Prostate cancer, originating in the walnut-sized prostate gland within the male reproductive system, is universally prevalent but it’s a silent threat. Globally, it ranks as the 2nd most common cancer in men and is among the top 10 in India, where it is frequently neglected until advanced stages, contributing to it being the 6th leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men worldwide.
Major risk factors include age, family history, obesity and race. In India, the incidence rate of prostate cancer stands at an estimated 9 cases per 100,000 men, with a relatively low 5-year survival rate of 64%. Notably, this cancer primarily affects older men, typically diagnosed in those over 65. Alarmingly, there has been an increase in early-onset cases among men aged 15 to 40.
Prostate cancer often progresses slowly and may not manifest immediate symptoms. However, when symptoms do arise, they can comprise urinary issues, blood in urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, and pelvic or lower back pain. Diagnosis involves physical examinations, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and biopsies, while treatment options, such as surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy, depend on the cancer’s stage. Early detection is paramount in enhancing treatment efficacy and survival rates.