What is prostate cancer?

Cancer in the prostate gland, a part of the male reproductive system can affect the gland's ability to produce some of the fluid in semen and urine control. This type of cancer is called as prostate cancer.

What are its symptoms?

Knowing about the symptoms beforehand can help patients receive an early treatment that increases the chances of faster recovery. Here are a few of the symptoms,

1. Continual urges to urinate, during day and night

2. Blood during the passing of urine

3. Pain experienced while urinating, less commonly, ejaculation

4. Achieving or maintaining an erection becomes difficult

5. Pain in the spine, pelvis, ribs or femur.

6. Frequent bone fractures

7. Urinary and fecal incontinence

What are the diagnostic steps followed by the cancer specialist?

The operating team takes the entire medical health history of the patient into account. Screening tests such as the prostate-specific antigen test of blood, digital rectal examination and transrectal ultrasound are used to carry the diagnosis further. Finally,  a biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis. In addition, tests such as CT scan and MRI is performed to determine the stage of cancer.

How can prostate cancer be treated?

A prostate cancer treatment can involve a variety of methods. The type of procedure chosen by the operating doctor or oncologist depends on a host of factors that may include the following:

1. Tumor's type

2. Tumor's nature like the size

3. Tumor's location

4. Tumor's growth speed

5. Patient's overall health and age

The doctor analyzes the factors mentioned above and decided on the treatment protocol accordingly. The type of treatments available are:

Prostatectomy: This surgical intervention technique is used for patients(preferably young) with a clinically localized cancer. In this procedure, the surgeon gets rid of the entire prostate gland along with the adjoining tissues, lymph nodes, and seminal vesicles. Performed using either a laparoscopic or open approach, prostatectomy reduces the risk of cancer recurrence.

Radiation Therapy: In this procedure, the radiology oncologist kills tumor cells by using protons or X-rays. It is used as a treatment therapy in low-grade prostate cancer and metastatic advanced level cancers for palliative relief.

There are two types of radiation therapy including, brachytherapy and external beam radiation (EBRT).  While in the former type, small radioactive pellets are placed on prostate, in the latter method, beams are focused on prostate externally.

Hormonal Therapy: This temporary type of therapy can slow down the growth of prostate cancer further. Also, it can decrease the production or impede the action of testosterone. Hormonal therapy involves two methods, namely Orchiectomy and Drug therapy: LH-RH Analogue therapy- blocks the production of testosterone.

What is the cost of prostate cancer treatment in India?

The cost of prostate cancer treatment like surgery in India ranges between USD 4900 to USD 5500. The actual cost will depend on the medical condition of the patient and procedure opted.

What does the cost depend upon?

There are a number of factors that can alter(either increase or decrease) the cost of prostate cancer surgery including,

1. Type of the hospital - Reputation and brand value

2. Use of insurance, type of insurance or self-paid.

3. Accreditation of the facility

4. Reputation and brand value of the hospital

5. Technology / Approach Use

6. Type of Surgery

7. Type of Anesthesia or Sedation

8. Medications prescribed before, during, and after surgery

9. Qualification and Expertise of the operating cancer specialist

10. The extent of the surgery required

11. Patient’s diagnosis and general health condition

12. Room Category selected by the patient

13. Other treatment like hormonal therapy or radiation therapy, as required by the patient in conjunction

14. Follow-up care costs

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