After lung cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed in men. In 2020, 34,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with a projected increase to 48,700 by 2030. The mortality rate in 2022 will be 16,600. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and covers the urethra. Fluid, which is a component of sperm, is produced by the prostate gland.
Adenocarcinomas account for nearly all prostate cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Prostate cancer early symptoms are frequently absent. Advanced prostate cancer patients may urinate more frequently or have weaker urine flow, but these symptoms can also be caused by other prostate conditions.
Because of effective prostate cancer screening options, this disease is often detected before it spreads, and overall survival rates for this type of cancer are favourable. With a 5-year survival rate of 64% in India alone, prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Men over the age of 65 suffer disproportionately. The number of cases of prostate cancer among the younger population, on the other hand, has recently increased.
How the pharmaceutical industry is assisting in the treatment of prostate cancer
The goal is to both slow cancer spread and make you feel better. Most men with prostate cancer have had a high quality of life for many years. Hormone therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are all treatment options.
Hormone therapy: Because androgens, or male sex hormones, cause prostate cancer, reducing their levels can help slow cancer growth. The most common androgen is testosterone. Hormonal therapy is used to lower testosterone levels in the body by either surgically removing the testicles (surgical castration) or taking drugs that inhibit testicular function (medical castration). The particular type of hormonal therapy used is secondary to the primary goal of lowering testosterone levels. This treatment is also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
Drugs used to kill cancer cells are known as systemic treatments. The bloodstream can deliver medication to cancer cells all over the body. Systemic therapy refers to the administration of a drug in this manner.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, typically by inhibiting their growth, division, and proliferation. Chemotherapy may help both advanced or castration-resistant prostate cancer and newly diagnosed or castration-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer. A chemotherapy regimen, or schedule, usually consists of a predetermined number of cycles spread out over a predetermined time period. Prostate cancer is treated with a variety of standard drugs.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Because the prostate gland is so close to the bladder and urethra, you are likely to have a variety of urinary symptoms, among other things. This is common in the early stages of cancer and is determined by the size and location of the tumour. The following are examples of red flags:
– Urinary discomfort, burning, or pain
– Urinary discomfort or difficulty
– Urine-containing blood – Nighttime urination – Sperm blood
– Impotence (ED)
– Inability to control one’s bladder
– Excruciating ejaculation
– Leg or pelvic swelling
– Numbness or pain in the hips, legs, or feet
– Prolonged bone pain resulting in fractures
Who is at greater risk?
Advanced age, a family history of cancer, and obesity are all risk factors for prostate cancer. Inadequate lifestyle choices are also to blame. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight, according to experts, can reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
How can you lower your risk of developing prostate cancer?
Although there is no clinically proven method of lowering your risk of prostate cancer, you can always live a healthy lifestyle. A low-fat, fruit-and-vegetable-rich diet, as well as limiting your daily dairy intake, can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Furthermore, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular screenings can reduce your risk significantly.
The writer is Director at BDR Pharma