In Hong Kong, prostate cancer has seen the largest increase in cancer diagnosis for men in the past 20 years. According to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry, prostate cancer is the third most common male cancer after lung cancer and colorectal cancer, affecting over 2,500 men each year. Prostate cancer is the no. 4 cause of cancer deaths for men in Hong Kong.
The prostate gland is underneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer appears when cells in the prostate gland begin to grow out of control. The cancerous cells can spread to other areas of the body, causing new problems mostly in bones and lymph nodes. Only men have a prostate gland, which makes it one of the biggest men’s health conditions worldwide.
At its earliest stage, prostate cancer does not have any symptoms. However, as it develops, the following symptoms can gradually appear:
Although the exact causes of prostate cancer are not fully known, a number of factors are understood to increase the risk of developing it:
There is no proven prevention strategy but certain actions can be taken to reduce the risk, including:
As early prostate cancer is asymptomatic, screening is an important step towards early diagnosis to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent progression.
Doctors would usually screen prostate cancer by:
Further investigations are required after screening if there is anything abnormal about the screening results. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is done by:
According to Movember Hong Kong, part of the Movember Foundation which is the leading non-profit organization fighting to improve men’s health globally, the chance of survival beyond 5 years is 98% with early diagnosis, and the rate drops to 26% if detected late.
In order to determine the stage of a patient’s prostate cancer, most doctors would use the TNM staging system, which helps describe different aspects of the cancer’s growth.
Treatment depends upon the type and the stage of the disease. The general treatment options for prostate cancer are:
Cost of treatment in Hong Kong’s Public Sector:
For eligible persons with a HKID card, the cost for inpatient service is a $75 admission fee and $120 per day. Extra medications or other injections needed are not included.
For non-eligible persons without a HKID card, the cost for inpatient general hospital is $5,100 per day.
Beware of waiting times which can be very long in the public sector. For details, call the Hospital Authority at 2300 6555.
Cost of treatment in Hong Kong’s Private Sector:
The cost of prostate cancer treatment depends on the patient’s condition. Different stages require different surgical procedures therefore it is best to consult a doctor and discuss the options that best suit your situation. In Hong Kong, fees are also determined according to the choice of room (private, semi-private, ward), doctor fees, medication fees, and administration fees of each hospital or clinic, therefore it may vary significantly.
A consultation in the private sector ranges from $800 to $2,000 and a cycle of chemotherapy in Hong Kong’s private sector can range from $12,000 to $25,000. Fee for radiation therapy can range from $30,000 to $150,000 but depends highly on the number of doses assigned by your doctor. These are estimates, for information only.
*All amounts are in HKD. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.
According to Alea, prostate cancer surgery is usually reimbursed under hospital/surgical benefits whereas chemotherapy/radiation therapies are usually reimbursed under cancer cover. Generally, high-end medical plans will reimburse cancer treatments in full without any sub-limit whereas local plans will have sub-limits. If you have any health insurance questions, contact an Alea advisor at +852 2606 2668 or email@example.com.
Medical-related content was reviewed by Dr. Patricia Poon. She graduated from the University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1995. She subsequently received her Oncology training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong and became a fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists in 2002. Dr. Poon earned the Fellowship of Hong Kong College Radiologists and Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Radiology) in 2005. She also obtained a Master degree in Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University, the UK in 2010. Besides training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, she was a Consultant Oncologist at the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital until 2014. She is currently working as a private Clinical Oncologist in Hong Kong.
This article was independently written by Healthy Matters. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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