While prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the West, its diagnosis in India is often delayed because patients consult their doctors only after symptoms set in. If diagnosed early, it can be treated successfully. In nine out of 10 cases, early detection can provide a long-term cure. But for early diagnosis, awareness about the disease and its screening modalities is absolutely crucial, said city-based urologists. Globally, September and October are observed as prostate cancer awareness months.
Dr Balchandra Kashyapi, onco-urologist, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, said, “With changing lifestyles and increasing life expectancy, the rate of prostate cancer is growing rapidly in India. But this trend has not accompanied a corresponding increase in the levels of awareness.”
Close to 70 per cent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.
Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer in Indian males, first being lung cancer. It is the sixth most common cause of death.
“While we hear a lot of awareness on cardiac diseases and diabetes, not much is talked about of prostate cancer. Indians tend to ignore or misread the early symptoms of cancer, which delay diagnosis and treatment until the problem becomes less amenable to medication. Time is not far off when prostate cancer will become the most-common cancer among males in India,” informed Dr Naresh Rao, urologist, Ratna Memorial Hospital, Pune.