The prostate is a gland that is located under the bladder, where part of the fluid that makes up semen is produced. Cancer in this area starts when cells start to grow out of control.
Between the prostate cancer symptoms Frequent urination, weak or interrupted flow, the need to urinate frequently at night, and blood in the urine are found.
It should be noted that these symptoms can also be related to another disease, it does not necessarily have to be prostate cancer, but to rule out this possibility it is necessary to visit the urologist.
The subject is discussed by Dr. Bolívar Rodríguez, head of the Urology Service of the Dr. Heriberto Pieter Institute of Oncology, who is committed to early detection. But he not only advocates for it, he works to save life on it. It does so through the Prostate Cancer Early Detection Program developed by the aforementioned health center. The specialist assures that thanks to this action advanced stage cases have dropped from 60% to 30%.
In prostate cancer, as in other types of cancer, there are risk factors classified as non-modifiable and those that are. Dr. Rodríguez says that among the non-modifiable are age (from 50 years of age the risk increases), race (black men are more likely to have the disease), and family history (a father or brother who has had the disease).
Modifiable risk factors have to do with lifestyle habits and these include exposures to chemicals, men who work in painting and welding shops are at higher risk of developing the disease since they are exposed to cadmium and lead, highly carcinogenic substances.
In this sense, the doctor assures that most prostate cancer diagnoses come from Haina and San Cristóbal, where there are many of these workshops.
Smoking and obesity also play a role.
Early detection and diagnosis
Rodríguez says that it is appropriate that from the age of 40 men undergo studies for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, which are the PSA analysis of prostate antigens, which consists of a blood test, and the digital rectal examination, where a finger is inserted into the rectum with a lubricated glove to examine the prostate.
If any abnormality is found then the doctor will indicate other studies such as ultrasound, MRI and biopsies.
The specialist also emphasizes that in developed countries such as Switzerland, when men age later, there are higher life expectancies and diagnoses are made at an older age.
Treatment will depend on factors such as age and stage of the disease. Treatment regimens generally involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy.
In advanced prostate cancer, surgery, although it does not eradicate the disease, contributes to prolonging the life of the patient whose life expectancy can be extended from 5 to 10 years.
The urologist points out that currently the surgical process is not traumatic and the patient can progress favorably. Additionally, urinary incontinence complications have been minimized.
Dr. Rodríguez believes that more educational campaigns are needed to promote the importance of early detection of prostate cancer since an educated population is more aware of the importance of early detection.