Prostate cancer, the most common type among men in Brazil, is responsible for one death every 38 minutes, according to INCA (National Cancer Institute).
Characterized by a mild and asymptomatic development, especially in the initial phase, the disease has a high fatality rate precisely due to late diagnosis. Furthermore, early detection is essential for effective treatment of the disease.
To prevent the disease, experts recommend routine tests, such as PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood tests and digital rectal examination, starting at the age of 50. However, for men with a family history of prostate cancer or belonging to risk groups, such as people of African descent, the recommendation is to start exams at age 45.
Prostate cancer: What are the signs and symptoms?
Among the most common are:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Urinate frequently, especially at night
- Difficulty completely emptying the bladder
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Back, hip, or pelvic pain that doesn’t go away
- Painful ejaculation
The good news is that there are several treatment options for prostate cancer. The choice depends on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s general health and other individual factors. Treatment options include:
Surgery to remove the prostate, called prostatectomy, is a common treatment option for prostate cancer. Surgery can be open, laparoscopic or robotic.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend active surveillance, which involves carefully monitoring your prostate cancer without immediate treatment.
This is common in cases where the cancer is at an early stage and is low risk.
Radiation therapy involves using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be administered externally, using a machine that directs radiation to the prostate, or internally, using radioactive seed implants.
Hormone therapy can help stop testosterone production in the body. This hormone helps abnormal cells multiply. The use of hormone therapy causes these cells to die or grow more slowly.