Doctors state that there has been a 15-20 per cent increase in prostate cancer cases, based on their experience. The main cause for this, according to Dr Ratna Devi, Radiologist with Apollo Hospitals, is an increasing awareness among the general public. “Over the past four years, more people are aware that there are easy tests to screen for prostate cancer. In Tamil Nadu, the knowledge among elderly and high-risk patients is better and there is a push from family members also to get screened. This has led to more cases being detected early,” she said.
Another cause for this increase is the rising elderly population in India, said Dr Muruganandham K, senior consultant and head of Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Gleneagles Global Health City. “Age is a factor that contributes to prostate cancer risk and there is an increase of the elderly population as the average lifespan increases. While there are cases with related comorbidities like obesity and smoking, the main factor remains age,” he said.
According to experts, another cause for increased risk is a sedentary lifestyle, which has been serious due to the shutdown. However, doctors say it is too early to be conclusive at this point.
“We are not seeing many patients for screenings of late due to the COVID. Many are avoiding coming for their general health check-ups or specific screenings,” said Dr Jeevagan, senior consultant urologist, Kauvery Hospital.