In India, prostrate is the second leading site of cancer among males in large cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, third leading site of cancer in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai and it is among the top ten leading sites of cancers in the rest of the country. 

Usually, prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer and most people do not have major symptoms until the cancer reaches an advanced stage. Most men with prostate cancer die of other unrelated causes, and many never know that they have the disease.

Factors that can increase the risk of prostate cancer include:

  • Age: Risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Out of every 10 prostate cancers, 6 are detected in men above 60 years of age.
  • Diet: Consumption of excess calcium through food (especially dairy foods) or supplements has been linked with higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Family history: Prostate cancer seems to run in families which suggest a genetic or inherited factor involved in its causation. 
  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome in which large bowel cancer is the most common feature, is caused by inherited gene changes that carry an increased risk for many cancers including prostate cancer.

Screening and Early Detection   

Early detection of cancer can often be done by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood sample. Another way to find prostate cancer early is the digital rectal exam (DRE).

If the results of either one of these tests are abnormal, further tests are performed to see if there is a cancer. The  prostate cancer found as a result of screening with the PSA test or DRE, will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done. However, neither the PSA test nor the DRE is 100% accurate.

Treating Prostate Cancer

Nowadays, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy has become the standard of care for prostate cancer throughout the world. In this approach, the laparoscopic surgery is done using a robotic interface (called the da Vinci system). The surgeon sits at a control panel in the operating room and moves robotic arms to operate through several small incisions in the patient’s abdomen.

Robotic prostatectomy has advantages over the open approach in terms of less pain, blood loss, and recovery time. For the surgeon, the robotic system provides more maneuverability and more precision when moving the instruments than standard laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP).