The five widely ignored cancers among men are prostate, bladder, kidney, testicular and penis (penile) cancer. It is therefore important to be aware of the causes, symptoms and treatment for each of these for timely detection and treatment.
While prostate cancer is the most commonly spoken about, the others are equally significant.
Prostate cancer occurs in the gland cells of the prostate, the gland surrounding the neck of the bladder. According to Indian Medical Council of Research, prostate cancer is the second leading cancer among males in India with the highest incidence among those who are more than 50 years of age.
Prostate cancer does not have significant symptoms initially but in the advanced stages, it can lead to obstruction in passage of urine and/or show blood in urine.
Common treatment methods include Radical Prostatectomy, Radical Radiotherapy, Hormonal Treatment or Chemotherapy.
Prostate cancer can be prevented by adopting lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, avoiding consumption of red meat, quitting smoking and consumption of alcohol and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Bladder cancer occurs due to abnormal growth of the urinary bladder. While bladder cancer is primarily known to affect the elderly, there is a rising incidence among the younger population. Smoking is responsible for up to 66% of bladder cancers.
The most common symptoms are blood in urine, dark coloured urine, frequent urination or pain during urination. Please avoid smoking, drink enough fluids and eat a well-balanced diet.
Renal cancer is a condition in which the kidney cells become malignant and form tumours. It appears in the lining of tiny tubes inside the kidney.
While this disease has primarily affected the elderly over decades, there is a growing incidence among younger people.
Initial symptoms are blood in urine, persistent nagging pain or heaviness on the side of the back, unexplained fever, loss of appetite, anaemia, unexplained weight loss and swelling in ankles or legs.
Renal cancer can be prevented by eating a healthy diet, keeping blood pressure levels in control, exercising regularly and quitting smoking and consumption of alcohol.
Testicular cancer is cancer of testicles, which are male reproductive organs. Testicular tumours are most common in young men aged between 15-34 years. T
he warning signs for this cancer include painless enlargement of the testes, heaviness of the scrotal sac and lumps in the testicles.
Testicular cancer is best treated through a multimodality therapy including chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.
Penile cancers develop in the penis. This is one of the few cancers, which can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene especially in the glans penis (bell end of the penis).
The incidence of penile cancer is more in developing countries such as India and it is more common in rural areas as compared to the urban population.
The cancer starts spreading from the foreskin or the glans penis. The early signs include red discoloration of the glans or foreskin, presence of painless or painful ulcers or any kind of abnormal growth.
(Dr Anil Mandhani is M.S. MCh, DNB (Urology), FACS, Chairman, Urology and Renal Transplant at Medanta The Medicity, Gurgaon)
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