Prostate issues are not uncommon among aging men. Changes in hormones can cause enlarged prostates by the age of 80 in almost 90% of all men.
Here are some of the most crucial facts men must know about Prostate Cancer:
- Race and Risk of Prostate Cancer
Yes, race has an impact on prostate cancer risk. Studies have revealed that African-American men are at the highest risk for prostate cancer. Asian-Americans are known to be at the lowest risk. African-Americans are more vulnerable to developing the condition. They are also 2.4 times more prone to die from it. Early screening and treatment are suggested for these men.
- Modern Screening Tools
The present age tools are advanced and can offer finest details about cancer to medical professionals. This helps doctors treat their patients before it gets too late. Men can go for tests measuring the prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels. The advanced diagnostic tools for prostate cancer are accurate. MRI-guided biopsies help doctors target specific tumors.
- Symptoms may Not be Definitive
Symptoms of prostate cancer may be present but sometimes these may be attributed to other issues/conditions such as prostatitis. Some symptoms such as frequent urge to pee or trouble controlling the urine stream may not be a sure shot indication of prostate cancer. One should have a word with doctor and discuss symptoms to know the actual cause.
- Impact of Treatment in the Long Run
Did you know it is crucial for a doctor to discuss about potential long-term effects of prostate cancer treatment? It is the duty of a medical professional to weigh treatment results against the level of cancer and long term effects on the body. As per a study reported by the New England Journal of Medicine, it was revealed that a significant number of men experienced issues such as trouble urinating, sexual dysfunction, and in some cases, both 15 post prostate cancer surgery. The same goes for radiation treatment. These issues have a huge impact on quality of life of men.
- Treatment or Surgery is Not Mandatory!
Unfortunately, most men are not aware of this. Prostate cancer doesn’t always need a treatment plan or surgery. Once prostate cancer is diagnosed, the initial step is to measure the aggressiveness of cancer. Medical professionals use Gleason Scale for measuring it. Here’s how the results are assessed:
Gleason Score 6 or Less – Low Risk
Gleason Score 7 – Intermediate Risk
Gleason Score 8 to 10 – High Risk
Men within low-risk cancers do not require any treatment during their lifetime as the cancer grows at a very slow pace. For such men, doctors usually recommend active surveillance. This means men should go for regular PSA tests and biopsies. This helps doctors keep a check on growth rate of cancer.
- Varied Types of Treatments
Since each man is different, the treatment procedures vary too. For instance, some men are better off with a watchful care under medical professionals while others need to consult the best robotic surgeons for prostate. Some are also put under medications and other therapies such as radiation, immunotherapies, chemotherapy, or hormone treatments. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend a combination of these treatment options.
- Make Changes in Lifestyle
Although not a miraculous cure, studies reveal that there may be a link between lifestyle factors such as one’s diet and increased body weight. Increased rates of prostate cancers are linked to obesity. Men bringing changes in lifestyle are known to improve their prostate health too. For instance, it is good to quit smoking, eat a healthy diet comprising of fresh fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, restricting red meats and full-fat dairy products can help improve prostate health significantly.