Screening Process For Prostate Cancer
The basic idea of screening for cancer is to detect the presence of cancer at the early stages itself.
This cuts down the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body, thereby majorly eliminating the chances of the patient dying from cancer.
There are various Screening Tests for different types of cancer- like Colonoscopy, Mammography, CA-125 Test, and many more.
Let us focus on screening procedures for Prostate Cancer.
Prostate Cancer – What You Need To Know
Located below the urinary bladder, the prostate is a walnut-size-looking gland that produces semen, a seminal fluid that contains sperms.
Prostate Cancer is among the most common cancers seen in men, apart from Lung Cancer.
Nearly one-third of prostate cancers in men are detected when it’s in Stage-IV, where there’s a very slim chance of recovery.
Symptoms You Should Look For:
Here are some symptoms that are noted in Prostate Cancer. If you have these symptoms, reach out to an oncologist or consult your doctor immediately.
- Having trouble while urinating
- Improper urine flow
- Blood found in urine and semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Urging to urinate frequently
- Excruciating pain in the hips, back and pelvis
- Unable to empty the bladder completely.
Screening For Prostate Cancer
Before going ahead with any screening test, you need to be well aware of the benefits, harms, diagnosis and risk factors involved with it.
Detecting any cancer at Stage-I ensures a better chance of curing cancer.
There are two types of Screening Tests carried out for Prostate Cancer patients.
Prostate-Specific Antigen is a protein made by the prostate gland. This is found in traces in semen and blood.
Chances are- higher the PSA levels, the higher the chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
PSA is measured in ‘Nanograms per Millilitre’ (ng/ml). An optimum PSA count should be 4.0 ng/ml or below. If not, a prostate biopsy is recommended. (More info about PSA).
In a DRE Test, the doctor or medical examiner inserts a gloved lubricated finger into the rectum (which is behind the prostate) to feel the prostate for any uneven bumps or irregularities on the prostate.
DRE is not as effective as PSA but is conducted when the symptoms are high even when the PSA level is optimum. (More about DRE).
To Sum Up
As an oncologist, I strongly urge you to take screening tests if there’s even the slightest chance of cancer.
If you’re having any symptoms of prostate cancer, consult an Oncologist immediately.
Click here to read more about the importance of Cancer Staging.