prostate cancer

One of the difficulties of this pathology is that while the tumor is small, it does not present specific symptoms. “Unless the patient does early detection studies, he will not detect symptoms, so the diagnosis could be late,” Sade said.

Currently available tests for screening are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a blood test; and the digital rectal examination performed by the urologist to feel the prostate and detect a nodule.

“The PSA can be elevated for different reasons such as infectious processes in the prostate, inflammatory processes, benign enlargement of the prostate, intraprostatic calcification processes, it can even be elevated after ejaculation,” specialist Norberto Bernardo told Télam. , Head of Service of the Argentine Center of Urology (CAU).

And he continued: “However, it is an important value for early diagnosis of prostate cancer and monitoring of the disease.”

In the same vein, not all prostate enlargement implies cancer, given that, according to Sade, “all men suffer from benign prostatic enlargement over the years, and many of us have symptoms associated with this enlargement, which is called hyperplasia benign prostate.

In the event that the PSA is elevated or that the touch shows any abnormality, the specialist must define the complementary studies to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.

Bernardo recalled that annual check-ups “are indicated after 50 years of age; however, those patients with a family history of prostate cancer are recommended to start check-ups after 45.”

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As in all tumors, early detection improves diagnosis. “When the detection occurs at the time the tumor is lodged in the prostate, the 5-year survival is 100%, while those patients who are diagnosed in advanced form have a survival that is reduced to 30% Bernard detailed.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, 11,686 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year, which represents almost one in five tumors detected in men nationwide. In addition, it is the most frequent in men, above colon and lung.

“It can be said that if you are thin and physically active, you have better treatment results, but that is only when the cancer has already been diagnosed. And there are studies that indicate that some foods could slow down the evolution of indolent tumors, for example tomato, broccoli, green tea, turmeric and pomegranate, but the ‘could’ must be stressed because it is not conclusive,” Sade said regarding prevention.

Regarding treatment, Bernardo explained that “there are different alternatives from surgery, radiotherapy and focal therapies; the concept of surgery is to remove the prostate gland and its nodes, this can be done conventionally with laparoscopy or through assistance of a robot to increase the precision of the cut”.

“Curative treatments such as radiotherapy have advanced enormously and are highly precise, thereby improving cure rates and reducing side effects,” said Sade, for his part, highlighting advances in the treatment of advanced disease.

“We have been increasing life time and quality of life in patients who have an incurable disease, doubling life time on average every 7 or 10 years,” he said.

The prostate is a gland within the male reproductive system that, after reaching puberty, produces seminal fluid that is part of semen; It is located in the pelvis, below the bladder and in front of the rectum and is about the size of a walnut or chestnut.

The tumor originates when the cells of the prostate begin to grow uncontrollably.

Although the exact causes that give rise to prostate cancer are not known, there are risk factors that favor its development, such as age (the chances of suffering from it increase considerably from the age of 50), family history (the risk is greater if your father or brother had the disease), and diet (it is estimated that those who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk compared to those who consume a high content of animal fat or meat).

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