1 IN 6 Men will be Diagnosed with PROSTATE CANCER. It is one among the top 10 leading cancers in India. It usually affects men in the age group of 60+ years. In India, the 5-Year survival rate for prostate cancer is 64%
Before we talk and discuss the myths surrounding Prostate Cancer, it is imperative that we talk about the disease in order to understand the nuances involved with regards to the myths involved. Prostate cancer is cancer that affects the prostate, a gland usually found beneath the bladder in men. The prostate is one of the organs involved in the male reproductive system; it produces a liquid that provides a medium for the transportation of semen from the penis to the vagina during sexual intercourse. Thus, prostate cancer affects this particular organ.
There are many myths surrounding the condition of this cancer, thanks to the relative unavailability of data among the common public with regards to nature and characteristics of the disease. This is further complicated by the fact that there are about 25 types of cancers of the prostate have been documented by Prostate Cancer Doctors.
Some of the common myths are as follows:
1. Prostate Cancer happens only in Older Men:
While it is true that the risk of this cancer is pretty high in older men, especially those whose age is over 60, this cancer can be diagnosed in patients who can be as young as 40. While age is one of the factors for determining the risk of prostate cancer, the person’s health, family history and lifestyle choices are equally important determinants as well.
2. PSA Tests are used for Prostate Cancer:
While this is a common misconception, it is to be clarified that PSA tests are used to test the presence of any disease that may affect the prostate, including benign swellings of the prostate that may cause the urinary tract to be blocked. It is one of the diseases that can be diagnosed using the PSA test.
3. Having a Low PSA Test Score Implies no Risk:
Generally, a high PSA test could indicate the presence of any disease that affects the prostate, including prostate cancer. This does not, however, mean that a low PSA score is indicative of the absence of prostate cancer. On the contrary, auxiliary tests might be done to rule out the possibility of any other condition that affects the prostate. Low PSA test scores may not really be the best indication for the non-presence of cancer.
4. No Symptoms Mean that there is No Cancer:
The last well-known myth deals with a misconception that deals with the correlation between the symptoms and the disease. Many people do believe that the absence of symptoms implies the very absence of the disease. As discussed, many types of prostate cancer don’t immediately display symptoms on their onset.
From the above discussion, the myth of this cancer not being deadly is easily established. Due to the prevalence of a variety of different prostate cancer, some may be benign on appearance but can be equally deadly if not treated. Some types don’t display a symptom at all in their preliminary or first stages. Then there are other types of prostate cancer that can be (relatively) easily be cured through timely and prompt treatment. Therefore the notion of prostate cancer being benign is easily understandable.
What needs to be kept in mind is the type of prostate cancer the patient is suffering from, and that diagnosis depends solely on the methods of biopsy and diagnosis the doctor has utilised to arrive at the diagnosis. Researchers and scientists are still carrying out experiments and data collection with regards to the effects of the various kinds of prostate cancer and the various symptoms that comes with them. But, be that as it may, prostate cancer is as virulent as any other kind of cancer and proper methods of treatment are important to save the life of the patient.
Prostate cancer is one of the only cancers that can be detected through blood work alone.
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