Prostate cancer is one of the main causes of men's death in Colombia. This disease, besides being taboo, poses a great challenge to the health system because, although it can be controlled and there are treatments to manage it, there is a great lack of knowledge about it.
According to Dr. Juan Camilo García, a urologist attached to Colsanitas, "can not prevent prostate cancer, but it is possible to control several risk factors associated with the patient's lifestyle that affect his appearance." In this sense, it is important to maintain regular physical activity, adequate weight, limit the consumption red meat or alcoholic beverages and avoiding cigarette consumption. "In addition, eight aspects of prostate cancer should everybody know:
- Risk factors: Being a 50-year-old person and having a father or brother have these diseases are the main factors that are at risk for this cancer, which is usually quiet at an early stage.
- What is it? It consists of prostate treatment, an organ located beneath the bladder, in front of the rectum and surrounded by a urethra. This gland is involved in the production of sperm. Cancer can thus affect the reproductive, sexual and urinary functions of those who suffer from it.
- Symptoms: early symptoms of this type of cancer include changes in urine, such as bleeding, slow flow, excessive vomiting, urination, dribbling or leakage, and become unsatisfied after each urination. They may also be inability to urinate or walk.
However, these symptoms are not always signs of cancer, they may also occur due to enlarged prostate, a benign condition that occurs as you are older, but it is not a health condition. For this reason, the medical consultation will explain what is going on.
When cancer is at a more advanced stage, patients usually report bone pain in the part of the spine, which is the first site of metastasis. They also show difficulty in walking, inability to urinate and to make intestinal movements.
- Prevention: According to the Department of Health and Social Protection in Colombia, prostate cancer is the most common among men and is the second cause of cancer mortality in the male population.
Although there is no difficulty or pain, screening consisting of prostate antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examination for more than 50 years has to be performed. It is essential that both assessments be carried out in such a way that one of them has reached normal values.
- Diagnostic tests: The first is a blood test to measure the PSA protein concentration produced by the prostate gland. If the values are high and a certain age is exceeded, a diagnosis must be made.
Meanwhile, in the digital rectal examination, two or three centimeters from the rectum, the gland may be palpated in its peripheral zone, which is where the most common cancer occurs. This physical examination provides information about the size and consistency of the gland, as well as any anomalies that may indicate illness.
In addition to these examinations, it is necessary to contribute to the clinical history to assess each specific risk. Among these factors there are antecedents of this type of cancer in the family and others that relate to lifestyle.
- How to confirm the presence of cancer? In the presence of abnormalities, a biopsy should be performed, ie, a random sample of the gland tissue to diagnose cancer and in what condition it is.
- Therapy: The cancer found in the initial phase can be considered to be controlled with alertness without requiring surgery and / or radiotherapy initially. Approximately every three months, the prostate-specific antigen test, physical examination and biopsy are repeated according to the protocol of the specialist or institution. It is therefore possible to postpone surgery or / and radiotherapy, or even not need it.
The more advanced cancer found in the prostate can be treated with radical prostate surgery or prostatectomy or radiotherapy. Both therapies have a therapeutic purpose.
In more severe cases with metastases in other parts of the body, hormonal blocking is used to limit the effect of testosterone hormone on cancer. You can do chemical medicine castration or surgically remove the testicles.
- Risk reduction: Prostate cancer can not be prevented, but it can control several life-related risk factors that affect its appearance. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out regular physical activity, to have a weight corresponding to size, to reduce the consumption of red meat, alcoholic beverages and to avoid cigarette smoking.