country one must remember that 75% of the patients are diagnosed late with metastatic disease or advanced disease and they suffer enormously, quality of life is often extremely poor and they require a specialized high-end treatment which is available and cares, which gives them good relief and rewarding relief.
Another myth is that once you do PSA and if the PSA test is high that means it is CA prostate, not at all true, high PSA can be due to just benign that is non-cancerous grossly enlarged prostate gland or infection in the prostate gland and sometimes infection of the urinary tract, UTI that also can give rise in PSA.
Your urologist will consider these various facts and judicially advise you and decide the further test, so once the PSA test is done, even if it is high you must see the urologist and plan further. Many people feel that once doctors tell you to do a biopsy of the prostate cancer, it will spread cancer. This also is absolutely untrue there is no risk at all, in fact, the transrectal sonography guided biopsy is mandatory for the diagnosis of prostate cancer and also for planning the treatment of prostate cancer.
Nowadays everybody feels that with the advent of robotic and laparoscopic surgery the results are much better and it is necessary to undergo this kind of expensive operation, that is a myth. Actually speaking, in many studies in the literature it had been proved completely, that open surgery, that is regular open surgery, laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery all are equally effective if they are done in experts hand, inexperienced hands and by following the strict principles of cancer surgery.
Friends, I think that few of the myth I have explained to you and this will help you in seeing your urologist early at regular intervals and do your screening for prostate cancer.