MUDr. Tomáš Chmelenský: Prostate and testicular cancer annually afflict 8,000 men

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17. 04. 2024

Prostate and testicular cancer annually afflict 8,000 men, of whom nearly 1,500 succumb to these diseases. Patients over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk of prostate cancer. Risk factors include genetic predisposition and an unhealthy lifestyle. Because this hidden disease usually becomes apparent only when it reaches the stage of metastasis and pain, a proactive approach to prevention is essential. The risk in the initial stage is detected through laboratory PSA testing, and the presence of a tumour is confirmed by a prostate biopsy, which is now possible to perform by means of a same-day surgical procedure. “Testicular cancer can occur at any age. The best form of prevention is self-examination and regular checkups with a urologist,” says MUDr. Tomáš Chmelenský, chief urologist at Canadian Medical.

Prostate cancer is the second most common oncological diagnosis among men in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, the exact causes of this disease are still not known. However, we observe certain factors that may contribute to the development of prostate cancer. These are mainly age and genetic predisposition, but also lifestyle. Men over the age of 50 are generally most at risk.

“If, however, prostate cancer was previously diagnosed in a close relative (father, grandfather, uncle, brother) patients over the age of 40 are at the greatest risk,” warns MUDr. Tomáš Chmelenský.

Furthermore, it is very difficult to detect the disease at an early stage. The patient doesn’t feel symptoms, such as problems with urination, until the tumour grows to a certain size or when metastasis occurs. In the case of prostate cancer, this most frequently involves bone metastasis. A patient with late-stage prostate cancer usually complains of difficult urination, back and hip pain, decrease in performance, sudden unexplained weight loss, general weakness, erectile dysfunction and painful ejaculation.

“Although these symptoms are ultimately associated with prostate cancer only in roughly one out of ten men, in such cases it is always crucial to seek a urologist’s help,” MUDr. Chmelenský adds.

An examination lasting a few minutes can add years to your life

In order to completely rule out the risk of prostate cancer, a biopsy is performed. This involves taking a sample of prostate tissue. As the client lies on his back, an ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum and several samples of prostate tissue are taken using needles. The samples are then sent for histological examination.

“The procedure isn’t exactly a pleasant experience for patients, so we take a considerate and sensitive approach to it,” says MUDr. Chme­lenský.

The whole procedure takes only five to ten minutes and, using modern equipment, it can be performed by means of same-day surgery. Thanks to this, the patient can go home two or three hours after the procedure. In the case of this examination, the biggest obstacles for men are embarrassment and fear of complications. “However, the procedure is brief and instead of being painful, it rather involves discomfort during the insertion of the ultrasound probe into the rectum. But it is also the most reliable form of prevention,” MUDr. Tomáš Chmelenský concludes. As with women in the case of gynaecology, men should visit a urologist regularly and more frequently, at least once a year.

Prostate examination methods:

  • Physical – palpitation
  • Laboratory testing – blood sample for determining the PSA level
  • Imaging – ultrasound examination of the kidneys, lung x-ray, abdominal MRI, CT, bone scintigraphy

What is PSA?

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is currently the clinically most important prostate-cancer marker. It is an enzyme produced by both normal and cancer cells of the prostate and examination of its concentration in the blood is a commonly used method in diagnosing prostate cancer.

       

MUDr. Tomáš Chmelenský, Chief physician of urology at Canadian Medical

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