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How Do They Check Prostate Cancer

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How Long Will My Follow

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

You will have follow-up appointments for some time after your treatment. Exactly how long will depend on your cancer, any side effects of treatment and the services in your area. You will usually have appointments for several years.

After your follow-up appointments finish, you may continue to have PSA tests. Speak to your GP if you have any problems or concerns they can refer you back to the hospital. Make sure you remind them about your prostate cancer, especially if its been a while since you had treatment or a PSA test.

Lymph Node Biopsy As A Separate Procedure

A lymph node biopsy is rarely done as a separate procedure. Its sometimes used when a radical prostatectomy isnt planned , but when its still important to know if the lymph nodes contain cancer.

Most often, this is done as a needle biopsy. To do this, the doctor uses an image to guide a long, hollow needle through the skin in the lower abdomen and into an enlarged node. The skin is numbed with local anesthesia before the needle is inserted to take a small tissue sample. The sample is then sent to the lab and looked at for cancer cells.

If They Dont Think You Need Any Tests Or A Referral

  • Can you explain why I dont need to have tests or see a specialist?
  • Is there anything I can do to help myself?
  • Do I need to see you again?
  • Who do I contact if my symptoms continue or get worse, especially during the night or at weekends?
  • Ive been reading about prostate cancer and wish to have a PSA test can you explain why I dont need one?

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What Happens During A Digital Rectal Exam

Your health care provider will insert a gloved finger into the rectum and feel the prostate for hard, lumpy, or abnormal areas. The test takes only a few minutes to complete.

You may feel slight, momentary discomfort during the test. The procedure does not cause significant pain or any damage to the prostate.

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How Do I Prepare For A Prostate Exam

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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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Experts In Urology Care

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with urinary issues, we urge you to complete our urologic cancer risk assessment form.

Not everyone should get a PSA test. Why? Because many in this country are treated for low-risk prostate cancer that is discovered through the PSA test, even when it is unlikely that the disease will ever cause symptoms or lead to death. And treatment is associated with significant side effects, including impotence and incontinence . You should discuss whether prostate cancer early detection is right for you with your personal primary care physician.

To avoid the risks of over-treatment, Roswell Park follows the guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network . The NCCN brings together world-renowned experts from 30 of the nations top cancer centers to write guidelines that specify the best ways of preventing, detecting and treating cancer. The guidelines are updated at least every year, on the basis of the latest research.

Michael Kuettel, MD, PhD, MBA, Chair of Roswell Park’s Department of Radiation Medicine, serves on the NCCN Prostate Cancer Panel.

If you decide that Prostate Cancer Early Detection is right for you, the NCCN recommends PSA testing as follows:

How To Tell If Your Cancer Has Metastasized

Prostate cancer metastasis may be suspected if you have specific symptoms such as new lower back pain or elevated liver enzymes. These may be signs your cancer has spread to your spine or your liver, respectively. If your prostate-specific antigen levels continue to rise despite treatment, especially if they are rising particularly fast, this may be a sign that cancer is metastasizing somewhere in your body.

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Further Tests For Prostate Cancer

If results of the PSA test or the DRE are abnormal, a urologist will likely recommend a biopsy, where small samples of tissue are removed from the prostate and examined.

If cancer is diagnosed, other tests may be used to check the progression of the cancer, including:

  • magnetic resonance imaging scan of the prostate often done before a biopsy
  • bone scan to check whether or not cancer cells have spread to the bones
  • computed tomography scan a specialised x-ray
  • pelvic lymph node dissection a nearby lymph node is removed and examined to check whether or not cancer cells have entered the lymphatic system .

Genetic Testing For Some Men With Prostate Cancer

Should I Get Tested for 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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Prostate Cancer: Advancements In Screenings

Reviewed By:

Dr. Christian Paul Pavlovich

You may know thatprostate canceris one of the most common cancer types in men. The good news is that thereare many treatment and management options, even if the cancer is caught ata later stage.

What you may not know: There are several options when it comes toprostate cancer screening. After considering multiple factors, your doctor may recommend theprostate-specific antigen test, and/or one of the newer screeningtests that are now available.

Johns Hopkins urologistChristian Pavlovich, M.D., explains what you should know.

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What Do My Psa Test Results Mean

Once your test results are back, your healthcare provider will let you know if any additional testing is recommended. PSA levels can vary over time for several reasons unrelated to prostate cancer . So, if you have a borderline PSA, your provider may simply recommend another PSA test in six months or so.

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There Are Risks To Getting Prostate Cancer Tests And Treatments

If your PSA is not normal, you will probably have a biopsy. The doctor puts a needle through the wall of the rectum and into the prostate to take a few samples. Biopsies can be painful and cause bleeding. Men can get serious infections from biopsies, and they may need hospital care.

Surgery or radiation are the usual treatments for prostate cancer. They can do more harm than good. Treatment can cause serious complications, such as heart attacks, blood clots in the legs or lungs, or even death. In addition, 40 men out of 1,000 will become impotent or incontinent from treatment.

Factors That Might Affect Psa Levels

PPT

One reason its hard to use a set cutoff point with the PSA test when looking for prostate cancer is that a number of factors other than cancer can also affect PSA levels.

Factors that might raise PSA levels include:

  • An enlarged prostate: Conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that affects many men as they grow older, can raise PSA levels.
  • Older age: PSA levels normally go up slowly as you get older, even if you have no prostate abnormality.
  • Prostatitis: This is an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland, which can raise PSA levels.
  • Ejaculation: Thiscan make the PSA go up for a short time. This is why some doctors suggest that men abstain from ejaculation for a day or two before testing.
  • Riding a bicycle: Some studies have suggested that cycling may raise PSA levels for a short time , although not all studies have found this.
  • Certain urologic procedures: Some procedures done in a doctors office that affect the prostate, such as a prostate biopsy or cystoscopy, can raise PSA levels for a short time. Some studies have suggested that a digital rectal exam might raise PSA levels slightly, although other studies have not found this. Still, if both a PSA test and a DRE are being done during a doctor visit, some doctors advise having the blood drawn for the PSA before having the DRE, just in case.
  • Certain medicines: Taking male hormones like testosterone may cause a rise in PSA.

Some things might lower PSA levels :

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How Do Men Feel About The Rectal Exam

I think most men are willing to do it, but some men are exceptionally opposed to it. They might be happy to hear that there are studies ongoing in the United Kingdom looking at using magnetic resonance imaging as a screening tool to be able to avoid doing a digital rectal exam in the future. There is a large African immigrant population in London with a higher incidence of prostate cancerthey didnt want to have the prostate exam because they had a lot of opposition to it. They were uncomfortable with it.

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Commonly Performed Urology Tests

If you need to get a urology test done, its probably a good idea to understand what urology is. Simply put, urology is a branch of health care that deals with male and female urinary tracts1. It involves the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Urology also includes the male organs used in reproduction, but excludes the female organs.

Urology, at its core, is a surgical specialty that helps to deal with the diseases of both male and female urinary tracts1. Urinary tract problems are possible regardless of age, so if you feel like youre having problems or things arent regular, its time to see your urologist. When you make an appointment to see your urologist, there are a number of commonly performed tests used in diagnosing the underlying problem. In this article, well discuss some of the most commonly performed urology tests used in the office. Based on the results of the test, further monitoring, care, or surgery is recommended and you and your doctor will discuss the best plan of action for your circumstances.

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Special Types Of Psa Tests

The PSA level from a screening test is sometimes referred to as total PSA, because it includes the different forms of PSA . If you decide to get a PSA screening test and the result isnt normal, some doctors might consider using different types of PSA tests to help decide if you need a prostate biopsy, although not all doctors agree on how to use these tests. If your PSA test result isnt normal, ask your doctor to discuss your cancer risk and your need for further tests.

Percent-free PSA: PSA occurs in 2 major forms in the blood. One form is attached to blood proteins, while the other circulates free . The percent-free PSA is the ratio of how much PSA circulates free compared to the total PSA level. The percentage of free PSA is lower in men who have prostate cancer than in men who do not.

If your PSA test result is in the borderline range , the percent-free PSA might be used to help decide if you should have a prostate biopsy. A lower percent-free PSA means that your chance of having prostate cancer is higher and you should probably have a biopsy.

Many doctors recommend a prostate biopsy for men whose percent-free PSA is 10% or less, and advise that men consider a biopsy if it is between 10% and 25%. Using these cutoffs detects most cancers and helps some men avoid unnecessary biopsies. This test is widely used, but not all doctors agree that 25% is the best cutoff point to decide on a biopsy, and the cutoff may change depending on the overall PSA level.

What Are Some Of The Limitations And Potential Harms Of The Psa Test For Prostate Cancer Screening

What it’s like to go for a rectal screening for prostate cancer

Detecting prostate cancer early may not reduce the chance of dying from prostate cancer. When used in screening, the PSA test can help detect small tumors that do not cause symptoms. Finding a small tumor, however, may not necessarily reduce a mans chance of dying from prostate cancer. Many tumors found through PSA testing grow so slowly that they are unlikely to threaten a mans life. Detecting tumors that are not life-threatening

that requires treatment.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Early Stage Prostate Cancer

The early signs include frequent or painful urination, increased urination at nighttime, presence of blood in the urine, and sexual dysfunction. Most cases of early prostate cancer do not have symptoms, and are incidentally detected in a routine checkup as elevated prostate-specific antigen findings.

Youre Not Necessarily Too Young For A Colonoscopy

Guidelines call for colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45 if youre at average risk. If youre at increased risk, based on family history of colon cancer or other factors, youll want to start earlier, typically at age 40. No matter your age, if you have blood in your stool, weakness and fatigue, or a major change in your bowel habits, talk to your doctor. Recent research from the American Cancer Society found a sharp rise in colorectal cancer rates among adults in their 20s and 30s in fact, a person born in 1990 has double the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer compared with people born in 1950.

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Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

When this happens, you may notice things like:

  • an increased need to pee
  • straining while you pee
  • a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied

These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer.

Its more likely theyre caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.

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Transrectal Ultrasound With Prostate Biopsy

Prostate cancer: Blood test could be used to check for aggresssive form ...

Transrectal ultrasound is most often used to examine the prostate. In a transrectal ultrasound, the health care provider inserts a transducer slightly larger than a pen into the mans rectum next to the prostate. The ultrasound image shows the size of the prostate and any abnormal-looking areas, such as tumors. Transrectal ultrasound cannot definitively identify prostate cancer.

To determine whether a tumor is cancerous, the health care provider uses the transducer and ultrasound images to guide a needle to the tumor. The needle is then used to remove a few pieces of prostate tissue for examination with a microscope. This process, called biopsy, can reveal whether prostate cancer is present. A transrectal ultrasound with prostate biopsy is usually performed by a doctor in a health care providers office, outpatient center, or hospital with light sedation and local anesthesia. The biopsied prostate tissue is examined in a laboratory by a pathologista doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases.

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What Happens During A Dre

The DRE will take place in a private exam room at your doctors office. The test only takes a few minutes. You will need to take off any clothes below your waist. You will be given a gown to wear or a cloth to wrap around your body.

For men. The doctor will ask you to stand and bend forward at the waist or they will ask you to lie on your side on an exam table with knees pulled up to your chest. As they start the DRE, the doctor may ask you to relax and take a deep breath. Then they will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The doctor will feel the size of your prostate gland. They will also feel for bumps, soft or hard spots, or other abnormal areas. The doctor will also examine the wall of your lower colon and rectum.

For women. The doctor will usually ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. Your feet will be in raised stirrups. The doctor may ask you to relax and take a deep breath as they start the DRE. Then they will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The goal is to feel your reproductive organs and the bowel. The doctor may also feel for problems in your internal organs. They do this by pressing on your lower abdomen or pelvic area with their other hand.

A DRE usually does not hurt, but you may be uncomfortable. You may also feel the need to urinate. If a mans prostate is enlarged, there may be some discomfort or mild pain during the exam.

What Is A Prostate Exam

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.

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Questions To Ask The Doctor

  • What treatment do you think is best for me?
  • Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
  • Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
  • What will the surgery be like?
  • Will I need other types of treatment, too?
  • Whats the goal of these treatments?
  • What side effects could I have from these treatments?
  • What can I do about side effects that I might have?
  • Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
  • What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
  • Whats the next step?

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