Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races yet the recent survey throws astonishing results of the prevailing ignorance around this gland and disease!

Recently, a BBC Health post cited the fact that most British men are oblivious of Prostate related health issues including Prostate Cancer. The word they used for Prostate Awareness of men residing in the Commonwealth was ‘Dangerously Low’! (read more here: http://goo.gl/lOCLqO)

How common is prostate cancer

This could mean three things one that rarely do people realise how important Prostate gland is or they rarely feels this red-blooded gland requires any attention or lastly and most hopelessly feel that the gland is unimportant. On all three counts, we men, better learn a thing or two about this really important gland that gives us the brawny traits in bed.

After the Testis (the male reproductive organs), Prostate is the second most important gland for proper male sexual functioning. This includes production of semen and helps in ejaculation. In other words it is required for the nourishment of sperms. It also effects urine flow and can prevent incontinence. Prostate is usually the size of a walnut and sits below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum.

Prostate Gland and Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer UK, a charity whose survey had inspired the BBC Health article (which made us at MedMonks think of writing this entry) stated that the survey they conducted showed that only 1 in every 5 men did not know they had a prostate and were essentially ‘blind’ to risks of prostate cancer. We at MedMonks firmly believe that those statistics would be 4 in every 5 men in India, who would not know if prostate was a gland or a medicine!

According to a study published in Meta Gene journal (read the original article here: http://goo.gl/hTsA68) states that prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death among men worldwide. The worldwide burden is expected to grow to 1.7 million new cases and 499 000 new deaths by 2030 simply due to the growth and aging of the global population. One thing this means is that for good or for bad, Prostate Cancer cannot be ignored!

Previously it was thought, that prevalence of prostate cancer in India is far lower as compared to the western countries but with the increased migration of rural population to the urban areas, changing life styles, increased awareness, and easy access to medical facility, more cases of prostate cancer are being picked up and it is coming to the knowledge that we are not very far behind the rate from western countries. The cancer registries are reporting some new information and we can see that we are going to face a major increase in cancer incidences in the coming years. The population of India in general and that of the areas covered by the registries in particular, have displayed rapid changes in life styles, dietary practices and socio-economic milieu. Diagnostic and detection technologies have improved and more of the population has not only access, but can also afford the same.

Prostate is the second leading site of cancer among males in large Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkatta, Pune and Thi’puram, third leading site of cancer in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai and it is among the top ten leading sites of cancers in the rest of the PBRCs of India. The data shows that almost all regions of India are equally affected by this cancer. The incidence rates of this cancer are constantly and rapidly increasing across the States. The cancer projection data shows that the number of cases will become doubled by 2020.

Digital Rectal Examination for Prostate Cancer Screening

Men are very ignorant about prostate cancer and it’s dangerous because it is actually the most common cancer in men.

It can have few symptoms in the early stages, and because of its location most symptoms are linked to urination:

  1. needing to urinate more often, especially at night
  2. needing to run to the toilet
  3. difficulty in starting to urinate
  4. weak urine flow or taking a long time while urinating
  5. feeling your bladder has not emptied fully

After the age of 45 years one should get themselves screened for prostate cancer. The commonly used screening tests are a digital palpation via per-rectal examination or assessment of the serum PSA (a marker of prostate glands activity found in the blood) levels.

“Don’t ignore the statistics and don’t ignore your risk. Join the fight to beat the disease.”

— Team Medmonks