The prostate is a gland located below the bladder in males. Its primary function is to secrete prostatic fluid, which contributes to a significant portion of seminal fluid. Additionally, the prostate plays a role in propelling sperm during sexual intercourse.

Regrettably, in some males, the prostate can develop cancer. Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer among men globally.

The Growing Concern of Prostate Cancer in Males

Prostate cancer emerges as a predominant health issue, ranking as the foremost cancer affecting men globally. Understanding its risk factors is crucial in addressing this growing concern.

Key Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Healthcare professionals observe a worldwide surge in prostate cancer incidences. Several factors contribute to the heightened risk of developing this disease:

  1. Age Factor: The likelihood of prostate cancer escalates with age, particularly in men over 50 years.
  2. Genetic Influence: A family history of prostate cancer, especially in close relatives like fathers or brothers, increases the risk.
  3. Geographical Variations: The incidence of prostate cancer is notably higher in North America and Europe, especially in northwestern regions, compared to Asian countries.
  4. Dietary Impact: High-fat diets and regular consumption of red meat are linked to an increased risk.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

In its initial stages, prostate cancer typically presents no noticeable symptoms. However, as the cancer progresses, it exerts pressure on the urethra, leading to various lower urinary tract symptoms such as:

  • Increased frequency of urination, particularly at night.
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination.
  • Challenges in starting, maintaining, or stopping urine flow.
  • Difficulty in completely emptying the bladder.
  • Urinary retention or straining to urinate.

In advanced cases, these symptoms intensify, potentially leading to hematuria (blood in urine).

Diagnostic Procedures for Prostate Cancer

Early detection of prostate cancer is crucial for effective treatment. The following diagnostic tests are employed:

  1. Digital Rectal Examination (DRE): A physical examination where the doctor assesses the prostate's size, shape, and texture.
  2. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: Elevated PSA levels in the blood can indicate prostate cancer.
  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Provides detailed images of the prostate.
  4. Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS): Uses sound waves to create prostate images and guides biopsy procedures.
  5. MRI/Ultrasound Fusion Biopsy: Combines MRI and ultrasound for precise targeting of cancerous tissues during biopsy.

Staging of Prostate Cancer

Determining the stage of prostate cancer is vital for selecting an appropriate treatment strategy. The stages are:

  1. Stage 1: Cancer is localized within the prostate.
  2. Stage 2: Tumor growth is more significant but confined to the prostate.
  3. Stage 3: Cancer has penetrated the outer layer of the prostate, possibly affecting seminal vesicles.
  4. Stage 4: Cancer has metastasized to other body parts, often including bones and lymph nodes.

Comprehensive Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

Treatment approaches depend on the cancer's location, size, stage, and the patient's overall health and quality of life prospects. Common treatments include:

  1. Surgery:
    • Robotic-assisted Da Vinci Surgery: utilises robotic technology for precise surgical interventions, enhancing recovery and reducing complications.
  2. Radiation Therapy: Tailored according to the cancer's risk level, involving internal (brachytherapy) or external beam radiation.
  3. Chemotherapy: Utilized for advanced stages, with ongoing improvements in treatment efficacy and management of side effects.
  4. Hormone Therapy: Aims to reduce or halt testosterone production, crucial in advanced or metastatic cases.