Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in Brazil, after non-melanoma skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA), for 2022, more than 65 thousand new cases are expected. In 2020, 15,800 deaths were recorded, according to data from the SIM (Mortality Information System). The Ministry of Health warns about prevention and early diagnosis, a strategy that aims to identify the tumor in the initial phase.
According to INCA, in most cases, prostate cancer has a silent evolution, and may not show signs and symptoms. However, the most common clinical manifestations are:
- Difficulty urinating;
- Delay in starting or ending the urinary stream;
- Decreased urinary stream;
- The need to urinate more often during the day or night;
- Presence of blood in the urine.
These symptoms are nonspecific and medical evaluation is required for differential diagnosis. However, INCA recommends that men be alert to these signs and that, when necessary, they seek the health service as soon as possible.
The main known risk factors for developing prostate cancer are:
Age: the best-established factor, as the risk increases with advancing age, affecting mainly men over 60 years of age;
Heredity: men who have first-degree relatives, father and/or brother, who had prostate cancer before age 60 are at greater risk;
Obesity: The effect of body fat on increased risk has only been observed for advanced, high-grade, and fatal prostate cancers, indicating an association with poorer prognosis.
In this sense, it is important to reinforce that the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, such as physical activity, maintaining adequate body weight, having a healthy diet, avoiding alcoholic beverages and not smoking are essential to prevent several chronic diseases, including cancer. .
The Unified Health System (SUS) offers free clinical, laboratory, endoscopic and radiological exams, in addition to surgical procedures and treatment in hospitals qualified in oncology, as provided for in the National Policy for the Prevention and Control of Cancer (PNPCC). Among the tests are: prostate biopsy, abdominal ultrasound of the prostate, prostate ultrasound (transrectally) and the determination of prostate-specific antigen.
One of the priority axes of the National Policy for Integral Attention to Men’s Health is access and reception, with an inclusive proposal, in which men consider health services as masculine spaces and, in turn, services recognize men as subjects in need of care.
It is noteworthy that expanding the access of the male population to PHC services can collaborate in the early detection of cancers, such as prostate cancer, benefiting prognosis and treatment.
It is the name given to the international movement to raise awareness and alert about the importance of early diagnosis of prostate cancer. The Ministry of Health takes advantage of this moment to raise awareness among the male population about the main disease prevention actions and comprehensive health care, which begins in Primary Care, the main gateway to the SUS.
In Basic Health Units throughout Brazil, men find information, care by multidisciplinary teams composed of doctors, nurses, dentists, among others, able to carry out the diagnosis and follow-up of this population in all life cycles.
If there is a diagnosis of prostate cancer or another disease, the patient is referred to Specialized Care, where he will have access to specialist doctors, treatments and surgeries, when necessary.
Ministry of Health
Official content – Fact Check – Verified