Is It Time You Booked A Prostate Exam
Prostate checks are a part of life for most adult men. Its a necessary step to ensure that you stay on top of your health and become aware of any abnormalities before they evolve into serious problems.
For many men, it can be a nervous time. General Practitioner, Dr Sir-Kit Leong, from SmartClinics Clayfield in Brisbane has answered some of the most frequently asked questions by patients. Take a read and if youre still unsure, book an appointment with your GP for a chat before committing.
Repeating The Psa Test
A mans blood PSA level can vary over time , so some doctors recommend repeating the test after a month or so if the initial PSA result is abnormal. This is most likely to be a reasonable option if the PSA level is on the lower end of the borderline range . For higher PSA levels, doctors are more likely to recommend getting other tests, or going straight to a prostate biopsy.
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Genetic Testing For Some Men With Prostate Cancer
Some doctors now recommend that some men with prostate cancer be tested to look for certain inherited gene changes. This includes men in whom a family cancer syndrome is suspected, as well as men with prostate cancer that has certain high-risk features or that has spread to other parts of the body. Talk to your doctor about the possible pros, cons, and limitations of such testing.
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What If My Test Results Are Abnormal
If the results of early detection tests like the PSA screening or the digital rectal exam suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will conduct further testing. The PSA may be repeated, or you may be sent to a specialist for more tests such as a transrectal ultrasound and a prostate biopsy.
In a prostate biopsy, a tissue sample is taken from your prostate. Cancer can only be diagnosed with a tissue sample.
Recent research has yielded additional tests in addition to the PSA, DRE, and biopsy that can give a doctor more information to determine the probability of both finding cancer during a biopsy and determining how aggressive that cancer is likely to be. Read more on those tests.
Need For This Guidance
New Zealand men currently receive conflicting advice about prostate cancer testing and treatment. Some men may benefit from early diagnosis and treatment, but have limited opportunity to access appropriate health services.
Unlike other cancers, prostate cancer often grows slowly. With routine prostate specific antigen testing, many men can be diagnosed with a cancer that is not going to progress during their lifetime. Such a diagnosis may increase mens exposure to unnecessary treatment-related harms.
On the other hand, some men will still develop aggressive and potentially life-threatening prostate cancer. These men may benefit from prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Prostate Exams: Do You Really Need One
Prostate cancer, although the second most common cancer in men in the United States, is extremely treatable when it is detected in its early stages.
Recently, there has been debates in the medical community about whether or not the benefits of a prostate exam outweigh the risks. We asked Jeffery Spencer, MD, a Urologist at Finger Lakes Urology Institute for his expert opinion on prostate exams and prostate cancer screenings.
What Are The Risks Of A Prostate Exam
In the medical community, there is some controversy regarding the risks and benefits of a prostate exam. When a DRE is performed and irregularity is detected, 50% of the time there is prostate cancer and 50% of the time there isnt. The risk, then, becomes over-treatment.
Although not a physical health risk, the possibility of further testing, such as a prostate biopsy or an MRI of the prostate, can be anxiety-provoking.
Overall, the benefits highly outweigh the risks. Patients should discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with their physician to make the best decision for their health.
As men age, they can face physical, sexual and medical health concerns that have an impact on their everyday lives. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, along with regular checkups and screening tests can help prevent or lead to early treatment of many mens health threats.
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What Does The Psa Test Involve
The PSA test involves taking a blood sample and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The results indicate:
- Normal levels: Most healthy adult males have PSA levels below 4 nanograms per milliliter .
- Borderline levels: PSA levels of 410 ng/ml are borderline. There is a 25% chance that cancer is present, and the person will usually need additional tests.
- High levels: If PSA levels are over 10 ng/ml, there is a 50% chance that the person has prostate cancer. The specialist will likely recommend more testing, including a prostate biopsy.
It is important to note that PSA levels can naturally vary from person to person. A person with high levels may not have prostate cancer. On the other hand, about 15% of people who test positive for prostate cancer after a biopsy have PSA levels below 4 ng/ml.
Prostate cancer is not the only cause of high PSA levels. Find out more about the other causes here.
Psa Level Risk Analysis
- 15% of men with a PSA level less than 4 ng/ml go on to develop prostate cancer.
- 31% of men with PSA levels between 4 10 ng/ml have shown to develop prostate cancer.
- 50% 65% of men with psa scores over 10 ng/ml develop prostate cancer.
An important part of the your results is finding both the
1. Total amount of PSA in your blood.
2. Ratio of free vs bound PSA.
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What Would You Say To Men Who Dont Want To Get A Prostate Check
A rectal exam is recommended but optional. We recommend both, but if theyll just let you do a blood test, thats better than not doing anything at all.
If concern about the rectal exam is the only reason youre not getting screened, talk to your doctor about it. We can discuss the risks and benefits. None of the evaluation tests are mandatory, but the reason we do that is that it improves our ability to detect cancer. So, if thats why youre not being evaluated, we can talk and decide if we can do other tests.
Getting A Prostate Biopsy
For some men, getting a prostate biopsy might be the best option, especially if the initial PSA level is high. A biopsy is a procedure in which small samples of the prostate are removed and then looked at under a microscope. This test is the only way to know for sure if a man has prostate cancer. If prostate cancer is found on a biopsy, this test can also help tell how likely it is that the cancer will grow and spread quickly.
For more details on the prostate biopsy and how it is done, see Tests to Diagnose and Stage Prostate Cancer.
For more information about the possible results of a prostate biopsy, see the Prostate Pathology section of our website.
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Prostate Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Prostate
The prostate is agland in the malereproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra . The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of .
As men age, the prostate may get bigger. A bigger prostate may block the flow of urine from the bladder and cause problems with sexual function. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia , and although it is not cancer, surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be similar to symptoms of prostate cancer.
See the following PDQ summaries for more information about prostate cancer:
How Are Prostate Problems Diagnosed
To diagnose prostate problems, the health care provider will perform a digital rectal exam . The health care provider will also ask the patient
- when the problem began and how often it occurs
- what symptoms are present
- whether he has a history of recurrent urinary tract infections
- what medications he takes, both prescription and those bought over the counter
- the amount of fluid he typically drinks each day
- whether he consumes caffeine and alcohol
- about his general medical history, including any major illnesses or surgeries
Answers to these questions will help the health care provider identify the problem or determine what medical tests are needed. Diagnosing BPH may require a series of medical exams and tests.
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What Is The Chance Of A Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer
Around 17,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year in Australia. It affects mostly men in older age groups and is rare in men under 50 years of age.
The chance of developing prostate cancer is significantly higher in men who have a close relative with prostate cancer the risks are higher if the relative was diagnosed before the age of 60.
If you have a family history of prostate cancer, talk to your doctor.
Prostate Exam Vs Colonoscopy: Whats The Difference
At first glance, it might seem that a prostate exam is similar to a colonoscopy. After all, both exams involve your rectal area. However, these two tests are quite different.
While a prostate exam involves feeling the prostate with a gloved finger, a colonoscopy examines the walls of your colon by inserting a flexible camera into your rectum. The prostate is not examined at all during this procedure unless your healthcare provider manually performs an exam.
A prostate exam is a fairly quick procedure performed in an office setting. A colonoscopy, on the other hand, is an outpatient procedure in the hospital that requires IV sedation.
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Why Should I Get Both Prostate Cancer Screenings
Both screenings provide valuable information about your health that can detect prostate cancer, even at an early stage. One result without the other may not provide enough indication of whether or not treatment is necessary.
There are many reasons why a mans prostate may be enlarged, and prostate cancer is only one. When paired with a PSA blood test, results can better indicate whether further testing is needed to determine a diagnosis.
What Are Some Common Prostate Problems
The most common prostate problem in men younger than age 50 is inflammation, called prostatitis. Prostate enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia , is another common problem. Because the prostate continues to grow as a man ages, BPH is the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50. Older men are at risk for prostate cancer as well, but it is much less common than BPH.
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Average Psa Test Doubling Time
Another red flag. This calculation denotes the time it takes your PSA values to double.
Therefore it may signify the aggressiveness of any prostate abnormalities, whether it’s an enlarged prostate, prostatitis, or prostate cancer.
If your average PSA readings double in less than three years your doctor will most likely order a biopsy, to look in to the problem further and discuss possible prostate cancer treatment options.
What Is A Prostate Ultrasound Used For
A prostate ultrasound is used to check your prostate gland using ultrasound imagery. The procedure provides your doctor with black-and-white images of your prostate and the surrounding tissues. Your doctor usually wont do this as part of a physical examination, but they may recommend it if:
A prostate ultrasound can also be used to help your doctor take a tissue sample, or biopsy, from your prostate.
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At What Age Should You Stop Psa Testing
The general recommendation for men is to start prostate cancer monitoring at the age of 50. This action can prevent around 1 cancer death for every 1,000 men that are checking for prostate cancer.
Nonetheless, the medical world issued guidelines for the appropriate time to terminate PSA testings as well. Studies indicate that men over the age of 70 can stop undergoing prostate exams, including PSA testing. In case life expectancy is less than 10 years due to serious health issues other than prostate cancer, then patients can skip PSA exams.
On the other hand, statistics foresee 2.5 times higher increase of prostate cancer diagnoses by 2030 compared to 2017. Considering that the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, men over 70 should continue with their PSA tests.
How Often Should Men Have A Prostate Screening
A prostate screening is extremely important to have regularly. Because, without them, a mans health is at a high risk of developing prostate cancer. Knowing how often prostate screenings should be had can be helpful to those men who are not sure.
A mans health is just as important to maintain as a womans. But most people are under the assumption that womens health needs more attention. However, that is not true. Men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, and it can become very problematic if not addressed.
Keep reading to find out how often a man should have a prostate screening.
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After A Prostate Exam
When they are done with the exam, your provider will take their finger out of your rectum. You might be offered some tissue or wipes to clean off the lubricant.
From start to finish, a prostate exam only takes a few minutes. You don’t need to do anything after the exam and can go about the rest of your day as usual.
Preparing For Prostate Examinations
Due to the personal nature of a prostate examination, its normal to feel a bit anxious but it will be easier if you relax and practise some deep breathing.
You should tell your doctor if you have any conditions that might be made worse by a DRE, such as haemorrhoids or an . You should also tell them about any medications you are taking.
We hope you’ve found this article useful, however, it cannot be a substitute for a consultation with a specialist
If you’re concerned about symptoms you’re experiencing or require further information on the subject, talk to a GP or see an expert consultant at your local Spire hospital.
Make an enquiry
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Specialist Referral And Biopsy
Your doctor will discuss your prostate check results with you. If the PSA and DRC results suggest you have a high risk for prostate cancer, your doctor will refer you to a urologist .
The specialist will discuss having a prostate biopsy, in which a small sample of your prostate gland cells are taken for examination.
The aim of the biopsy is to confirm whether or not you have prostate cancer and, if so, whether it needs treatment. The treatment options will then be discussed with you.
If the biopsy shows no evidence of cancer, you may be advised to attend future check-ups.
What Is A Prostate Screening
A prostate screening should be done routinely once a man turns a certain age. This in order to detect undiagnosed prostate cancer in someone who may not have any symptoms. There are two main tests that a man must undergo during a prostate screening: A PSA test and digital rectal exam. The PSA test checks the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. The digital rectal exam consists of the doctor feeling for any abnormalities within a mans prostate.
Both types of prostate screening tests are important to have because they test for different things. This means that complete confidence regarding the state of your prostate health requires both tests. As the most common cancer for men, it can be detected early and treated.
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Who Can Do Prostate Milking
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.
What Will I Know Afterwards
A rectal exam can’t definitively diagnose prostate cancer. Only a biopsy can do that and you wont be offered one if you don’t need it. Rectal exams are part of a suite of diagnostic tests, including PSA blood tests and MRI scans, that help to either build or break the case for further investigation.
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