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Prostate cancer recurrence should be handled with care
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Prostate cancer recurrence should be handled with care

While prostate cancer diagnosed in the early stages can be treated easily, its recurrence can be managed by following a healthy lifestyle

Prostrate cancer recurrence should be handled with care

While the primary treatment method for prostate cancer is radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the entire prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes), the chances of cancer recurring in the individuals is high. Experts say that about 20-30 percent of the population who have or had prostate cancer will show signs of recurrence at some point in their lifetime. Individuals need to undergo regular check-ups and undertake a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood marker test every three months.

The PSA level of the individual is assessed every three months after radical prostatectomy, says Dr Mohammed Shahid Ali, consultant – Urology, Andrology, Robotic Surgery & Renal Transplantation, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore. “If the PSA level is greater than or equal to 0.2nanogram/millilitre, it is termed as biochemical recurrence,” he added.

A study published in the journal International Braz J Urol states that there are many variables related to biochemical recurrence such as the pathological stage and lymph-node status that have to be considered together, as they help us to predict local or distant recurrence.

Prostate cancer recurrence after prostatectomy

While experts say recurrence of prostate cancer is high, there are various modalities of the treatment based on the stage of the cancer, says Dr Ali. He says, “If prostate cancer is detected at an early stage, then the recovery rate is high. However, there are a few pathological sub types of prostate cancer such as cribriform pattern (cohesive tumor cells with the presence of circular spaces) which may increase the risk of recurrent prostate cancer.”

He also said that even after prostatectomy if the cancer has spread beyond the confines of the prostate gland, it is termed as locally advanced condition which can also increase the risk of recurrence.

Factors that increase the risk of recurrent prostate cancer

While advancements in treatment offer hope, prostate cancer can recur locally (in the original location), regionally (in nearby lymph nodes), or even distantly (in other organs) says Dr Govardhan Reddy, Urology & Uro-Oncology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore.

He also highlighted that though there is no proper evidence to prove the recurrence in most of the people, there are some factors that play a vital role such as:

– If you have had cancer cells in your lymph nodes or in your pelvic area before, you’re more likely to have a recurrence.

– Prostate cancer is more likely to recur when the tumors are extremely large and extend even outside the prostate gland.

– The type of cancer that causes recurrence usually depends on the grade of original cancer. In some cases, the cancer can reoccur if the initial treatment doesn’t heal everything.

Preventing prostate cancer recurrence

With timely intervention, in certain cases, prostate cancer diagnosed in the early stages can be treated. Frequent screenings, scans, and biopsies once in three years can help monitor the cancer growth, stressed Dr Rajesh Kumar Reddy Adapala, consultant uro-oncologist, Asian Institute of Nephrology and Urology, Hyderabad.

While there is no proven natural cure for prostate cancer, certain lifestyle changes can be done, or food habits can be altered to manage or reduce the risk of prostate cancer:

  1. Eating healthy

Maintaining a healthy weight and eating balanced diet which includes antioxidant foods like cooked tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, apricot and red cabbage as these may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer particularly because of the lycopene present in it.

Avoid red meat such as beef, pork and lamb as these foods increase the risk of developing many other types of cancers. Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and mackerel may help fight prostate cancer.

  1. Regular exercise

Exercising regularly for up to 30 minutes can improve health and boost your immune system thereby reducing the risk of prostate cancer recurrence.

  1. Increase vitamin and supplements intake

Ensuring adequate intake of supplements and maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D is crucial. It may offer protection against aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

  1. Reduce stress

Practicing meditation and yoga can effectively help manage stress levels in the body, which indirectly contributes to better prostate health.

  1. Restrict alcohol intake and quit smoking

Consumption of alcohol has a negative impact on heart health worsening blood pressure levels. Restricting alcohol intake can help in preventing prostate cancer recurrence. Tobacco consumption can lead to the development of cancerous cells in the prostate gland. Hence, it is advisable to quit smoking.

Takeaways

Even after successful treatment of prostate cancer, the chance of recurrence is high. About 20-30% of the population who have or had prostate cancer will show signs of recurrence at some point in their life.

The PSA level of the individual is assessed every three months after radical prostatectomy. If the PSA level is greater than or equal to 0.2ng/ml, it is termed as biochemical recurrence.

Prostate cancer diagnosed in the early stages can be treated. However, there are certain lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, exercising regularly that can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

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