Monday, January 30, 2023

How Do I Know If I Got Prostate Cancer

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What Are Prostate Tests And How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

How do I know whether I have aggressive prostate cancer?

Tests which check for prostate cancer include:

  • A digital rectal exam . In this exam, your provider feels your prostate for lumps or anything unusual by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum.
  • A prostate-specific antigen blood test. A high PSA blood level may be a sign of prostate cancer. But many other things can cause high PSA levels, too.
  • Imaging tests. These tests may use ultrasound or MRI to make pictures of your prostate.

If these tests show that you might have prostate cancer, the next step is usually a prostate biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to diagnose prostate cancer.

During a biopsy, a doctor uses a hollow needle to remove some prostate tissue. The tissue is studied under a microscope to look for cancer cells.

At What Point Are Prostate Cancer Patients Cured

Nov. 1, 1999 â Patients with prostate cancer whose prostate-specific antigen blood levels return to normal range and stay there for at least 5 years after radiation therapy have a high likelihood of being cured of their cancer, according to this study that appears in the Oct. 15 issue of Cancer, a journal published by the American Cancer Society.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the second most fatal. According to figures from the American Cancer Society, 179,300 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, and 37,000 will die from the disease. Although prostate cancer has few, if any, symptoms in its early stages, it is highly treatable. Therefore, the American Cancer Society recommends annual PSA screening and digital rectal examinations in all men aged 50 and older.

In patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergo treatment, including surgery or radiation therapy, PSA testing is used to determine the effectiveness of treatment. PSA levels below 4.0 are considered normal.

These authors found that patients have a high likelihood of cure if their PSA levels remain normal for about three and a half years following treatment, and rarely have treatment failure if they do well for four years after radiation therapy. In those patients in whom radiation treatment failed, 95% had increasing PSA levels during the first four years after treatment.

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When Should I See My Doctor

See your doctor if you notice any unusual or ongoing changes in your toilet habits . Most often, these wont mean you have cancer, but finding cancer early improves the odds of treating it successfully.

If you dont have any symptoms but are concerned about your risk, your doctor can also explain the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening, such as having a PSA test.

Also Check: What Is The Treatment For Recurrent Prostate Cancer

What Should I Do If I Have Prostate Cancer Symptoms

If you are displaying one or more signs of prostate cancer, be sure to promptly consult with a physician. Even benign prostate conditions like prostate enlargement warrant timely medical attention, so dont delay seeking treatment. And, like most other malignancies, prostate cancer is usually more easily treated when it is detected at an early stage.

Medically reviewed by Monica Chatwal, MD.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide a full range of diagnostic testing for prostate cancer. If you have received a prostate cancer diagnosis, we understand that every day counts, and we want to support you every step of the way. Our Urologic Oncology Program includes a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on evaluating and treating prostate cancer.

Contact Moffitt at or complete a new patient registration form online to speak with one of our specialized oncologists about your symptoms. As Floridas top cancer hospital, were committed to providing all new patients rapid access to a cancer expert within a day of their reaching out.

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Use In Men Who Might Have Prostate Cancer

What Happens If You Have Prostate Cancer

The PSA blood test is used mainly to screen for prostate cancer in men without symptoms. Its also one of the first tests done in men who have symptoms that might be caused by prostate cancer.

PSA in the blood is measured in units called nanograms per milliliter . The chance of having prostate cancer goes up as the PSA level goes up, but there is no set cutoff point that can tell for sure if a man does or doesnt have prostate cancer. Many doctors use a PSA cutoff point of 4 ng/mL or higher when deciding if a man might need further testing, while others might recommend it starting at a lower level, such as 2.5 or 3.

  • Most men without prostate cancer have PSA levels under 4 ng/mL of blood. Still, a level below 4 is not a guarantee that a man doesnt have cancer.
  • Men with a PSA level between 4 and 10 have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer.
  • If the PSA is more than 10, the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50%.

If your PSA level is high, you might need further tests to look for prostate cancer.

To learn more about how the PSA test is used to look for cancer, including factors that can affect PSA levels, special types of PSA tests, and what the next steps might be if you have an abnormal PSA level, see Screening Tests for Prostate Cancer.

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Things Men Need To Know About Prostate Cancer

For men diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are concerned about their risk, it can be a daunting task to navigate the latest research news.

On Saturday, prostate cancer experts shared their knowledge about screening, treatment and clinical trials at the fourth annual symposium for patients and families held at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The event was hosted by the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research â a joint program of Fred Hutch and UW Medicine.

IPCRs more than 40 scientists and clinician-scientists collaborate to understand the causes of prostate cancer and its progression, develop new ways to prevent and diagnose the disease, and create new treatments to improve survival and quality of life.

To help distill their latest recommendations and research, here are six things men need to know.

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What Causes Prostate Cancer

The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known. The tumor arises from cells with abnormal deoxyribonucleic acid changes in the prostate. These abnormal cells rapidly grow and divide, invading surrounding structures and can spread to other parts of the body .

Risk factors

There are certain factors that can increase the risk of prostate cancer. These include

  • Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age and is most commonly seen after the age of 50.
  • Race: African American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than men of other ethnicities. Cancer in African Americans is also more likely to be aggressive.
  • Family history: If a blood relative has prostate cancer, it increases the risk as well. Having a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer or a very strong family history of breast cancer also increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Obesity: Obese people have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, which is also more likely to be aggressive and recurrent despite treatment.

Also Check: Can You Drink Alcohol With Prostate Cancer

What About Trans People

People born with a prostate can develop prostate cancer. Individuals born without a prostate cannot develop prostate cancer.

Trans women who use hormone therapy such as estrogen may have a lower risk, but the risk is still present.

Anyone born with a prostate should speak to their doctor about screening for prostate cancer.

A Genetic Biomarker Test For Newly Diagnosed Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer: What Men Need to Know

Results from a study of a different genetic biomarker test suggest that it could one day help inform treatment decisions for men newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.

According to findings published February 24 in JCO Precision Oncology, a biomarker test called the Oncotype DX Genomic Prostate Score accurately predicted the long-term risk of metastasis and death from prostate cancer in men with localized disease. The test needs to be validated in larger forward-looking studies before it can be used to guide treatment, the study researchers noted.

Also Check: Gleason 8 Prostate Cancer Treatment

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When Metastatic Cancer Can No Longer Be Controlled

If you have been told your cancer can no longer be controlled, you and your loved ones may want to discuss end-of-life care. Whether or not you choose to continue treatment to shrink the cancer or control its growth, you can always receive palliative care to control the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. Information on coping with and planning for end-of-life care is available in the Advanced Cancer section of this site.

Psa Tests And Screening

Testing for cancer when you have no symptoms is called screening. There is no national screening programme in Ireland, as theres little evidence that screening would reduce deaths from prostate cancer. It also could mean men having unnecessary treatment for very slow-growing prostate cancer, which could cause side-effects that affect their lives more than the cancer would.

If youre worried

Talk to your GP about:

  • Your risk of prostate cancer eg if you have close family members with prostate cancer
  • The pros and cons of prostate cancer screening
  • What the tests involve
  • The decisions you might have to make if your PSA was raised
  • How these decisions might affect your life. Eg having treatment and getting side-effects

Should I use a home PSA test kit?

Prostate problems are best diagnosed by your GP, who can take your medical history and carry out a physical examination, as well as doing the PSA test.

Remember – your PSA level can be raised for other reasons it doesnt mean you have prostate cancer. Its also possible to have cancer and a normal PSA level. Read more about understanding PSA test results.

Diagnosing prostate cancer

Your family doctor will talk to you about your symptoms. He or she may do some tests. For example:

Digital rectal examination Inserting a gloved finger into your back passage to see if your prostate feels normal. It can be a little uncomfortable but it doesnt take long.

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A Suggested Psa Screening Protocol

Its reasonable to start checking PSA yearly in men over the ages of 45. Men with a family history of prostate cancer or men who are African-American should start annual testing at age 40. Men over age 75 who are in good health should continue screening.

So what is the trigger level of PSA that should lead to performing a scan? As noted above, younger men who have small prostate glands should consider doing a scan if the PSA is over 2.5. In an older man, particularly if the prostate gland as determined by the finger exam is big, a PSA over 4.0 is a reasonable threshold for obtaining imaging . The PSA blood test has far surpassed the wildest dreams of the doctors who discovered it. Like any powerful tool, however, misuse can lead to over-treatment and unnecessary harm.

So much of the misinformation on the internet implies that every ache, pain, or problem located near the prostate could be caused by cancer. The fact that the most frequently asked question related to prostate cancer is about prostate cancer symptoms indicates that the public is being led into all kinds of unnecessary anxiety.

Know this: As long as the PSA is in the normal range, in general, men can rest assured that any prostate-related symptoms they are experiencing are most likely originating from something unrelated to cancer. PSA testing detects early stage prostate cancer so reliably that when the PSA is normal, one can be sure that any prostate-related symptoms are due to some other cause.

How Is Prostate Cancer Treated

Kupe  About Prostate Cancer

Treatment options for prostate cancer depend on several factors:

  • whether the cancer is high risk
  • the stage of the cancer whether it is only found in the prostate or has it spread to elsewhere in the body?
  • the PSA level and how fast it might be changing
  • age and general health

Your doctor will recommend one or more of the following options if you have prostate cancer:

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • Why did I get prostate cancer?
  • What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
  • Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
  • What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
  • If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
  • What are the treatment risks and side effects?
  • Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
  • Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
  • What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
  • Should I look out for signs of complications?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.

What To Know About Prostate Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment

In the US, the National Cancer Institute estimates that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. For those of African descent, the number is more startling 1 in 5 men are projected to develop the disease.

In the US, the National Cancer Institute estimates that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. For those of African descent, the number is more startling 1 in 5 men are projected to develop the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the US, and estimates suggest there are more than 3 million American men living with the disease.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation urges men in any at-risk groups, or those older than 50, to discuss prostate screening options with their primary care physicians. Many men do not like to discuss the screening with their physicians because of discomfort about the inspection of the prostate, for instance. But with the types of early detection methods now available, prostate cancer is 99 percent treatable, according to the PCF. Screening for prostate cancer can often occur via a simple blood test, rather than an invasive, and often embarrassing, physical exam.

Learning more about the disease, if you are diagnosed, can help you take an active part in your treatment and recovery. According to the National Cancer Institute, no known cause exists. There are risk factors, however, that may increase the chance of getting the disease.

The top risk factors for prostate cancer include:

Recommended Reading: How To Cure Prostate Enlargement

What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer

Your healthcare provider uses the Gleason score and Grade Groups to stage prostate cancer based on its projected aggressiveness. To get this information, the pathologist:

  • Assigns a grade to each type of cell in your sample. Cells are graded on a scale of three to five . Samples that test in the one to two range are considered normal tissue.
  • Adds together the two most common grades to get your Gleason score .
  • Uses the Gleason score to place you into a Grade Group ranging from one to five. A Gleason score of six puts you in Grade Group 1 . A score of nine or higher puts you in Grade Group five . Samples with a higher portion of more aggressive cells receive a higher Grade Group.

How Do You Know If You Have A Prostate Cancer

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

Prostate is a small gland located below the bladder in men and involve in the reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. Generally prostate cancer grows slowly and limited to prostate gland. However, some types of cancer grow slowly and may require small treatment few other types are aggressive and spread quickly. Early detection of prostate cancer has a better chance of successful treatment.

In most of the cases, the symptoms of prostate cancer in early stage are not visible. Symptoms of prostate cancer can differ from person to person. As a result, routinely checkup is necessary and important.

Also Check: What Causes Psa Levels To Go Up After Prostate Removal

How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope.

A biopsy is a procedure that can be used to diagnose prostate cancer. A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells.

A Gleason score is determined when the biopsy tissue is looked at under the microscope. If there is a cancer, the score indicates how likely it is to spread. The score ranges from 2 to 10. The lower the score, the less likely it is that the cancer will spread.

A biopsy is the main tool for diagnosing prostate cancer, but a doctor can use other tools to help make sure the biopsy is made in the right place. For example, doctors may use transrectal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging to help guide the biopsy. With transrectal ultrasound, a probe the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum and high-energy sound waves are bounced off the prostate to create a picture of the prostate called a sonogram. MRI uses magnets and radio waves to produce images on a computer. MRI does not use any radiation.

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