Prostate cancer: these are the symptoms

Prostate cancer is the most common tumor in men and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in men, only behind lung and colorectal cancer, according to data from the Spanish Association Against Cancer. Approximately 6,000 men die each year from this disease, and the risk of suffering from it increases with the age of the patient..

In fact, “more than 80% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men over 65 years of age and more than 90% in the localized phase”, explain it President of the Spanish Group of Genitourinary Oncology (Sogug), Aranzazu Gonzalez del Alba, medical oncologist at Puerta de Hierro University Hospital, on the occasion of the World Day of this disease that is celebrated on June 11.

Therefore, it is recommended go to the urologist from the age of 45 to check the prostate, an age that is reduced to 40 years for those men with a first-degree family history who have had the disease, since they have up to twice the risk of suffering from it.

The visit to the urologist from these ages becomes even more important if one takes into account that “prostate cancer does not have specific symptoms that can be differentiated from other benign prostate pathologies”. Still, the most commonare increased frequency of urination, difficulty or urgency to urinate, urinary incontinence, blood in urine or semen, retrograde ejaculation, and impotence”, informs the expert.

However, and despite this, there is a significant number of prostate tumors that are diagnosed asymptomatically after performing a PSA analysis. “For this reason, it is so important that men go to the urologist to assess the state of the prostate and, thus, adapt medical follow-up according to the risk they have individually”, emphasizes the president of Sogug.

can be prevented

To prevent this type of tumor, there are two essential habits:Periodic reviews, which are essential to detect it early, so it is advisable to do them regularly from the age of 45 in patients without symptoms; and staying physically active, together with a healthy diet, so that in this way men do not develop obesity”, he explains. Javier Romero-Otero, medical director of ROC Clinic and director of the Urology department of HM Hospitales. Good habits, from an early age, can, in addition to helping to maintain weight, prevent pathologies such as diabetes or hypertension, diseases identified as risk factors for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer, reports Romero, It is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate., a gland in the male reproductive system located below the bladder and whose main function is to produce the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm (seminal fluid). The incidence of diagnosis of this tumor depends mainly on age and family history. Hereditary prostate cancer is associated with a disease onset of six to seven years earlier, but the aggressiveness of the disease and the clinical course do not appear to differ..

Prevention is key to putting the right remedies to a tumor that does not present symptoms in its initial phases, since, if it is diagnosed on time, it has a high probability of cure with a very good prognosis. “Despite this, we increasingly have more treatments that allow us to contain the disease for very long periods of time,” Romero-Otero points out.

For this reason, it is important to know that, today, “there are advances that make it possible to detect areas suspected of cancer that until now were impossible to see, such as multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging of the prostate and image fusion prostate biopsy, with which it is possible to take samples directed to those areas of suspected tumor, being a much more precise diagnostic test ”, he details.

existing treatments

Regarding the treatment, González del Alba reports that in cases of localized prostate cancer can perform open or laparoscopic radical surgery (assisted or not by robot), the alternative is radiotherapy with or without hormonal treatment; in the most advanced or metastatic cases, systemic hormonal therapy based on androgen suppression alone or in combination with other options is usually required.

Thanks to therapeutic advances In the last decade, the survival of patients with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer has been significantly increased. However, it is necessary that the patient is always managed within a multidisciplinary committee so that he can opt for the best therapy at each moment of his evolution, ”says the doctor.

Treatments for prostate cancer vary by stage.

In non-aggressive tumors with a good prognosisactive surveillance can be used, which consists of an exhaustive control by means of magnetic resonance imaging of the prostate and control biopsies”, highlights Romero.

For tumors with a good prognosis that can be treated locally, “you can opt for focal therapy, a technique that acts only on the tumor focus, applying different energy sources (thermal, electrical potentials or radiation)”.

Finally, in more aggressive tumors, “treatments usually include radical prostatectomy through surgery, which involves the total removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues. To do this, minimally invasive techniques such as robotic surgery are used.

In any case, “early diagnosis is decisive in the prognosis and evolution of the disease, since it allows us to act quickly and prevent it from progressing so that it not only does not take away the quality of life of patients, but also I don’t get to take years off their lives”, insists Romero.

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Peggy McColl

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