Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer worldwide. It develops in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland in men. The prostate gland produces some of the fluid required to produce semen.
In India, it is the third most common cancer occurring in men, especially those above 60 years. Some main advantages of seeking Prostate cancer treatment in India include the latest and state-of-the-art treatment available at affordable costs, the presence of highly expert and experienced oncologists and India’s top-class medical tourism services.
Prostate gland treatment cost in India is highly affordable and performed by expert oncologists who have been well-trained in the world’s top medical colleges.
The Incidence of prostate cancer in India
Considered to be a leading cancer in India after lung cancer, prostate cancer is detected more in older men aged 65 and above. Current trends show prostate cancer striking in men aged 35 – 65, especially those in metropolitan cities and urban areas. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Delhi have recorded the highest number of prostate cancer patients recently, with the five-year survival rate rests at 64% approximately.
“Wondering how to recognize the signs? Let’s explore the crucial aspects together“
Prostate Cancer – Symptoms and Diagnosis
The early symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty urinating or starting urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain or burning during urination
- Discomfort or pain when sitting caused by an enlarged prostate
- Erectile dysfunction
Early symptoms are likely to indicate an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). All men with prostate cancer may experience some or all of these symptoms. Hence, staying aware and alert and seeking proper medical consultation for prostate gland issues is crucial. Men above 50 years should seek timely medical diagnosis and consultation.
Remember, early detection of prostate improves the treatment outcomes and the survival rate, too.
“Let’s explore the intricacies of prostate cancer diagnosis together.”
Diagnosis of prostate cancer
Initially, the doctor will recommend the following tests –
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): A physical medical examination of the prostate gland through the rectum
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: a blood test measuring PSA levels. High levels of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland, indicate further analysis for cancer or other prostate gland issues. Abnormalities in the results of the DRE and PSA test imply the need for further medical investigation through –
- Prostate biopsy: A prostate biopsy is a procedure in which the doctor takes a sample tissue of the prostate gland for a microscopic examination to check the presence of the cancer cells.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT), reveal the condition of the prostate gland and the surrounding areas to detect tumors along with their location and size.
- PSMA PET Scan: This is a highly specialized imaging test to detect prostate cancer and its spread within the body. Through the prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography (PSMA PET) scan, doctors can ascertain the presence of PSMA protein, which is an indicator of cancer and more accurately than other imaging tests.
Through the PSMA PET scan, it is possible to detect the spread of cancer to other parts of the body, check for the recurrence of cancer after radiation or surgery and the further course of treatment. Dr Sridhar recommends a PSMA PET scan for patients diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), as it is possible to have an enlarged prostate while the gland can have cancer cells.
Upon the confirmed diagnosis of prostate cancer, the doctor will proceed to ascertain the spread of the cancer and its stage, which could be between I to IV to determine the survival chances and the prostate cancer treatment protocol.
|Cost in INR (Indian Rupees)
|300,000 – 500,000
|100,000 – 300,000
|200,000 – 400,000
|500,000 – 1,000,000
|500,000 – 1,000,000
|300,000 – 500,000
Factors affecting cost of prostate cancer treatment in India
The following factors can affect the cost of prostate cancer treatment in India:
- The type of treatment
- The stage of the cancer
- The patient’s overall health
- The hospital and doctor’s fees
- The city where the treatment is received
Prostate Cancer Treatment in India
Prof Dr. Sridhar Papaiah Susheela, one of the best prostate cancer doctors in India, shares an overview of the prostate cancer treatment available in the country. Cancer treatment includes many modalities and approaches that depend upon the patient’s health and the stage and location of cancer. Also, a multidisciplinary medical team is involved in deciding the most suitable treatment for optimal results and improving the patient’s survival rate as much as possible.
“Let us know more about the available prostate cancer treatment in India.“
Radiation therapy is one of the most preferred treatments for prostate cancer. This therapy involves administering high energy rays to shrink the tumor and kill the cancer cells.
Dr Sridhar P S says, ‘Radiation therapy is very effective in treating cancer. It can be the primary treatment for prostate cancer and is most effective in treating early-stage cancer. The number of radiation sessions depends upon the cancer stage and type of radiation therapy.’
There are two main ways to deliver radiation therapy, viz.
External beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
As the name suggests, external beam radiation therapy delivers radiation beams to the prostate glands through various angles. It is essential to ascertain the exact location of tumor and cancer-affected areas that require radiation. EBRT is generally administered daily for more than 3 – 6 weeks, depending upon the stage of cancer and the patient’s health.
Stereotactic body Radiation Therapy- SBRT
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is an advanced and highly precise form of radiation treatment. It is increasingly being used to manage prostate cancer. The technique enables the delivery of very high doses of radiation to the prostate tumor with extreme accuracy while minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues.
SBRT typically involves fewer treatment sessions, often completed in four to five sessions spread over one to two weeks. This approach is particularly beneficial for patients with localized prostate cancer, offering a convenient treatment schedule with similar effectiveness to traditional radiation therapy. SBRT’s precision also reduces the risk of side effects associated with radiation treatment, such as urinary and bowel problems.
Brachytherapy refers to implanting radioactive seeds or pellets directly into the prostate gland. It is a form of internal radiation. Over time, these radiation seeds emit radiation and destroy the cancer cells. Depending on the patient, a single brachytherapy session is enough; doctors recommend multiple sessions spread over a couple of days if required.
Moreover, it is a non-invasive treatment with practically no or minimal downtime. With minimal and temporary side effects such as skin irritation, urinary problems, and fatigue, radiation is very effective in killing cancer cells and, hence most preferred.
Hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer aims to reduce the levels of testosterone hormone in the body, as it is known to help the cancer cells grow. Doctors recommend the following Hormone therapy for prostate cancer
- Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT): This therapy aims to block the testosterone production in the testicles either through medicines or through orchidectomy (surgical excision of the testicles).
- Antiandrogen therapy: Antiandrogen therapy prevents the effects of testosterone on prostate cancer cells.
Here again, hormone therapy is most effective in treating early-stage prostate cancer. However, doctors also prefer to recommend it with radiation therapy or surgery. Depending upon the stage of cancer, hormone therapy medication is prescribed for 1 or 2 years in case of early-stage cancer or for life in case of advanced prostate cancer.
The side effects of hormone therapy are limited and, hence, manageable. They include fatigue, decreased libido, hot flushes and erectile dysfunction.
Chemotherapy refers to the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Oncologists recommend it to treat early-stage and even advanced-stage cancer, mainly if the prostate cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, bones, etc. The drugs prescribed during chemotherapy disrupt the cycle and prevent the further growth and division of cancer cells.
The side effects of chemotherapy, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting and so on, are minimal and temporary. Chemotherapy is also combined with radiation therapy or surgery to treat prostate cancer.
Immunotherapy refers to the use of a patient’s own immune system to treat cancer. It is a relatively new treatment but with better outcomes. The immunotherapy treatment works in two ways, viz.
• Cancer vaccines: The administration of cancer vaccines within the body ensures that the immune system recognizes and attacks the cancer cells.
• Immune checkpoint inhibitors: Immune checkpoint inhibitors ensure that proteins are blocked on the cancer cells and evade the immune system as much as possible. Patients undergoing immunotherapy treatment experience minimal and temporary side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and so on, which are manageable.
Targeted therapy is a recent type of cancer treatment in which drugs target selected molecules that encourage the growth of cancer cells and their survival. Various FDA-approved drugs have delivered effective results in treating prostate cancer. Different targeted therapy drugs, such as AR inhibitors, DNA repair drugs and PSMA drugs, have special roles in treating prostate cancer.
Targeted therapy drugs are given intravenously while their side effects are temporary and can be easily manageable.
Surgery is also a preferred treatment for prostate cancer. If necessary, the oncologist will recommend a radical prostatectomy, i.e. to remove the entire prostate gland. The procedure can be performed through conventional open surgery or laparoscopy. The side effects of radical prostatectomy include rectal bleeding, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence, which are temporary and can be managed well over time.
Patients can also opt for robotic surgery for prostate cancer in India as this surgery is a minimally invasive surgery performed with tiny incisions and ensures speedy recovery. The cost of robotic surgery for prostate cancer begins from $6500 and upwards (approx 5.5 lakh INR and above)
“Are you aware of the key factors putting you at risk?”
Risk factors for Prostate Cancer
- Age – Men above 50 are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer. The current trend shows an increasing number of men aged 35 and above are at a high risk of developing it.
- Frequent Urinary Infection – A repeated history of urinary infection in men increases their risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Family History – A history of prostate cancer increases the risk of cancer. Male offspring are at high risk if their father or grandfathers have had a history of the same. Similarly, if they have inherited the BRCA1, BRCA2, and HOXB13 genes from their maternal side, their risk of prostate cancer increases. However, inheritance does not imply they will develop prostate cancer.
- Ethnicity – Asian men are less likely to get prostate cancer than African-American men, who are at a higher risk of developing it.
- Diet – A diet that includes a lot of processed and/or red meat is likely to increase the cancer risk
- Obesity – overweight men are more likely to have prostate cancer.
- Smoking – smoking also increases the risk of prostate cancer.
Points that help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Regular exercise
- No smoking or avoiding tobacco consumption.
- Switch over healthy food habits by including more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and reducing red and/or processed meat consumption.
Why choose Dr Sridhar PS?
Prof. Dr. Sridhar PS is one of the most dynamic radiation oncologists in India, with nearly 26+ years of experience in radiation therapy. He has mastered almost all the latest high-precision radiotherapy procedures such as SBRT, Tomotherapy, IMRT, IGRT, targeted therapy, etc. He is equally an expert in PET CT Scan procedures.
As a Cyberknife specialist, Dr Sridhar is an expert in delivering radiation with precision and utmost accuracy. This accuracy and precision are important as tumors keep changing size and location. Hence, it is essential to determine the location of the tumor to deliver the radiation without affecting the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor.
Dr Sridhar has treated thousands of cancer patients and performed SBRT on more than 3,000 cancer patients, making him one of the most promising radiation oncologists in India and abroad. He has treated many patients with hepatobiliary cancer and prostate cancer.
Dr Sridhar PS has acquired the competency to deal with prostate cancer comprehensively using his knowledge and experience to ensure timely action during cancer treatment rather than delaying the treatment. Moreover, he firmly believes in offering personalized care to patients during their treatment period, reassuring them with hope of surviving cancer and living a better and healthier life.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How treatable is prostate cancer?
Early detection of prostate cancer does improve the outcome of its treatment. Patients with local or regional prostate cancer can expect better treatment outcomes and a higher survival rate. The death rate of prostate cancer is relatively low. But then again, the treatment depends upon various parameters such as stage of cancer, age and health of the patient and the prostrate cancer treatment given to the patient.
2. Is it possible to detect prostate cancer early?
No cancer is alike; hence, it is also likely that the patient may not experience any symptoms or one or more symptoms such as issues in urination, including frequent or painful urination, pain in the hips, thighs or lower back, difficulty in having an erection and so on.
3. How is prostate cancer detected in a patient with no symptoms?
Doctors recommend the Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a blood test to detect the level of PSA. Its high levels may indicate prostate cancer, and further investigations such as a digital rectal examination, sonography, biopsy and PET Scan are essential to ascertain the presence of cancer.
4. How effective is radiation therapy in treating prostate cancer?
Dr. Sridhar relies on high-precision radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer. Generally, oncologists recommend radiation therapy to treat early-stage cancer and for aged patients with other health issues besides cancer.