HEALTH & FITNESS

More than 70 per cent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. With growing life expectancy, the overall prevalence of cancer has increased
Prostate cancer: The need for awareness
Dr Amit Aggarwal and  Dr AK Anand
Cancer is the leading cause of death in the developed countries and the second leading cause of death in the developing countries. As we observe September as the prostate cancer awareness month, the disease comes under focus because of its rising incidence. This is mainly due to the increasing number of ageing population because of rise in age of longevity. Another major reason is the changing lifestyle trends.

NCR has maximum young heart patients
New Delhi: The national capital region (NCR) has the most number of heart patients between the ages of 25 and 45, a survey revealed Saturday.

Nano-medicine for blood cancer
Kochi: The Kochi-based Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine has developed a nano-medicine for drug-resistant blood cancer.

Health Notes
Positive outlook tied to fewer deaths in heart patients
Married do better than singles after heart procedure





 

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More than 70 per cent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. With growing life expectancy, the overall prevalence of cancer has increased
Prostate cancer: The need for awareness 
Dr Amit Aggarwal and Dr AK Anand

Apart from family history, high consumption of dietary fats, deficiency of selenium and low levels of vitamins D3 and E are also risk factors
Apart from family history, high consumption of dietary fats, deficiency of selenium and low levels of vitamins D3 and E are also risk factors

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the developed countries and the second leading cause of death in the developing countries. As we observe September as the prostate cancer awareness month, the disease comes under focus because of its rising incidence. This is mainly due to the increasing number of ageing population because of rise in age of longevity. Another major reason is the changing lifestyle trends.

Over 70 per cent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Studies say that after 70 most men have some form of prostate cancer though there may be no outward symptoms.

With growing life expectancy the overall prevalence of cancer has increased. Geographical and environmental factors have played some role. About 10-15 per cent of patients have a family history of the disease. High consumption of dietary fats, deficiency of selenium and low levels of vitamin D3 and E are also the risk factors.

In September various events are held worldwide to encourage early detection of urological malignancies. These ensure curative treatment strategy and cure and in turn a healthy ageing society.

The good news is that the current survival rate for prostate cancer is high.

Doctors' take

The prostate is an exocrine gland (secretions end up outside the body) of the male reproductive system, and exists directly under the bladder. Roughly the size of a walnut, it is through the prostate that the urethra - the tube carrying urine and semen out of the body - goes through. Besides producing a fluid that forms part of the semen and protects the sperm, the prostate gland also plays a role in urine control. Ay cancer that develops in this region is referred to as prostate cancer.

Traditionally, the incidence of prostate cancer has been the highest in the USA and Europe and lower in countries of South Asia and East Asia. However, with increase in life expectancy, adoption of newer lifestyles and screening using prostate specific antigen (PSA), the incidence of prostate cancer is on the rise in low and middle income countries like India as well.

Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Incidence in India

The incidence of prostate cancer for men is about 4 men per 1,00,000 population.

Between 2001 and 2003 in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bhopal and Bangalore a total of 2,215 cases of prostate cancer were registered (5.03 per cent of all cancers) for male cancer patients.

In India, where life expectancy increased from 61.97 in 2001 to 65.48 in 2011, the prostate cancer incidence is growing by 1 per cent every year.

Symptoms

  • Weak or disrupted flow of urine.
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Constant pain in the lower back, pelvis, or upper thighs.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night.
  • Blood in the urine.

Detection

Detection of prostate cancer is done through the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Prostate cancer screening can help identify cancer in early stages when the treatment is most effective. A normal PSA test, combined with a digital rectal exam, can help in checking for the likelihood of prostate cancer even in future.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by both cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign) prostate tissue. PSA helps liquefy the semen. A small amount of PSA normally enters the bloodstream. Prostate cancer cells usually make more PSA than do benign cells, causing PSA levels in the blood to rise. But PSA levels can also be elevated in men with enlarged or inflamed prostate glands. Therefore, determining what a high PSA score means can be complicated and only an expert can analyse.

Besides the PSA number itself, we consider a number of other factors to evaluate PSA scores:

  • Person's age
  • The size of the prostate gland
  • How quickly are PSA levels changing
  • If there is intake of medications that affect PSA measurements, such as finasteride (Propecia, Proscar), dutasteride (Avodart) and even some herbal supplements.

Experts points out that of the 7.6 million deaths happen due to cancer worldwide, one-sixth are caused by prostate cancer which is also the second most frequently diagnosed cancer after lung cancer.

Age, genetic predispositions and diet all seem to have a direct correlation with the risk of prostate cancer. Some studies have also indicated that men with sexually transmitted diseases too have a higher chance of getting afflicted with prostate cancer.

However, in India the awareness about the disease remains low. It is important to note that there are no warning signs of early prostate cancer. Once a tumor causes the prostate gland to swell symptoms like frequent need to urinate or blood in urine or semen emerge. Hence, it becomes important to immediately visit a doctor if any of these symptoms are observed.

Dr Aggarwal is oncologist BL Kapur Hospital, New Delhi and Dr Anand is Oncologist, Max HealthCare, New Delhi

For a healthy prostate

  • Include foods with a lot of lycopene such as tomatoes and water melon. Lycopene has been proven as a cancer-fighting ingredient.
  • Eat fish with high levels of omega-3 acids, like salmon and tuna. These will help in checking prostate cancer as well as keep your heart healthy and boost the immune system.
  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, get yourself on a diet-and-exercise plan that will get you in a healthy weight range. Maintaining a healthy weight will keep your prostate healthy.
  • See your doctor regularly. Have your prostate examined every year.

Chilling facts

  • One new case occurs every 2.5 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 17 minutes.
  • A non-smoking man is more likely to get prostate cancer than lung, bronchus, colon, rectal, bladder, lymphoma, melanoma, oral and kidney cancers combined.
  • Because prostate cancer is a relatively slow-growing cancer, the 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer diagnosed at all stages is 98 per cent. The relative 10-year survival rate is 84 per cent and the 15-year survival rate is 56 per cent.

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NCR has maximum young heart patients

New Delhi: The national capital region (NCR) has the most number of heart patients between the ages of 25 and 45, a survey revealed Saturday.

"Young hearts high on cholesterol" was conducted by Assocham ahead of the World Heart Day on September 29 and revealed that Delhi was followed by Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

"Around 38 per cent of the men between 25 and 45 years in Delhi-NCR have alarmingly high cholesterol, which is one of the key risk factors for heart disease," said B.K. Rao, chairman of Assocham health committee.

"High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease," added Rao. The reasons include job stress, smoking, increased consumption of alcohol and unhealthy diet.

"As per the results, smoking alone is estimated to be responsible for 22 per cent of cardiovascular diseases," he said.

"Obesity increases the risk factor. Unfortunately, there is a global shift in diet as more and more people are consuming fat, salt and sugar diets and are exercising less," added Rao.

As per Rao, people especially those working in the corporate sector must take out time for physical exercise daily, should discuss problems at work with friends and family to reduce stress and also go on short holidays at regular intervals.

In addition, more youngsters should go for routine vascular health check-ups, added Rao. Agencies

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Nano-medicine for blood cancer

Kochi: The Kochi-based Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine has developed a nano-medicine for drug-resistant blood cancer.

This is expected to dramatically improve the treatment of drug-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), when used in combination with Imatinib, the standard drug for the disease.

In another significant invention, the centre has devised a mechanism that can effectively prevent recurrence of glioma or brain tumour.

This deadly disease affects about four out of every 100,000 people in India. The life expectancy of high-grade glioma patients is about one to two years.

CML annually affects approximately two out of every 100,000 Indians. Almost 40 per cent of these cases are resistant to Imatinib. For such patients, treatment options are extremely limited.

"What we have done is to take a particular 'small-molecule inhibitor' class of anti-cancer drug, currently available in the market and encapsulate it into a protein nano-capsule," said Shantikumar Nair, the centre's director.

"This allows the drug to be absorbed directly into the cancer cells circulating in the patient's bloodstream. This has a marked increase on its efficacy in killing cancer cells. Further, the circulation lifetime of the drug in the blood is increased, which also enhances its efficacy," he added.

The nano-encapsulated version of the drug has shown itself to be non-toxic in healthy mice in tests conducted by his department, and it has similarly demonstrated itself to be effective in tests involving blood samples of people with Imatinib-resistant CML.

Manzoor Koyakutty, professor at the Centre, says the next step is to evaluate its efficacy in fighting CML in mice. "If it continues to remain non-toxic and effective, we can move on to clinical trials," added the expert and drug co-inventor. Agencies

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Health Notes
Positive outlook tied to fewer deaths in heart patients

New York: People with heart disease who are more upbeat and excited tend to live longer than those who don't have such a positive outlook, a new study suggests, possibly because they are often more active. Researchers surveyed people with ischemic heart disease - when the heart doesn't get enough blood due to narrowed arteries - and found earning a high score on measures of "positive affect" was tied to a greater chance of being a regular exerciser and a lowerrisk of dying over the next five years.

 

 

 

 

Married do better than singles after heart procedure

New York: More evidence that marriage may benefit overall health comes from findings that in the first year after having blocked blood vessels leading to the heart cleared, married patients fared much better than their unmarried counterparts.

Even after researchers adjusted for other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, family history and high cholesterol, unmarried patients were more than twice as likely to die and to experience major cardiovascular events like heart attacks, in the year following the procedure, known as angioplasty. Reuters Health

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