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3 months ago
Prostate cancer and lung cancer are two most common cancers in men in India, say experts

Cancer is a potent and life-threatening condition and we are not saying that it is sex-selective. There are various studies that have tried to explore if men and women suffer from cancer differently, but in the end, it is the survival post diagnosis and treatment that matters for both the sexes. It is seen that some cancers grow aggressively in men (like kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc) and some other cancers grow aggressively in women. Then there are some cancers that are gender specific like prostate cancer, testicular cancer in men, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer in women. Here are 10 kinds of cancers that men are more prone to than women.

However, experts feel that cancer is becoming an epidemic in our country due to change in environment and lifestyle. A trend that has been seen in the recent times is that men are suffering more from prostate and lung cancer. As per ICMR, India is likely to have over 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer by 2020 with cancers of lung, breast, cervical and prostate. Cancer is not a disease but a syndrome, which is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Maharashtra, itself has projected that the city will witness close to 3500 patients every year for lung cancer by 2020. The numbers were projected by GLOBACAN an initiative of the international agency of cancer research that tracks global cancer trends. According to projections by GLOBOCAN by 2020, there will be 25000 patients with prostate cancer in India per year with about 15000 people succumbing to prostate cancer.

These numbers are really scary as lung cancer and prostate cancer are the commonest diseases in Men.  Till 2012 the approximately yearly incidence of lung cancer cases in India was 70,000. It was considered that smoking is an important cause of lung cancer but passive smoking increases the chance of getting lung cancer. Smokers should always remember that they are exposing even their families to hazards of smoking. Pollution – especially some pollution-related occupation minors and those dealing with chemicals also could increase chances of lung cancer. Here is what you need to know about survival post lung cancer treatment.

‘Nowadays, we are getting patients in early young age. About 10 percent of lung cancer is detected at a very early stage, 20-30 percent in the intermediate stage and 60 percent of patients detected at their advanced stage. Over 40 percent lung cancer need to treat with new advance treatments called as Targeted Therapy known as Oral Therapy. In Asian Countries, Targeted Therapy is better wherein only 20-30 percent patients respond to chemotherapy the balance is treated as these patients are having genetic tumour abnormality and mutation,’ says Dr Ramakant Deshpande, Oncosurgeon, Asian Cancer Institute.

‘The medicines for lung cancer often do not affect the quality of life of patients and it helps them to live longer compared to before. In Targeted Therapy, the patient is not always required to come to the hospital repeatedly as they can take medicine at their home,’ adds Dr Ramakant.

If prostate cancer is diagnosed early, it can be treated successfully. In fact, 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. Dr Avinash Deo, Consultant Medical Oncologist, S. L Raheja Hospital says, ‘Often there is no early symptom of prostate cancer. Many of the prostate cancers are diagnosed when advanced. Prostate-specific antigen screening can diagnose prostate cancer early. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against prostate-specific antigen (PSA)—based screening for prostate cancer as it does more harm than good.’ Here is why prostate cancer is called a silent killer.

A screening test is followed by a confirmatory biopsy. Some prostate cancers never spread or cause symptoms. Side effects of biopsy and those treatments for prostate cancer that will never spread are harms of screening. Experts believe that everyone may not benefit from screening. One must discuss the pros and cons of screening with one’s doctor before undergoing the test.

With the benefit of early diagnosis is uncertain the efforts to treat prostate cancer have focused on developing new drugs. Newer therapies include chemotherapy, hormonal manipulation and the use of radioisotopes and therapeutic vaccinations.

‘Newer treatments have improved the survival of prostate cancer. One of the greatest impacts is of early chemotherapy; early chemotherapy for metastatic disease reduced the risk of death by 40-50% in the selected group of patients. It is important that patients with prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate consult a medical oncologist to see if they are likely to benefit from early chemotherapy.’ adds Dr Avinash.

Image source: Shutterstock

 

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