Don’t believe everything you hear and delay your diagnosis
Prostates can present serious and important health problems for men. The treatment of prostate cancer, which is one of the most common cancers not just in Turkey but in the world, can benefit greatly from early detection. However, many wrong ideas that have been formed in the community about prostates cause people to delay a diagnosis. Therefore it is very important for men especially over 50 to undergo prostate exams at certain intervals. Acibadem Kozyatağı Hospital Urology Specialist Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hakan Özveri, provided information on the wrong ideas that people have about prostates.
1-Prostate cancer is only an old man’s disease.
WRONG. Although prostate cancer is more commonly seen in older men, a significant portion of men with the disease are 50 and younger. This incorrect information sometimes causes delays in early detection and therefore results in late treatment.
2-I have no trouble urinating therefore I do not need to be checked.
WRONG. Prostate cancer may not show any symptoms in the early stages. Also it is one of the types of cancers that lead to the least complaints. In fact if symptoms have started it usually means that the cancer is advanced.
3-There is no prostate cancer in our family so I have no reason to worry or to go and get checked.
WRONG. A significant portion of prostate cancers are not ones that have familial or racial properties. If it runs in the family the risk is higher but it is still the most common form of cancer in men over 50.
4-It is enough for me just to get the PSA test to check for prostate cancer and if the test is normal I do not have cancer!
WRONG. This is probably the biggest mistake. Some aggressive prostate cancers do not increase PSA levels in the blood. In check-ups done only with PSA, one fourth of prostate cancers can be overlooked. The PSA can also go up in conditions outside of cancer when the prostate is enlarged or infectious diseases occur. While elevated PSA does not always indicate prostate cancer, low PSA does not indicate that there is no cancer 100 percent. Therefore an examination is the only way to diagnose some types of prostate cancer!
5-Prostate cancer progresses slowly and does not kill!
WRONG. It is correct that some types of prostate cancer progress more slowly than others. However, it should not be forgotten that many have a very aggressive character and progress quickly! The features that identify this can only be determined by a urology specialist.
6-My spouse and others around me could be infected with prostate cancer.
WRONG. Prostate cancer is not an infectious disease. It cannot be spread through sexual contact.
7-After a prostate surgery I will lose my manhood. Impotence and incontinence are inevitable!
WRONG. This is one of the wrong facts that most frequently prevents people from getting checked! Surgical treatment is applied to enlarged prostates that are malignant or advanced technology is applied in cancer surgeries. Therefore the change of side effects are quite low.
8- I can prevent cancer completely with good nutrition and vitamin-mineral supplements.
WRONG. Although it is a known fact that nutrition and lifestyle generally can have positive effects on the development of cancer, this should not allow you to be negligent about getting the check-ups that you need.
9- Prostate treatment is only possible through surgery.
WRONG. There are a number of alternative treatments to surgery in both the malignant enlargement of prostates and prostate cancer. When urinating problems deteriorate your quality of life urologists can recommend a number of different options to you depending on the degree of the problem. In prostate cancer other approaches like “Monitoring while waiting” and “Active monitoring” can be implemented depending on the person’s age, other health problems and life expectations. But decisions on these options can only be made with the informed consent between Urology Specialist and patient.
10- Excessive sexual activity can cause prostate problems and cancer!
WRONG. This is information with no scientific basis that does not go beyond being an urban legend. According to recent scientific studies, the most important risks for prostate cancer are genetic predisposition and racial predisposition for the black race. A man having one first degree male relative with prostate cancer increases their risk by 2-3, having 2 first degree relatives with prostate cancer increases their risk by 4-6.