PROSTATE CANCER IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMONLY DIAGNOSED CANCERS IN MEN AND A 2015 REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN ABU DHABI POINTS OUT THAT 20 PERCENT OF THE CANCERS DIAGNOSED ANNUALLY AMONG MALES IN THE UAE ARE PROSTATE CANCER. HEALTH LOOKS AT THE MISCONCEPTIONS SURROUNDING THE DISEASE
Urology specialist Dr. Amr Ahmed Massoud explains that prostate cancer is the development of cancer in the male reproductive gland–the prostate gland–which produces the fluid in semen and controls urination. “The common symptoms of prostate cancer include trouble in urinating, difficulty in commencing and maintaining the stream of urination, blood in semen as well as the urine, and in advanced stages, pain in the bones,” he says, and it can occur due to age factors, family history, and even obesity in some cases.
MISCONCEPTION 1: PROSTATE CANCER ONLY AFFECTS OLDER MEN.
While it may be true that the likelihood of men being affected by prostate cancer is more in the older age, according to Sperling Prostate Center in New York, it is estimated that 1 out of 38 younger men (ages 40 to 59) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1 in 15 by age 69. Other factors such as genetics and family history play a crucial role in putting men at risk of developing prostate cancer.
MISCONCEPTION 2: A HIGH PSA LEVEL IS A SIGN OF PROSTATE CANCER AND A LOW PSA MEANS THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE PROSTATE CANCER.
A high PSA (prostate specific antigen) level indicates that a person is at an increased risk of having prostate cancer. However, it should be noted that there are other factors which contribute to a high PSA level. High PSA levels can be caused by an enlarged prostate, a prostate infection (prostatitis), urinary tract infection, any recent prostate biopsy, recent bladder test (cystoscopy), vigorous physical exercise, or even riding a bicycle. Likewise, prostate cancer can develop in men who have a low PSA level, although the risk is lower in this group.
MISCONCEPTION 3: IF YOU DON’T EXHIBIT ANY SYMPTOMS, YOU DON’T HAVE PROSTATE CANCER.
Many a times, the symptoms can be mistaken or attributed to something else. Therefore, it is important to be educated and informed about prostate cancer and importantly, regularly consult with a doctor.