2022-11-01 18:06:40 - 20

Blue November: Prevention in the fight against prostate cancer increases quality of life

We arrived in the month of November and much is said about prostate cancer (a gland that is part of the male reproductive system). In this period of the year, organizations in the health area, the press and society together emphasize the care of men's health and the importance of prevention. Understanding this topic is essential to avoid certain prejudices when seeking a doctor, or carrying out tests, for example.

According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA), prostate cancer is the second most common type among men and represents 29% of diagnoses in this population. Their numbers are second only to non-melanoma skin cancer rates. This male disease is a change in prostate cells, which start to multiply irregularly, forming a tumor.

There are some factors such as family history, age, occupational exposure, overweight or obesity, which place some men at risk for developing the disease. According to a study carried out by INCA in 2019, approximately 66 thousand new cases would be registered in 2022.

Diagnosing the disease in its early stages is very important. For this, it is necessary to be aware of possible symptoms and consult with a specialized doctor (urologist). Having difficulty urinating, a feeling of a full bladder after going to the bathroom, blood in the urine or semen, may indicate that the individual is affected by the disease. In more advanced cases of prostate cancer, other signs such as pain in the spine or hips appear.

Despite symptoms that suggest the appearance of cancer, some cases are treated as asymptomatic patients. This means that the person will not have any visible symptoms, for example. That is why prevention is very important in order to have an early and accurate diagnosis. 

The Ministry of Health recommends that men from 45 years old with risk factors, or 50 years old without apparent symptoms, seek a specialized professional for evaluation. The purpose of this guidance is for each individual to have an individual follow-up. And so, it enables continuous or targeted monitoring for each case.

One of the guidelines within medicine is the performance of specific tests that can diagnose the disease. Blood collection to measure the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) and the touch test are the main ones for identifying the disease. Some men, out of fear, or lack of information, end up not looking for a doctor for health care, especially when the subject is related to the prostate.

Since 2003, the Blue November Movement, which originated in Australia, gained prominence to draw attention to the existence of the disease and the importance of prevention. The choice of month for awareness is related to November 17, which is known worldwide as the World Day to Combat Prostate Cancer.

Healthy eating, proper weight maintenance, exercise, avoiding alcoholic beverages and smoking are some practices that contribute to preventing prostate cancer. Although the mortality rate of men diagnosed with this pathology is approximately 15,841 per year, according to INCA data, the chances of cure through early diagnosis are 90%. Therefore, informing yourself and taking care of yourself is the best path to prevention and treatment.

Sources:

National Cancer Institute (INCA)

Ministry of Health

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