Basics About Prostate Cancer : How To Protect Us

Prostate cancer is a cancer that occurs in the prostate gland of male. Prostate gland is a part of male reproductive system situated below the urinary bladder & in front of the rectum through which urethra passes. This gland secretes fluid that mixes with the semen ultimately helping in reproductive process.

This is the second most common cancer affecting male. One in every eight males have a risk to develop this cancer. Worldwide this is the fifth most common cause of cancer related death among males.

The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with advancing age. More prevalence is noticed among the siblings of the affected families. More common in some ethnic groups like black Americans. Unregulated lifestyles like obesity, consumption of unhealthy foods, environmental pollution may contribute to the causation of this disease.

Most worrisome feature of this disease is that many a time it remains asymptomatic & acts as a “silent killer”. Sometimes detected during routine examination for health check-ups, otherwise people may complain as disturbance in micturition, blood in urine, backache or bone pain etc.

With this scenario, a few simple tests can provide primary idea about the existence of this disease. Men over fifty preferably should check their status of prostate gland or if any people at this age group with above mentioned symptoms should consult a Urologist.

The urologist will suggest a S. PSA test and if needed, he will feel the prostate gland by putting his finger in patient’s rectum which is called Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). He may also suggest an USG of prostate. Any abnormalities are detected on these tests or if there is any suspicion the Urologist may ask for an MP-MRI of prostate and/or prostate biopsy.

If prostate biopsy is suggestive of cancer, then the next step is to ascertain whether this cancer is localized or metastatic. Then the Urologist will plan for treatment of these two groups.

Here, it is noted that all types of treatment facilities for this cancer are available in our country.
Another positive thing of this cancer is that, for localized cancer if treated adequately, survival rate is about 98%.
Most important aspect of this disease is that how to prevent it. In true sense till now no vaccine or any other preventive toll is discovered yet.

But if we follow measures described below then risk of death may be reduced to some extent.
• Early diagnosis: After fifty years of age yearly routine checkup aiming at prostate status.
• Prevention of obesity
• Regular exercise
• Healthy diet and nutrition: Adequate fresh green leafy vegetables, fruits, Whole grain cereals intake with minimizing animal protein and avoidance of preserved food, canned food, junk food etc.
• Stop smoking and moderation of alcohol intake.
• Lastly spirituality, calmness, meditation and adherence to the Creator is strongly believed to improve immune status and these may reduce the risk of genesis of cancer.

Prof. Brig. Gen. Dr. SM Shameem Waheed
MBBS, FCPS (Surg), FCPS (Urology)
Senior Consultant – Urology
Evercare Hospital Dhaka