At a press briefing held recently, renowned urologist, Dr. N Ragavan highlighted that in India, around 25,000 people are diagnosed to have prostate cancer4, indicating an alarming rise in the disease. Today, it is the second most common form of cancer amongst men, after lung and mouth cancer. As per available statistics, since the 1990s, cases of prostate cancer have shot up by over 220% and India’s National Cancer Registry Programme estimates that the incidence is expected to grow rapidly by 2020.3
One of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men across the world, prostate cancer usually begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably due to adverse genes, coupled with unhealthy lifestyles. Imbalanced diet, physical inactivity and smoking increase a person’s chances of contracting the disease. And due to growing urbanization, workplace stress and sedentary lifestyles, the incidence rates of this cancer are rapidly increasing, and expected to double by 2020. As per population-based cancer registries, metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata have recorded a statistically significant increasing trend in incidence rates over time.
Dr. N. Ragavan, Senior Consultant Urologist, Uro-oncologist and Robotic Surgeon, said, “India has seen more than 45,000 number of cases in the last few years4. Prostate cancer is among the leading cancers in India. It usually affects men in age group of 65+ years. Recently there has been an increase in reports of cancer in younger men in the age group of 35-44 and 55-64 residing in metropolitan cities including Chennai. Old age, obesity, improper diet, and genetic propensities have been identified as some of the main contributing factors towards rising incidences of prostate cancer. The key to successfully treating this form of cancer is early detection, while it is still confined to prostate gland. Regular follow-up after any treatment modality is very critical to prevent relapse of the tumor.”2
The stages and the treatment of prostate cancer can be broadly classified into two stages. Early-stage (Stage I and II) of prostate cancer usually grows very slowly and may take years to cause any signs and symptoms or other health problems.1The second stage is locally advanced prostate cancer (stage III). Depending upon the stage of cancer, active surveillance, watchful waiting, radical prostatectomy, laparoscopic prostatectomy, hormone therapy, cryotherapy, may be recommended. Standard method of screening for prostate cancer is a digital rectal exam and blood tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein that signals to the body that the cancer cell is present. Early detection and getting screened regularly will help prevent the disease to some extent.
Correct and complete knowledge of cancer, treatment options, new advancements in R&D are very important in helping policy makers and concerned authorities to plan and formulate sound cancer control strategies based on scientific and empirical bases