Facts about prostate cancer
Prostate cancer has been thrown into the limelight.
It was announced yesterday that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had been diagnosed and will be undergoing the surgery to remove the cancer today (Feb 16).
It is the third most common type of cancer affecting men in Singapore.
Here are some key facts on the disease and the surgical procedure to combat it.
1 WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
It occurs when a malignant tumour forms in the tissue of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system located below the bladder.
2 WHO DOES IT AFFECT?
It typically affects those over the age of 50, although it is most often seen in those above the age of 70. Smoking and having a family history of prostate cancer can also increase the risk of developing the disease.
3 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Some symptoms include urinating more often than normal, experiencing pain during urination and blood in the urine or semen. In its later stages, the growing prostate will pinch the urethra, making it more difficult to urinate.
4 WHAT ARE THE AVAILABLE TREATMENTS?
In cases where the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, the condition can be treated by removing the prostate gland and the nearby tissue. Patients can also treat the condition through chemotherapy and external beam radiation therapy.
5 HOW TO PREVENT IT?
There are no proven methods that prevent prostate cancer, but regular exercise, a balanced diet and abstaining from smoking are helpful measures to take.
6 HOW CAN IT BE DIAGNOSED?
Prostate cancer can be detected through blood tests, as well as through ultrasounds and rectal examinations.
Top 10 cancers affecting S’pore men
6 Skin (including melanoma)
9 Kidney and other urinary cancers
10 Myeloid neoplasms
Source: National Cancer Centre S’pore