Dr. Amr Ahmed Massoud, Specialist – Urology at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, highlights the top 6 myths about prostate cancer
United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi – November, 16th 2017: Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men after skin cancer in the US. Moreover, it is second most common cause of cancer death next to pulmonary cancer in the US. A 2015 report of the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi points out that 20 per cent of the cancers diagnosed annually among males in the UAE are prostate cancer.
While Prostate cancer is an extremely serious disease, it is curable and can be medically treated. However, lack of awareness about this health condition triggers a number of misconceptions. Dr. Amr Ahmed Massoud, Specialist – Urology at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi busts the top 6 myths about prostate cancer.
Myth #1: Only older men get affected with prostate cancer.
While it may be true that the likelihood of men being affected by prostate cancer is more in the older age, according to Sperling Prostate Center in New York, it is estimated that 1 out of 38 younger men (ages 40-59) will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1 in 15 by age 69. Other factors such as genetics and family history play a crucial role too in putting men at risk of developing prostate cancer.
Myth #2: Prostate cancer treatment leads to erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
Although erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence are possibilities after radiation therapy treatment, the incidence varies from person to person. The risk of impotence and urinary incontinence associated with prostate cancer treatment also depends on other factors like age and overall physical, mental, and emotional condition.
Myth #3: A high PSA level means that you have prostate cancer and a low PSA means that you do not have prostate cancer.
A high PSA (prostate specific antigen) level indicates that a person is at an increased risk of having prostate cancer. However, it should be noted that there are other factors which contribute to high PSA level.
High PSA levels can be caused by an enlarged prostate, a prostate infection (prostatitis), urinary tract infection, any recent prostate biopsy, recent bladder test (cystoscopy), and ejaculation within the previous 24 to 48 hours, vigorous physical exercise, or even riding a bicycle. Likewise, prostate cancer can develop in men who have a low PSA level, although the risk is lower in this group. Therefore, it is important to know and understand that PSA test is only one of the ways to detect prostate cancer and is just the first step in the diagnostic process.
Myth #4: Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer.
While it is true that prostate cancer tends to grow at a slow rate, it may not be true in every case. In addition, it does not mean that a slow-growing cancer may not suddenly become aggressive. Therefore, if diagnosed with prostate cancer, the person should go for regular check-ups and should meticulously monitor the condition. Just like any other types of cancer, prevention and early detection play significant role in managing and treating the disease.
Myth #5: Prostate cancer is communicable.
Prostate cancer is not contagious or transferable. By no means can this be transferred to someone else.
Myth#6: If you don't have any symptoms, you don't have prostate cancer.
If you are not witnessing common symptoms of prostate cancer, this does not mean that you cannot get one. Many a times, the symptoms can be mistaken or attributed to something else. It is therefore important to be educated about prostate cancer, at the same time, regularly consult a doctor.