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Article on Prostate cancer : Dr. Gyvi Gaurav published in Hindustan times

While prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the West, in India, its diagnosis is often delayed because patients consult their doctors only after symptoms set in. If diagnosed early, it can be treated successfully. In fact, early detection can provide a long-term complete cure. However, for early diagnosis, awareness about the disease and its screening modalities is absolutely crucial, says city urologist.

Dr Gyvi Gaurav, urooncologist and urologist with Precision Urology Hospital at Lucknow, informs, “With changing lifestyles and increasing life expectancy, the rate of prostate cancer is growing rapidly in India. But this trend has not accompanied a corresponding increase in the levels of awareness.”

Close to 70% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in Indian males, second only to lung cancer. It is the sixth most common cause of death.

“While we hear a lot of awareness on cardiac diseases and diabetes, not much is talked about prostate cancer. In India, we tend to ignore or misread the early symptoms of cancer, which delays diagnosis and treatment until the problem becomes ominous. Time is not far off when prostate cancer will become the most common cancer among males in India”, says Dr Gaurav.

Age, is the most influential risk factor. If a man above the age of 65 and have lately been suffering from a frequent need to urinate, especially at night, a weak or interrupted urinary stream and blood in urine or semen, it’s time he take these symptoms seriously. Regarded as the most classic signs of prostate cancer, these symptoms are often overlooked and blamed on old age. Our main aim, says the city urologist, should be, to start screening our patients to detect prostate cancer before these symptoms set in. It involves a simple blood test, known as Serum PSA, once a year, in men above the age of 50. In men at an even higher risk, such as having relatives with a history of prostate cancer at an early age, testing should begin as early as 40 years of age.

Precision Urology Hospital, Lucknow, a center for urological cancers, offers PSA screening routinely to eligible patients. “At present, a more practical approach to screening is what is called opportunistic screening. Here we screen the eligible patients who have come to an urologist, even if it may be for an unrelated illness”, adds Dr Gaurav.

He further explains that, “Screening means testing and detecting the presence of cancer before it has a chance to spread. PSA screening gives us an opportunity to detect prostate cancer early and treat it completely. The key is awareness and knowledge about the condition. If we are aware, then we need not fear.”  


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