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How Do Prostate Exams Work

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Are You Seeing Prostate Cancer Becoming More Prevalent In Younger Patients

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Its pretty rare. Its less common that men in their 40s have prostate cancer, but, we also are very rarely screening them. The young men who come in to be screened tend to have one of those high-risk features. They most likely had a father who had prostate cancer, so theyre nervous about it. Or theyre African-American, and theyve been flagged by their health care providers.

If youre young, your quality of life is even more important to you right now. We know that, if diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer, a person will need treatment at some time in life. If we can delay treatmentwhich could negatively impact urinary or sexual functionby several years, then we should do that and obviously discuss that there is a low but possible chance of metastasis developing during that time.

How Is The Psa Test Used In Men Who Have Been Treated For Prostate Cancer

The PSA test is used to monitor men after surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer to see if their cancer has recurred . If a mans PSA level begins to rise after prostate cancer treatment, it may be the first sign of a recurrence. Such a biochemical relapse typically appears months or years before the recurrence causes symptoms.

However, a single elevated PSA measurement in someone who has a history of prostate cancer does not always mean that the cancer has come back. Someone who has been treated for prostate cancer should discuss an elevated PSA level with their doctor. The doctor may recommend repeating the PSA test or performing other tests to check for evidence of a recurrence. The doctor may look for a trend of rising PSA level over time rather than a single elevated PSA level.

A rising trend in PSA level over time in combination with other findings, such as an abnormal result on imaging tests, may lead the doctor to recommend further cancer treatment.

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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What Is A Normal Psa Test Result

There is no specific normal or abnormal level of PSA in the blood. In the past, PSA levels of 4.0 ng/mL and lower were considered normal. However, some individuals with PSA levels below 4.0 ng/mL have prostate cancer and many with higher PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL do not have prostate cancer .

In addition, various factors can cause someones PSA level to fluctuate. For example, the PSA level tends to increase with age, prostate gland size, and inflammation or infection. A recent prostate biopsy will also increase the PSA level, as can or vigorous exercise in the 2 days before testing. Conversely, some drugsincluding finasteride and dutasteride, which are used to treat BPHlower the PSA level.

In general, however, the higher a mans PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer.

What Is Screening For Prostate Cancer

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Some men get a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor, learn what is involved, and decide if a PSA test is right for you.

Cancer screening means looking for cancer before it causes symptoms. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread.

If you are thinking about being screened, learn about the possible benefits and harms of screening, diagnosis, and treatment, and talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors.

There is no standard test to screen for prostate cancer. Two tests that are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer are described below.

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What Are Clinical Trials And Are They Right For You

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out if clinical trials are right for you.

Screening Tests For Prostate Cancer

Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. Its not clear, however, if the benefits of prostate cancer screening outweigh the risks for most men. Still, after discussing the pros and cons of screening with their doctors, some men might reasonably choose to be screened.

The screening tests discussed here are used to look for possible signs of prostate cancer. But these tests cant tell for sure if you have cancer. If the result of one of these tests is abnormal, you will probably need a prostate biopsy to know for sure if you have cancer.

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How Do I Screen For Prostate Cancer

There are two main early stage screening methods a digital rectal exam , and a blood test measuring PSA levels. PSA screening is regarded as the best method to screen for prostate cancer in men over 40 or those of a certain risk factor.

While men might be intimidated by a DRE, itâs a quick and safe screening technique used by a physician, and should cause no significant pain.

A Digital Rectal Exam is a simple, painless and quick procedure. A physician inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate to identify if the prostate is enlarged, has lumps or is an abnormal texture compared to a healthy example.

Although this procedure is a very clear indicator of prostate health, the entire prostate canât be examined during a DRE. This is why physicians will also take into account PSA blood work, health history, and other risk factors. Overall, itâs often difficult to detect prostate cancer early, itâs mostly found through PSA testing so PSA screenings should be done regularly, starting at the age of 40-50.

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Why Are Prostate Exams Performed

Making Decisions After Being Diagnosed with Early Stage Prostate Cancer | UCLAMDChat

A lot of men do not realize the importance of a frequent prostate exam. When a man goes for a general check-up with his doctor, a prostate exam may be advised. This is considered part of a general health check-up.

It is generally advised that men undergo frequent health screenings once they reach the age of 40 . Research shows that this is the time when the risk of several prostate conditions increases.

For this reason, after 40, a man should ensure they obtain a prostate exam as part of their health screening.

The main reason why a doctor may advise on a prostate exam is to feel for any abnormalities with the mans prostate. This helps detect prostate disease. It is usually possible for a doctor to determine the health of the mans prostate through this examination. Further testing may be needed too.

The doctor can detect different prostate problems through a prostate exam. It is often considered the initial diagnostic option. The prostate exam itself can give a doctor an indication if there is an enlargement or swelling in the prostate gland. It also helps to determine prostate health.

In most cases, a prostate exam alone will not be the only diagnostic tool. After a digital rectal exam is done, the doctor will order additional tests if abnormalities are identified. This will help to diagnose problems like cancer and prostate enlargement.

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Are Prostate Cancer Screenings Recommended

Absolutely. Screening for prostate cancer is very important and recommended by the American Urology Association for men over 55 years old–age 40 if they are at higher risk. Prostate cancer is very treatable and early detection of prostate cancer is key to treatment and recovery.

Men should have a conversation with their primary care physician about their personal health to determine the best time for prostate cancer screening.

What Is The Psa Test

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood.

The blood level of PSA is often elevated in people with prostate cancer, and the PSA test was originally approved by the FDA in 1986 to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in men who had already been diagnosed with the disease. In 1994, FDA approved the PSA test to be used in conjunction with a digital rectal exam to aid in the detection of prostate cancer in men 50 years and older. Until about 2008, many doctors and professional organizations had encouraged yearly PSA screening for prostate cancer beginning at age 50.

PSA testing is also often used by health care providers for individuals who report prostate symptoms to help determine the nature of the problem.

In addition to prostate cancer, several benign conditions can cause a persons PSA level to rise, particularly prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia . There is no evidence that either condition leads to prostate cancer, but someone can have one or both of these conditions and develop prostate cancer as well.

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Questions You Might Want To Ask Your Gp

  • Do I need to see a specialist? Is it urgent?
  • When will I see them?
  • Where will I see them?
  • Will I find out about my appointments by post or telephone?
  • Do I need tests? What will they involve?
  • How long should I expect to wait?
  • Where can I find out more about tests?
  • Do I have to do anything in preparation for this test?
  • When will I get the results and who will tell me?

Your GP might not be able to answer all of your questions. They will tell you what they can at this point. Not knowing is difficult to cope with and can make you anxious.

Speaking to a friend or relative about how you feel might help.

What Is Cancer Screening

Prostate Cancer Can Soon be Diagnosed with A Simple Urine Test

Cancer is a disease when the cells of the body grow out of control. Cancer screening is having tests to look for signs of cancer before you have any symptoms. By the time cancer causes symptoms, it may have already spread to other parts of your body. A screening test may help find cancer early, when it may be easier to treat.

Cancer screening only tells you whether you might have cancer. It doesn’t diagnose cancer. If a screening test shows signs of cancer, you’ll need to have other tests to find out if you do have cancer and how serious it may be.

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Prostate Exams To Screen For Cancer

There are two types of tests that healthcare providers use to screen for prostate cancer:

  • A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the amount of PSA in the blood. Sometimes, high levels of PSA are linked to prostate cancer.
  • A digital rectal exam is a physical examination where a provider places their gloved finger into the rectum to feel the edges of the prostate gland.

It’s normal to feel nervous or even embarrassed about having a digital rectal exam . It will help to know what to expect during a prostate exam and understand why it’s so important to have one.

Do All Men Who Are Treated For Prostate Cancer Lose Sexual And Urinary Function

Its definitely not true that all men are incontinent and impotent after treatment for prostate cancer. Urinary incontinence is usually temporary.

There can be a sexual impact for guys who have normal function. If the cancer is near their nerve bundle, theyre going to have a decrease in sexual function. If its not, and we can do bilateral nerve sparing surgery, studies show 70 percent can get back their normal sexual function. It all depends on where the cancer is. But the truth is that we cant predict very well who will be the 30 percent who will haveor still haveED some already do have ED because of age, diabetes, hypertension or renal failure.

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Results And Follow Up

After a DRE, your healthcare provider will know right away if there are any problems like lumps or a prostate that is larger than usual . You will discuss any findings with your provider and plan the next steps. The results from a PSA test typically take around two weeks to come back, and your healthcare provider will go over these with you.

If all of your test results are normal, and you and your provider decide to continue screening, you will most likely need testing every two years. However, if the PSA test is abnormal, your healthcare provider may refer you to a urologist for additional testing.

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Getting The Results Of The Biopsy

PSA Test For Prostate Cancer

Your biopsy samples will be sent to a lab, where they will be looked at with a microscope to see if they contain cancer cells. Getting the results usually takes at least 1 to 3 days, but it can sometimes take longer. The results might be reported as:

  • Positive for cancer: Cancer cells were seen in the biopsy samples.
  • Negative for cancer: No cancer cells were seen in the biopsy samples.
  • Suspicious: Something abnormal was seen, but it might not be cancer.

If the biopsy is negative

If the prostate biopsy results are negative , and the chance that you have prostate cancer isnt very high based on your PSA level and other tests, you might not need any more tests, other than repeat PSA tests sometime later.

But even if many samples are taken, biopsies can still sometimes miss a cancer if none of the biopsy needles pass through it. This is known as a false-negative result. If your doctor still strongly suspects you have prostate cancer , your doctor might suggest:

  • Getting other lab tests to help get a better idea of whether or not you might have prostate cancer. Examples of such tests include the Prostate Health Index , 4Kscore test, PCA3 tests , and ConfirmMDx. These tests are discussed in Whats New in Prostate Cancer Research?
  • Getting a repeat prostate biopsy. This might include getting additional samples of parts of the prostate not biopsied the first time, or using imaging tests such as MRI to look more closely for abnormal areas to target.

Prostate cancer grade

Gleason score

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Imaging Tests For Prostate Cancer

Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. One or more imaging tests might be used:

  • To look for cancer in the prostate
  • To help the doctor see the prostate during certain procedures
  • To look for spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body

Which tests you might need will depend on the situation. For example, a prostate biopsy is typically done with transrectal ultrasound and/or MRI to help guide the biopsy. If you are found to have prostate cancer, you might need imaging tests of other parts of your body to look for possible cancer spread.

The imaging tests used most often to look for prostate cancer spread include:

Any Sign Of My Car Keys

At what age should you get a prostate exam? Because the early stages of prostate cancer often show no symptoms, detecting it ASAP is the only reason you need to get checked. And if the doctor finds your keys, consider it a bonus. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends you wait until youre around 50 to get screened for prostate cancer.

As you can tell, prostate exams are, ahem, the butts of some pretty good one-liners. Here are some more:

After my prostate exam, the doctor left. The nurse came in with a worried look on her face, and said the three words I was dreading to hear: Who was that?

I had a prostate exam yesterday. Thats the last time I will ever fall asleep on the subway!

I went to see my doctor for a prostate exam. There was nothing to worry about he gave me the thumbs up!

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Prostate Massage: Overview Benefits Risks And More

Prostate massage is a procedure in which a finger is inserted into the rectum to stimulate the prostate gland either for sexual stimulation or to treat medical conditions such an enlarged prostate, prostatitis , erectile dysfunction, and urination hesitancy .

This article will discuss the medical and sexual purposes of prostate massage. It also covers how the procedure is done, along with the risks and side effects that may come with it.

What Are Additional Tests For Detecting Prostate Problems

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If the DRE or the PSA blood test indicates a problem may exist, the health care provider may order additional tests, including urinalysis, urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound with prostate biopsy, and imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography scan.

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