QCOSTARICA – Prostate cancer is among the two main types of this disease that most affects the male population in Costa Rica.
Last year a total of 1,909 new cases were diagnosed, being Guanacaste the province that represents the highest mortality rate with 20.9%, that is, 1 in every five patients diagnosed.
For this reason, under the concept “Hacerse la prueba de próstata vale la pena’” (Getting a prostate test is worth it”, a campaign was launched that seeks to encourage testing for early detention, putting aside myths and taboos and inviting men to be part of this movement.
This campaign is developed by the Costa Rican Association for the Prevention of Prostate Cancer, the Costa Rican Association of Urological Surgery, the Costa Rican Association of Guanacaste Doctors, the Liberia Guanacaste Health Area and Laboratorios Echandi.
Prostate cancer is the tumor that affects more men in their adulthood, mainly those over 50 years of age, especially those who have a family history, genetic factors such as the BRCA1 gene. Race is a big factor, too — African American men are more likely to be diagnosed with and die from prostate cancer than Caucasian men.
What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Some symptoms of prostate cancer include having to urinate more often (especially at night), weak urine flow or straining to urinate, and blood in the urine. However, many men don’t experience any symptoms at all. That’s because prostate cancer is often caught very early, either during routine prostate exams or through dedicated screening tests.
How is Prostate Cancer Detected?
Physicians mainly use PSA blood tests (which look at a type of protein released by the prostate into the bloodstream) to screen for prostate cancer. PSA levels are higher when something abnormal is happening in the prostate, but it’s important to know that having a high PSA level is not always linked to cancer. If your urologist is concerned about prostate cancer, they may order an MRI and/or a biopsy.
In Costa Rica, the incidence of prostate cancer is doubled than in the world
Patients in all stages of the disease arrive at the Costa Rican hospital system, with 50% of them with clinically localized cancer. For these patients, the 5-year survival rate is almost 100%, compared to a late diagnosis at 30%.
In Costa Rica, the incidence of prostate cancer is doubled than in the world, since around the world there are about 29.3 cases per 100,000 people, while in the country the number is 57.7 per hundred thousand, according to data from the Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in November 2020.