Prostate cancer is the second most common type of prostate cancer among men in Brazil, According to data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca). It is estimated that in 2022 alone, the disease will cause 65,000 new cases.
Early diagnosis of prostate cancer is essential to increase the life expectancy of the patient. The disease is considered multifactorial, which means that a combination of genetic factors and acquired habits participate in the emergence of this tumor.
Prostate cancer usually has a high chance of cure if diagnosed early. Depending on the stage of the disease, treatment may include surgery to remove the tumor and radiation therapy. For more advanced cases, hormonal therapy can be combined, ”explains oncologist Igor Morbeck, from the Cerio Lebanon Hospital in Brasilia.
Brazilian Society of Clinical Oncology (SBOC) I collected the main doubts heard in medical offices to help spread correct information about the disease. paying off:
Myths and facts about prostate cancer
1. Prostate cancer only appears in older men
fable – Although it is more common in old age, the disease can affect young people as well. Therefore, men of all ages should pay attention to risk factors and symptoms. Signs such as blood in the urine or semen, painful urination, weak urethra, and a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder require urgent medical attention.
2. A rectal touch examination should only be performed after the age of 50
fable – Tests that help diagnose prostate cancer must follow medical guidelines that take into account each patient’s history. Tests such as PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and a rectal examination can be ordered by the doctor from the age of 45, or even earlier in some cases.
3. A digital rectal exam hurts
fable – A digital rectal exam is completely painless. The procedure is performed manually by a urologist, who uses the index finger to touch the prostate and feel if there is a growth in the organ or any change in the area. The test lasts about 15 to 20 seconds, and It has nothing to do with the patient’s sexuality🇧🇷
4. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for prostate cancer
Reality – These factors are directly related to changes in metabolism, as well as excessive intake of processed foods, dyes, sugars and other seasonings. The changes can lead to mutations that give rise to cancerous cells. Maintaining a routine of physical activities and a balanced diet helps to empty the body, avoiding high levels of fat, and thus contributes to the prevention of cancer.
5. Prostate cancer has nothing to do with sexual orientation
Reality – No type of sexual relationship is a cause or protective factor for prostate cancer, whether heterosexual or homosexual. In the case of people born male, but who have undergone a sex reassignment operation, the prostate examination should be maintained, as the organ is not usually removed during a sex reassignment procedure.
6. Prostate cancer treatment causes impotence
It depends 🇧🇷 In general, after prostate cancer treatment, most men tend to maintain their sexual function on a regular basis. But in some cases, depending on the location and size of the tumor being treated, there may be some damage to the nerves that surround the prostate and control erection.
Even with small odds of dysfunction, over time and with adjunctive therapies, it is possible to restore sexual functions.
7. Vasectomy causes prostate cancer
fable – There is no risk factor or direct relationship between vasectomy and the onset of prostate cancer.
8. Prostate cancer is hereditary
It depends – aAlthough the genetic factor is associated with the onset of prostate cancer, which can double the chances of developing the tumor for those who are first-degree relatives with patients with the disease, not everyone with a family history will necessarily suffer from the disease. There are many factors that can contribute to its development, far beyond genetic predisposition.
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