Prostate Cancer in Pakistan is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer and affects about 5.6% of Pakistani men. The disease is found in middle-aged and elderly males and has various degrees of aggression. However, unlike other cancers, Prostate cancer survival rate is relatively low.
Prostate cancer symptoms are often ignored until it is too late, and cancer has spread beyond the prostate organ at which stage chances of remission (complete or partial reduction in cancer) and survival are relatively low. It is, therefore, crucial for men to start thinking about early screening and detection.
Are you at risk?
Certain factors increase your chances of developing prostate cancer. The first and foremost risk factor in the early stages of prostate cancer that you should take into consideration is age. The majority of men diagnosed with this condition are above the age of 50. However, a few cases of males in their 20s and 30s developing prostate cancer have been reported as well. Other risk factors and their recommended screening age are as follows:-
Start screening at age 40 if:-
Your family has a history of cancers of the prostate, ovaries, breast, pancreas, or colon. Or if Lynch syndrome (a form of colon cancer), BRCA1 and 2 genes (often found in Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer), or HER2 gene (found in breast cancer) mutations are present in your family.
Start screening at age 45 if:-
You have no such risk factors.
Methods of Early Detection in Early Stages of Prostate Cancer
Early detection of prostate cancer can be done through one of the following methods. However, as with most tests, false-negatives (when the condition is present but has not been picked up by the test) may occur. Therefore, if you have any signs and symptoms of concern, then you must always consult your doctor immediately despite negative results.
- Free PSA test
- PSA density test
- PSA velocity test
- PSA-based markers
- Digital rectal exam
- MRI of the prostate
- Tests for other prostate cancer markers such as the urinary PCA3 test
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
If you develop any of the following signs and symptoms consult with a specialist doctor immediately.
- Frequent urination
- Inability to empty the bladder with ease
- Interrupted or weak flow of urine
- Erectile dysfunction
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Traces of blood in the seminal fluid
- Traces of blood in the urine
- Pain or discomfort upon sitting (caused by an enlargement of the prostate)
- Burning, pain or discomfort during urination (less common)
Additional symptoms of concern may be:-
- Fatigue (feeling tired easily)
- Pain in the back, shoulders, thighs, hips, and or other bones
- Swelling in the legs or feet due to fluid build-up
- Changes in bowel habits
- Inexplicable weight loss