'Prostate cancer to be second most common cancer among Indian males by 2020'

'Prostate cancer to be second most common cancer among Indian males by 2020'
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Prostate cancer in Indian males, according to ICMR and various state cancer registries, is the second most common cancer in the country.

Delhi Cancer registry shows cancer of the prostate is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Delhi accounting for about 6.78 per cent of all malignancies.

The incidence rate of prostate cancer in India is 9-10/100000 population which is higher than in other parts of Asia and Africa, but lower than USA and Europe.

Prostate is the second leading site of cancer for four Population Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs) namely Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram, third leading site of carcinoma in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai and this organ is among the top ten leading sites of cancers in India.

Read also: Poor sex life the biggest fear for men facing prostate cancer

Almost all regions of India are equally affected by this cancer. The incidence rates of this cancer are constantly and rapidly increasing in all the PBRCs. The cancer projection data shows that the number of cases will be doubled by 2020.

Alarm bells are ringing, for according to a study by International Agency for Research on Cancer, the worldwide Prostate Cancer burden is expected to grow to 1.7 million new cases and499 000 new deaths by 2030 simply due to the growth and aging of the global population. India has its own share of prostrate health problems and needs urgent action.

The government has already made it mandatory to get the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) examination which highlights the seriousness towards the disease.

Medical treatment for this cancer requires money but screening and treatment at central government hospitals like RML, AIIMS and Safdarjung is free.

Read also: Does frequent sex increase your risk of prostate cancer? 5 myths of the condition debunked

"Over 85 per cent of the cancer can be cured by medicine while10 per cent-15 per cent can be cured by surgery. Benign Prostatic enlargement is a normal physiological process in which prostate size grows with age, commonly after 40 years, and may cause symptoms of LUTS (Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms)," according to Prof (Dr) Anup Kumar, Head of Department, Department of Urology and Renal Transplant, VMMC and Safdarjang Hospital.

Prof (Dr) P N Dogra, Head of Department, Urology, AIIMS said, "Sedentary lifestyle with obesity can trigger the chances of getting prostate cancer although it is mainly genetically driven. Presently, we cannot prevent the prostate cancer practically. However, a vigil on prostrate health can help. If detected early in localised stage and definitive treatment is given, the patient can be cured."

"It is also promising to note that new drugs are available for metastatic prostate cancer like Enzalutamide, Abiraterone… The trials have shown that finasteride taken for long duration can prevent prostate cancer.Similarly, lycopene has been shown beneficial in some studies to prevent prostate cancer. Presently, research is going to develop prostate cancer tumour vaccines to prevent cancer," he added.

Experts advise all male patients more than 50 years of age presenting with symptoms of LUTS to go far annual PSA testing. In case of positive family history, screening starts at age of 40 years annually.

According to the experts, if the present trends of increasing lifeexpectancy continue, given the current age-specific incidence, morbidity, and mortality rates o0f prostate cancer, this disease will become a far greater public health problem in the future.

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