Peak age of urologic cancer is 45-60 in India, 75 abroad: Oxford prof | Gurgaon News – Times of India

Gurgaon: With cases of urologic cancer on the rise, identifying high-risk patients is crucial for improving outcomes, said professor Mark Sullivan, urological surgeon and associate professor at Oxford University Hospitals. Along with doctors from Artemis Hospital, Sullivan insisted that mass screening for the community is not advisable as it is not cost-effective and can lead to unnecessary investigations.According to him, the peak age of urologic cancers is 45-60 in India and 75 in western countries.
Urologic cancers include kidney, bladder, and prostate cancers. According to an ICMR 2022 report, cases of these cancers have tripled in the last three decades in India. Common risk factors include processed food consumption, obesity, smoking, hypertension, and lifestyle changes.
Dr (Col) V Kotwal, chairperson emeritus (urology) at Artemis Hospitals, too reiterated that no mass or community screening test is currently advisable. “Research data doesn’t show a benefit of mass screening tests as they are not cost-effective and could lead to unnecessary investigations and sometimes diagnostic procedures. If patients wish to undergo screening for any cancer with an abdominal ultrasound scan or a blood test, it is their wish, but this should be done in consultation with a specialist,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sullivan highlighted that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has managed to control mortality rates despite the rising numbers of urologic cancer cases, and mortality trends are declining. “The primary focus has been on increasing patient and doctor awareness, enhancing the availability of imaging modalities like CT scans, and implementing protocols like 2-week pathways and other time-limited pathways. These set a time limit for a patient’s journey from symptom onset to diagnosis and from diagnosis to treatment, helping avoid treatment delays. They have developed a one-stop clinic concept where basic investigations and consultations are done promptly. Mass screening is not an option for urologic cancer,” said Sullivan.
General symptoms include unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, and prolonged fever. Specific symptoms include any amount of blood in urine, feeling a lump in the abdomen, testis, or penis. People should consult doctors if they notice abnormal bleeding in ejaculation and any recent change in urination, especially if there’s a strong family history of cancer, doctors said.
Dr Vikram Barua Kaushik, chief of urology, kidney transplant programme and robotic surgery at Artemis, said India is facing a significant health crisis, be it cardiovascular diseases, stroke, or cancer. “We need to start working on this now to better prepare for the future crisis. For prevention, it’s crucial to encourage people to quit smoking and other forms of tobacco, which contribute to 40% of urologic cancers. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, exercising regular and reducing obesity are important. A community approach is required to control environmental pollution and contamination, adopt a healthy and balanced diet, and consult a doctor as soon as possible without wasting time.”

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