Prostate problems, decreased urine flow are not natural. Doctors debunk myths | Health


With the massive increase in the elderly population growing day by day, prostate problems become a major problem, but people are not aware of the seriousness of the situation and believe that prostate is a natural phenomenon with age. The prostate is the second leading cause of cancer in men in major Indian cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, the third leading cause of cancer in cities such as Bangalore and Mumbai and is among the top ten leading causes of cancer in the rest of the population.

Despite significant advances in healthcare, about 60-65% of prostate cancers that doctors regularly encounter are in stage 4 because they are discovered at a later stage. If we get routine checkups, it’s conceivable that health experts could diagnose it early and cure men.

Symptoms:

Prostate cancer is on the rise and the symptoms make it difficult to distinguish whether it is a prostate cancer or a benign prostate disease. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ramesh K Juvekar, urologist, andrologist, reconstruction and transplant surgeon at Wockhardt Hospitals in Mumbai Central, revealed that the patient with symptoms of prostate obstruction usually presents:

• Frequent and urgent need to urinate

• Difficulty urinating

• Slow (prolonged) urination

• Increased frequency of urination at night

• Stop and start again while urinating

• The feeling that you can’t completely empty your balder

• Urinary Tract Infection

• Blood in the urine.

Myths and Facts:

dr. Abhay Kumar, Head of Urology, Surgical Oncology, Robotic Surgery at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, listed several myths when it comes to the prostate:

– Very often it is believed that prostate problems and decreased urine flow are natural with age, but this is not the case.

– It is a common misconception that prostate problems always require surgery; however, the fact is that prostate problems can often be treated with drugs.

– A spike in PSA (a blood test) is thought to indicate prostate cancer, but in reality a patient’s PSA may be elevated for a variety of reasons that may not be cancer.

– Normal PSA is sometimes said to rule out prostate cancer, but about 25% of prostate cancers have normal PSA.

– It is generally believed that once a person has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, there is no cure. However, it can be cured very easily and patients suffering from stage four cancer can also have meaningful lives. However, if detected early, it can be completely cured using several new techniques and robotic surgery.

He said, “As doctors, we would always advise our patients to have a routine checkup for their prostate health and awareness and to let it heal if there are any problems.” dr. Ramesh K Juvekar shared some facts about prostate problems that cannot be ignored:

1. An enlarged prostate – An enlarged prostate is common in men over the age of 50. This condition is when the prostate gets bigger as you get older. It is sometimes called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPE). It is not cancer and there are ways to treat it. BPH can coexist with prostate CA. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine from the bladder.

2. Prostatitis – Prostatitis – this is a type of urinary tract infection in men. This infection is rarely serious, but consulting a urologist is important.

3. Prostate Cancer – Prostate cancer is most common in men, accounting for nearly a third of all male cancers (reference). The growth of cells is controlled in the body. Dead cells are replaced in an orderly manner. If the cells grow uncontrollably in the prostate, it can lead to cancer.

dr. Balaji Ramani, Senior Consultant, Department of Surgical Oncology at MGM Healthcare, brought his expertise to the same, telling the beans about other myths and facts about prostate cancer:

Myth 1: Prostate cancer is for older men

Fact: While most men diagnosed with prostate cancer are older, it can also affect younger men. In the western world 40% of this cancer even occurs in men

Myth 2: My Dad Had Prostate Cancer, So So Do I

Fact: Not everyone with a family history of prostate cancer will get it. In general, a positive family history will double the risk compared to the general population, but overall it is still less. Such patients and individuals may need genetic testing and proper screening, and we can easily detect and treat prostate cancer in them.

Myth 3: Prostate cancer treatment always causes incontinence/sexual dysfunction

Fact: While radical surgical treatment can lead to mild incontinence/impotence; with current advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgery and better radiation techniques, many men are essentially normal after therapy

Myth 4: Elevated serum PSA is always prostate cancer

Fact: Elevations in serum PSA can occur with a variety of conditions, ranging from a simple physical exam to prostate infection and surgery to prostate cancer. A rising level should be the trigger to look for prostate cancer, but it’s usually due to a benign enlargement of the gland. Currently, serum PSA is used as a screening tool to identify prostate cancer early after discussing the risks and benefits of early prostate cancer treatment

Myth 5: Prostate cancer always needs surgery and radiation for treatment

Fact: The treatment of prostate cancer is multidisciplinary and often includes minimally invasive surgery such as robotic or laparoscopic surgery and/or radiotherapy. Advanced cases may require different types of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc. That said, there are a number of low-grade prostate cancers that can be kept quite safe on Active Surveillance. In fact, many patients die of prostate cancer rather than prostate cancer, as it is usually one of the most indolent cancers in humans.

Dr Muruganandham K, Senior Consultant and Head, Department of Urology and Kidney Transplantation at Chennai’s Gleneagles Global Health City, added to the list:

Myth 1: All urinary symptoms are due to prostate in men

Fact: Urinary symptoms can also be caused by bladder problems, urinary tract infections, urinary stones, and other medical conditions.

Myth 2: The bigger the prostate, the worse urinary symptoms are

Fact: While this may seem logical, it is not true. In some cases, significant swelling can result in minimal symptoms, while minor swelling causes serious complications.

Myth 3: Benign enlargement of the prostate can become cancer in the long term

Fact: Early symptoms are close to prostate cancer, but BPH itself is a non-cancerous condition.

Myth 4: BPH only affects men in their 70s and 80s

Fact: Age is a risk factor, but not a dividing line. Even men in their 50s can have BPH

Myth 5: There is a strong link between sexual function and prostate enlargement

Fact: Neither irregular sexual activity nor frequent sexual activity has been shown to affect the rate of BPH or prostate cancer

Myth 6: BPH is part of aging and there’s not much you can do about it

Fact: Lifestyle changes and safe medications help improve the quality of life of prostate patients.

Myth 7: All BPH Patients Need Treatment

Fact: Prostate enlargement alone does not warrant medical treatment. Needs further clinical evaluation by a urologist to rule out prostate cancer and to decide on treatment

Myth 8: Take Excess Water When You Have Urinary Problems

Fact: Taking excess water will not help with many of the prostate-related symptoms and sometimes it can worsen existing symptoms or endanger life.

Myth 9: I have no symptoms…so I don’t have prostate cancer

Fact: Prostate cancers can be completely symptom-free in the early stages

Myth 10: Surgical treatment of prostate is very risky

Fact: Minimally invasive surgical procedures are safe and effective in relieving symptoms and improving quality of life

According to Dr. Ramesh K Juvekar, symptoms of prostate obstruction when PSA screening along with biopsy can diagnose prostate cancer in suspected cases, therefore PSA screening is mandatory in elderly patients every year. Routine ultrasound along with PSA screening. If PSA is high above the prescribed level, a prostate biopsy is done under ultrasound guidance. If the biopsy is positive, further testing should be done to detect the spread of prostate cancer. Any patient with prostate symptoms should report to the urologist and not a doctor for screening of their prostate symptoms

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