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How Can I Check Myself For Prostate Cancer

Who Can Do Prostate Milking

How to Test for Prostate Cancer | Ask a Prostate Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

Anyone with a prostate may be able to milk it.

However, some people find the massage painful or unpleasant to perform on themselves. In this case, depending on the goal of the stimulation, a person may ask a partner or a healthcare professional to perform the massage.

The prostate is a walnut-sized organ inside the rectum and just under the bladder. It wraps around the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder.

The prostate tends to get larger with age, making it easier to locate.

To find the prostate , a person can insert a lubricated finger into the rectum, then push slightly on its front wall. They may feel a slight bulge.

Because the prostate is so close to the bladder and urethra, intense prostate stimulation can cause the urge to urinate. Prostatitis and other prostate problems may also lead to more frequent urination.

Once a person locates their prostate, they can begin to massage it with a finger, massager, or sex toy.

Men: Cancer Screening Exams By Age

These exams are for men at average risk of cancer.

Take this checklist to your next doctors appointment. Your doctor can help you develop a more tailored screening plan if needed.

These exams are for men at average risk of cancer. If you believe you may be more likely to develop cancer because of your personal or family medical history, visit our screening guidelines page to learn about exams for men at increased risk.

Ages 40-49

  • Beginning at age 40, you should speak with your doctor about the benefits and limitations of prostate screening.
  • If you choose prostate cancer screening, you should get a digital rectal exam and PSA test every year starting at age 45 to check for prostate cancer if you are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer.

Ages 50-75

Age 76 and older

If youre age 76 to 85, your doctor can help you decide if you should continue screening. MD Anderson does not recommend cancer screening for men age 85 and older.

All Ages

Speak with you doctor about cancer screening exams for lung and skin cancers. Exams are available for those at increased risk.

Regardless of your age, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body so youll notice changes and report them to your doctor without delay.

Take Time For Yourself

Awareness months can be incredibly beneficial, but they can also be taxing.

Managing prostate cancer, advocating for prostate cancer, or caring for someone with prostate cancer may be an emotional experience.

If youre finding yourself overwhelmed with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, events, social media, and more, its OK to take a step back and focus on yourself. Self-care is important too.

Read Also: Chances Of Having Prostate Cancer

Who Should Take This Test

Any male over the age of 40 should establish a baseline PSA level and be regularly screened for prostate cancer. Based on your baseline PSA level and risk factors such as age, race, and family history, you might have to be re-tested annually, while others can wait years between screenings. Men are at greater risk if they:

  • Have a family history of prostate cancer
  • Are of Black ethnic origin
  • Are overweight or obese

Psa Screening Blood Test

How Often Should You Check For Prostate Cancer

A prostate-specific antigen is made by the cells of the prostate gland. PSA testing is a common method to test for prostate cancer. PSA is found in semen, with a small amount in the blood. Men without prostate cancer often have PSA levels under 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood. An elevated PSA level increases the likelihood of having prostate cancer .

The American Cancer Society reports that men with a total PSA level of between 4 and 10 have roughly a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer. With a total PSA of over 10, the chance of having prostate cancer rises to over 50%. Following the PSA test, if the levels are high, a doctor may suggest a repeat screening test or a prostate biopsy.

In addition to prostate cancer, there are many other factors that can affect a mans PSA levels.

Reasons for a High PSA:

Reasons for a Low PSA:

Read Also: Ways To Prevent Prostate Cancer

Should I Check My Testicles

Its a good idea to know what your testicles usually look and feel like, and to be aware of their normal size and weight. This can make it easier to spot unusual changes, which you should always let your doctor know about.

But theres no need to worry about regularly self-checking at a set time or in a set way. There is no specific self-checking method that has overall proven benefits.

Should You Choose To Be Screened For Prostate Cancer At All

Prostate cancer is a disease that many men die with rather than of that is, despite aggressive prostate cancer killing some men, many more men would peacefully co-exist with their mild prostate cancers if they were left undiscovered.

Detecting prostate cancer might do good if it allows timely treatment to save mens lives, but can do harm via treatment side-effects: impotence, incontinence, the anxiety of false alarms or of discovering cancer, and so on.

Whether prostate screening saves lives at all is still debated. Several trials have found no preventive effect. The best-conducted trial showed that screening could prevent about one in five deaths from prostate cancer. However, this protection doesnt happen very often.

For a useful illustration, see the second page of this information sheet. This shows that over 11 years, about 1,000 men must be screened to save one life. In saving this one life, the trade-offs include:

  • scores of men will have to undergo a prostate biopsy
  • several will have complications of this biopsy
  • about 37 extra men will find out they have prostate cancer
  • several will suffer cancer treatment side effects such as impotence or incontinence.

How should we weigh up these pros and cons?

For some men, the small chance of benefit and the larger risk of harm leads them to decide not to proceed with testing. For others, the possibility of averting a cancer death, though small and uncertain, is worth the risks.

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What If I’m Experiencing Prostate Cancer Symptoms

If you suffer from symptoms like those mentioned above, have yourself examined by your family doctor or directly by a urologist. You can also take a PSA test. This blood test measures the prostate-specific antigen , a protein that is produced in the prostate. Elevated levels are considered an indication of prostate cancer, benign prostate enlargement or prostatitis. If you have elevated PSA levels, urologists can help you find the exact cause.

You can read more about PSA values including what is considered a normal or high value in our dedicated Health Portal article on what PSA means.

It is important not to panic! The symptoms pointing toward prostate cancer can also indicate other problems with the prostate, which do not necessarily have to be related to cancer. In addition, prostate cancer is often easily treatable as long as the tumour is still limited to the prostate, it can usually be treated well with surgery. And even in cases of advanced prostate cancer, you can cure it with hormone therapy, radiation and chemotherapy.

What Is A Prostate Exam

Should I Get Tested for Prostate Cancer?

A prostate exam is a screening method used to look for early signs of prostate cancer. In general, a prostate exam includes a PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam .

During the digital rectal exam portion, your healthcare provider carefully inserts their gloved finger into your rectum. This allows them to feel the edges and surface of your prostate gland to detect any potential abnormalities.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Main Cause Of Prostate Cancer

Get A Prostate Cancer Screening

Getting screened for prostate cancer is one of the best ways men can show support in September and beyond. Its a great way to take care of your own health while also inspiring other people with a prostate to do the same.

The encourages men who are 55 to 69 years old to consider prostate screening. The recommendation applies to people who:

  • are at average or increased risk for prostate cancer
  • do not have symptoms of prostate cancer
  • have never been diagnosed with prostate cancer

Possible Inaccurate Or Unclear Test Results

As an example, neither the PSA test nor the DRE is 100% accurate. These tests can sometimes have abnormal results even when a man does not have cancer , or normal results even when a man does have cancer . Unclear test results can cause confusion and anxiety. False-positive results can lead some men to get prostate biopsies when they dont have cancer. And false-negative results can give some men a false sense of security even though they might actually have cancer.

Recommended Reading: Best Thing For Healthy Prostate

When Should I Get Tested

Visit Am I at Risk? to learn more. All men are at risk of prostate cancer, so it is important to talk with your doctor to make an informed decision. Check out our recommended age and testing guidelines, which are based on the NCCN provided recommendations.

Detecting prostate cancer early gives you the best chance of living longer. In fact, more than 99 percent of men survive prostate cancer when it is caught early.

Watch prostate cancer experts, Dr. Lowentritt and Dr. Siegel in this video discuss detection and diagnosis:

How To Locate Your Prostate

See For Yourself: Prostate Exams Easel Display

This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH and by wikiHow staff writer, Christopher M. Osborne, PhD. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 309,177 times.

The prostate is a walnut-sized organ in males that plays a major role in the production of semen. The easiest way to access the prostate is by way of an index finger carefully inserted into the rectum. The processes for accessing the prostate as part of a medical exam or for sexual pleasure are the same, and the same precautions should be taken. You should also keep an eye out for signs of potential prostate problems and contact your doctor as needed.

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Doing A Prostate Self Exam:

With the above warning in mind, then how can you do aprostate self exam and know if you have a problem or not? The answer is not very likely.

You could insert your finger as described in my page on self prostate massage, and you may get some idea but nothing definitive. It should be soft not hard, painless to the gentle touch, and feel smooth not lumpy. Make sure you use gloves and lubrication to make insertion easier. Be gentle!

Getting a DRE or digital rectal exam by a trained urologist will give you the information you want. Just be very hesitant if he wants then to do a biopsy as there are many risks to this procedure that he may downplay including the path to invasive action if he finds the slightest sign of cancer. Go to Prostate Biopsy Procedureto read more.

How Do I Prepare For A Prostate Exam

Little preparation is needed before a prostate exam. However, be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have existing conditions that could cause discomfort, such as:

Your healthcare provider may ask you to abstain from sex for 48 hours before your prostate exam. This is because ejaculation can cause your PSA levels to increase temporarily, which could affect your test results.

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Preparing For A Prostate Exam

Theres nothing special that you need to do to prepare for a prostate exam. Tell your doctor if you have or hemorrhoids, as a DRE may aggravate these conditions.

If you decide to get a prostate cancer screening, your doctor will likely order a blood test, so inform the person drawing your blood if youre prone to dizziness.

Your doctor may ask you to sign a consent form before performing a cancer screening.

Touching Your Prostate With Your Finger

What it’s like to go for a rectal screening for prostate cancer
  • 1See a trained professional if you want your prostate medically examined. Medical professionals do not recommend prostate self-exams. An “untrained finger” is unlikely to accurately recognize signs of problems, and there is a small but not inconsequential risk of damage to the rectum or prostate.XResearch source
  • Talk to your primary care doctor to determine if you should have a DRE to check your prostate.
  • Check your prostate if youre older than 40, have a high risk for prostate cancer, or if you have symptoms of an enlarged or infected prostates.
  • If you want to access your prostate for sexual pleasure, take all the precautions described in this article and work very slowly and gently.
  • 2Take a shower and clean “between the cheeks” thoroughly. Use soap, water, and a soft washcloth to clean the area as best you can, then rinse it out thoroughly with clean water from the shower. The cleaner you feel “up there,” the less self-conscious you’re likely to be when the time comes to insert your finger.
  • Dont use a rough washcloth or brush, scrub too vigorously, or try to clean deep into your rectum. You may damage the sensitive tissue in the area. Just accept that its not possible to get this area 100% clean.
  • Even when youre accessing your own rectum, its best to play it safe and wear a glove.
  • If you wear a ring on the index finger youll be using, remove it.
  • Your entire index finger should be fully coated from the tip down to at least the middle knuckle.
  • Also Check: Dr Sebi Cure For Enlarged Prostate

    How To Get Checked For Prostate Cancer

    Know the symptoms of prostate cancer and how to get checked

    One in eight men is affected by prostate cancer, so its understandable to be concerned about it. However, unlike breast cancer, where there is a national screening programme and often a tell-tale symptom such as a lump, its not so easy to check yourself for prostate cancer.

    This blog will help you to understand what you can do to check for prostate cancer, the tests and exams that are used, and when and how to get them.

    Firstly, there are two basic tests which, if you go to your GP, theyre likely to do if they suspect or want to rule out prostate cancer:

    • A PSA test
    • A digital rectal examination

    PSA testing

    A PSA test is a blood test that looks at the levels of a type of protein called prostate specific antigen thats circulating in your body. PSA is produced by normal cells in your prostate and also by cancerous cells, although sometimes the cancerous cells produce more. A high PSA level could be a sign of prostate cancer.

    However, its not that simple. All men have some PSA in their blood and the amount they have can vary from one person to another. And in general, the older you are, the more PSA you naturally produce. There are other factors that can also cause your PSA levels to rise, such as a condition called prostatitis. It can even change from day-to-day and effect a test result due to:

    Given that PSA isnt enough on its own, a GP may carry out other prostate checks like a prostate examination.

    How Long Does It Take To Lower Psa Levels

    The amount of time it takes to lower PSA levels depends on whats causing the elevated levels. Mild changes in PSA could return to normal within a few days.

    However, if the elevation in PSA is due to prostate cancer, PSA levels will not decrease. For prostate cancer treated with surgery, PSA is expected to be undetectable after 1 month. For prostate cancer treated with radiation, PSA will reach its lowest level after 17 months on the average.

    If due to benign prostatic hyperplasia, PSA may not decrease, as prostate size naturally increases with age.

    For other conditions, like prostate cancer, it could take 1-2 years after treatment for levels to lower.

    Also Check: Prostate Biopsy After Age 70

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

    It is difficult to catch prostate cancer early as there are no clear indicators. Its symptoms dont manifest themselves until cancer has developed significantly and begins making urinating difficult. This is because, as cancer grows, it puts pressure on the tube which links the bladder to the urethra. This causes difficulties in urinating or increases in the need to urinate.

    Another symptom would be finding blood in your urine or semen.

    Furthermore, an enlarged prostate is not always an indicator of prostate cancer. Many mens prostate gets larger as they get older and can cause these symptoms.

    What Tests Detect Prostate Cancer Early

    See For Yourself: Prostate Conditions Easel Display

    Because prostate cancer cant necessarily be detected at home, its a good idea to learn about the tests that provide early detection. Keep in mind that these tests cant decipher whether or not you have prostate cancer and, following the test, your doctor will most likely suggest a prostate biopsy. If youre wondering how to check for prostate cancer at home, your best bet is to leave it to your health care professional.

    Recommended Reading: Prostate Cancer In Bones And Lungs

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