Prostate Cancer FAQ
Reviewed By : Dr. Anjali D.
Following are common questions about Prostate cancer:
- What factors can lead to Prostate Cancer?
- What tests are suggested for Prostate Cancer?
- What are the lab values for PSA test required for Prostate Cancer?
- What are the test rates for Prostate Cancer diagnosis in India?
- What are the common signs and symptoms of this disease?
- What is the rate of survival for Prostate Cancer?
- What are the treatment methods for Prostate Cancer?
- What preventive measures to adopt for avoiding Prostate Cancer?
- What complications are associated with Prostate Cancer?
What factors can lead to Prostate Cancer?
Though the exact causes of prostate cancer are yet not known, there are certain aspects that accentuate the risk of developing it.
These factors include:
- Age: Older people are usually at risk. Men over age of 50 years have been mostly diagnosed for this cancer.
- Ethnic reasons: Men of African and African-Caribbean origin are most likely to develop prostate cancer than Asians.
- Obesity: Studies have suggested a link between prostate cancer and obesity.
- Family history: If men from your direct family have had prostate cancer before 60 years of their age, your risk to develop this disease increases. Studies also suggest that having some closely related female family member who had breast cancer can also increase your risk for prostate cancer development.
- Diet: A diet with high calcium content increases risk for prostate cancer development.
What tests are suggested for Prostate Cancer?
The following tests are usually prescribed to prostate cancer patients:
What are the lab values for PSA test required for Prostate Cancer?
The normal range for PSA test is as follows:
PSA range with regards to PSA test can be displayed wrongly if:
- Normal: 0 to 4.0 ng/ml
- Moderately elevated: 4.0 to 10.0 ng/ml
- Significant rise: >10.0 ng/ml
- Rectal sonography is conducted before the test
- Patient has been examined for rectal prostatic
What are the test rates for Prostate Cancer diagnosis in India?
Based on the type of diagnostic center you visit and your region of residence, the rates for prostate cancer tests will vary. You can find a comprehensive list of test rates according to different Indian cities here.
What are the common signs and symptoms of this disease?
Until prostate cancer grows large and starts putting pressure on urethra, symptoms are not visible. Once this condition is reached, issues related to urination start arising.
Symptoms may include:
Symptoms post spreading of cancer include:
- Frequent urination during nights
- Need of rushing to toilet
- Hesitancy to pee
- Long time taken while urinating
- Urine flow becomes weak
- Constant feeling of bladder not empty completely
- Pain in back and bone
- Appetite loss
- Pain in testicles
- Unexplained loss of weight
What is the rate of survival for Prostate Cancer?
As rates of survival with regards to prostate cancer are based on outcomes obtained from previously diagnosed patients, predictions may differ with individuals.
The survival rates are:
- Rate of survival for 5 years (Relative) is 100 percent
- Rate of survival for 10 years (Relative) is 99 percent
- Rate of survival for 15 years (Relative) is 94 percent
What are the treatment methods for Prostate Cancer?
Treatment for prostate cancer will depend on the patient's situation.
Methods may include:
- Strategy of “Watchful waiting” or expectant management
- Cryotherapy (Cryosurgery)
- Hormone therapy
- Bone directed method of treatment
What preventive measures to adopt for avoiding Prostate Cancer?
Prevention of prostate cancer is difficult as its exact causes are yet not known. However, you can definitely control risk factors (refer Question 1) as mentioned below.
- Keep a tab on your diet: A diet containing vegetables and fruits is always preferable. Avoiding fatty foods and focusing on whole grains, vegetables and fruits that contain nutrients and vitamins is good for your health.
- Avoid supplements: Opting for healthy food that provides minerals and vitamins over supplements is always good.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is important for improvement of your mood, weight maintenance and enhancement of overall health. Men who follow a regular exercise regime have lower risk for prostate cancer.
- Maintain weight: Obesity is a risk for developing prostate cancer. Hence, if you weigh as per normal standards, ensure that you maintain this. If weight needs to be lost, then reduction of calorie intake is recommended. Drafting a perfect weight management plan with help from your doctor is best.
- Doctor visits: Individuals with a family history for prostate cancer need to make periodic visits to their doctors to ensure that this disease does not strike them.
What complications are associated with Prostate Cancer?
Some important complications associated with prostate cancer are:
- Metastasize (Spread of cancer): Prostate cancer usually spreads to the nearby organs like bladder. It can also travel via bloodstream or the lymphatic system to other organs; mainly bones. Bones may break or start paining. Such conditions can only be controlled via treatment; however, complete cure is unlikely.
- Incontinence: Prostate cancer itself, along with its treatment options, can lead to incontinence issues. Treatment for incontinence will depend on severity of your issues and might include use of catheters, medications and surgery.
- Impotence: Prostate cancer can lead to erectile dysfunction (Impotency). Treatment may include radiation, hormone treatment or surgery.