What Happens After A Psa Test
Once blood is taken, tests are run to assess the PSA level. Normal levels of the protein-specific antigen will typically result in further testing at your discretion. High PSA levels will result in additional tests, such as further prostate gland examination or a biopsy of the prostate, as determined by your doctor. It is important to understand that prostate cancer can be present with a low PSA level and a higher PSA level can be present without cancer.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis .
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.
It’s more likely they’re caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.
Prostate Cancer And Incontinence
Prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, other prostate issues, and the treatment of the prostate can result in temporary or permanent incontinence. This occurs because the prostate is essential to the male urinary tract. If you experience incontinence following your prostate treatment, your Urologist may recommend using incontinence products or other treatments .
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Why Is Active Surveillancethe Wait
We utilize active surveillance for men who have been diagnosed with a low-grade prostate cancer. The reason we monitor low-grade prostate cancer using active surveillance, rather than treating it aggressively, is that there are cancers that dont need treatment.
With low-grade prostate cancer, youre more likely to have problems from the treatment than from the prostate cancer. Any treatment we do for prostate cancer is going to affect a mans urinary and sexual function. It may affect it a little bitor a lot. With this type of prostate cancer, we can tell you now that theres very little likelihood the cancer is going to cause you any problems. We have a good and growing amount of evidence that low-grade prostate cancers, on average, progress very slowly and do not appear to spread to the lymph nodes. Active surveillance lets us detect higher grade disease and treat it at that point.
For us to do anything and treat it is going to change your quality of life. I think thats a powerful thing.
What Is A Digital Rectal Exam
The most common way for doctors to check on the health of your prostate is with a DRE. Its a fairly quick and simple procedure.
For the exam, youll bend at the waist while standing or lie on your side with your knees bent toward your chest.
Your doctor will lubricate a gloved finger and gently place it inside your rectum. Theyll press one hand on your prostate, and their other hand will feel your pelvic area. It should only take a few moments.
You may experience momentary discomfort. You may also feel the urge to urinate, especially if your prostate is enlarged or inflamed.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if your prostate seems to be a normal size and shape. In general, a DRE has no risks.
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Should I Have A Prostate Cancer Screening Test
Routine testing for prostate cancer in all men without symptoms is not recommended in New Zealand at present. Being tested for prostate cancer is your choice. Learning about the pros and cons of prostate testing can help you decide if it is right for you.
To help you decide if a prostate check is right for you, the Ministry of Health has developed the Kupe website. It will help you understand the risks, benefits and implications of prostate testing, so you can have an informed conversation with your doctor.
If you are unsure about whether you need to get tested for prostate cancer, contact your GP for a discussion on the risks and benefits of testing.
What Will Happen At My First Prostate Exam
This largely depends on the nature of the consult. If youve never had a prostate exam before, it would often involve the GP taking a thorough history of your health background, examination and tests.
PSA is likely the most common form of test, and simply involves a blood test.
The test that many men feel nervous about is called a DRE however it is no longer recommended as an initial screening test for prostate cancer. Only if you begin exhibiting signs or symptoms synonymous with prostate cancer, is your doctor likely to refer you on for further test / specialist consultation.
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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.
Craig Melvin And Al Roker Premiere ‘get Checked’ Psa
Dr. Matthew Rettig, the medical director of the Prostate Cancer Program at the Institute of Urologic Oncology at UCLA in California, said that even if screenings aren’t performed right away, men should at least start talking about them with their doctors early in life.
“I think I would have that conversation fairly early on in life, maybe even in 30s or 40s, about when to initiate screening,” said Retting. “I think that would be most important for patients who are at high risk for prostate cancer and high risk for early onset of prostate cancer. Those are the types of patients that probably ought to have the discussion and make a decision about when to start screening at a relatively young age.”
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
If you havent been for a prostate exam for some time, it is well worth keeping an eye out for the warning signs of prostate cancer. Some of the warning signs include:
- Changed urination patterns. This can include urinating more frequently or finding it necessary to urinate more often at night. Finding it difficult to empty your bladder, or a weak/interrupted flow can also be a warning sign.
- Blood in urine or semen. Sometimes this may be accompanied by pain or a burning sensation.
- Erectile dysfunction or otherwise abnormal function. If youve found yourself having difficulties gaining or maintaining an erection, and cant identify any other likely cause, this may be a symptom of prostate cancer.
- Discomfort sitting or bending this can be an indication that your prostate is abnormally enlarged.
These warning signs can vary significantly between individuals. The absence of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of prostate cancer. Other symptoms may include weight loss, swollen feet, fatigue, or muscle pain elsewhere in the body. To be sure, it is important to book yourself in for a prostate exam.
If you are healthy and have no symptoms/signs, think about doing a prostate exam from 40 years old.
A prostate exam is advisable every one to two years once you reach the age where there is an increased risk of prostate cancer from around 50 and order.
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 men’s health threats.
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What Recent Research Tells Us About Prostate Cancer Screening
Depending on how often screening is done, it may help reduce the chances of dying of prostate cancer, but the research indicates that the vast majority of men with prostate cancer die of a different cause, even if they are not treated.
Two major research studies have tried to shed light on the value of regular screening: the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and the European Randomized Trial of Screening for Prostate Cancer .8 The PLCO studied 76,000 men, aged 55-74, for 7-10 years and found that the death rate from prostate cancer was low, and that it did not differ between the men who were screened every year for the first six years of the study and those who received their usual care .9 For most of the patients, usual care included at least one screening during the first seven years of the study. There were also no significant differences in overall death rates between the groups. Although the randomized portion of the study was completed in 2006, researchers are still studying the patients to see how long they live.10
Recent updates to a 2010 meta-analysis of six randomized, controlled prostate cancer screening trials further support the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. Analysis of data on almost 330,000 men showed no significant difference in the risk of death from prostate cancer between the men who received PSA screenings and those who did not.13
Prostate Cancer Screening Ages 40 To 54
The PSA test is a blood test that measures how much of a particular protein is in your blood. Its been the standardfor prostate cancer screening for 30 years.
Your doctor will consider many factors before suggesting when to startprostate cancer screening. But hell probably start by recommending the PSAtest.
While the general guidelines recommend starting at age 55, you may need PSAscreening between the ages of 40 and 54 if you:
- Have at least one first-degree relative who has had prostate cancer
- Have at least two extended family members who have had prostate cancer
- Are African-American, an ethnicity that has a higher risk of developing more aggressive cancers
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First Of All Lets Talk About The Prostate
The prostate is a male gland that helps produce semen, which is the fluid that carries sperm. It is located just below the bladder .
As you get older, the prostate may enlarge and begin to cause problems, including:
- Infection due to bacteria
- A greater need to go to the bathroom, especially at night
- Enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Prostate cancer
Is Surgery Effective For Men With Early
When they hear the word cancer, many men want it treated immediately no matter how slow it is growing or how unlikely it is to be fatal. The question is: if found in its early stages, should prostate cancer be treated?
In July 2012, a study by researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examining the effectiveness of surgery in men with early-stage prostate cancer.16 Known as the Prostate Cancer Intervention versus Observation Trial, or PIVOT, the study compared surgical removal of the prostate with no prostate cancer treatment. The 731 men who participated in the study, with an average age of 67, were randomly assigned to one of the two groups and followed for 8 to 15 years. All the men were enrolled between 1994 and 2002, with a final check-up taking place in 2010. Men in both groups went to the doctor every six months during the study, and men in the observation-only group were offered palliative therapy or chemotherapy to relieve symptoms due to the cancer spreading to other parts of the body. Neither therapy can eliminate the cancer and, therefore, are not treatments.
Since prostate cancer treatment can cause serious side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence, active monitoring seems to be a reasonable option.
All articles are reviewed and approved by Dr. Diana Zuckerman and other senior staff.
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Living With Prostate Cancer
As prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, you can live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment.
You may find it beneficial to talk about the condition with your family, friends, a family doctor and other men with prostate cancer.
Financial support is also available if prostate cancer reduces your ability to work.
Can You Be Too Old For A Prostate Exam
Surprisingly, yes. In 2008 the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended against screening for prostate cancer in men over 75. While there is some disagreement about this as adults continue to live longer, research and clinical experts say that after the age of 75 prostate cancer tests are generally not necessary. The theory as to why men over 75 do not need to be tested is because the cancer will be clinically insignificant and the adult will not benefit from therapy. In simple terms, it is unlikely for a man over 75, who hasnt tested positive for prostate cancer previously, to have prostate cancer become serious enough to cause complications or death. The US Preventive Services Task Force concluded in 2008 that the harm outweighs the benefits.
So, if you are a male over or approaching 75, you may not need to be tested for prostate cancer anymore. However, due to increasing life expectancy, what is now 75 may soon become 80 or 85. It is always recommended to discuss these topics with your doctor! If you are in good health at 75 or 80, your doctor may recommend continuing prostate testing/exams.
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information about incontinence, health, and related subjects. The content in this blog, and any linked resources, are not intended and should not be taken as medical advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, please consult a licensed physician.
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How Should I Prepare For The Exam
You should tell your doctor if you have hemorrhoids, anal tears, or other problems with your anus. The exam will be easier if you breathe normally and try to relax.
Before having a PSA test, tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you take. Recent ejaculation can also affect your PSA levels. Ask your doctor if you should abstain from sexual activity before the test.
Your blood must be sent to a laboratory for analysis, so your PSA results wont be available immediately. Your doctor will let you know when they have the results.
The lab report will show the level of PSA in your blood as:
In addition to looking at the amount of PSA in your blood, your doctor will assess how quickly this number is changing. Many things can affect PSA, so test results require careful analysis by an expert. Your doctor will take all of your health information into account.
If you have an abnormal PSA test result, it doesnt mean you have prostate cancer. Most men with a high PSA level dont have prostate cancer. About 25 percent of men who have a biopsy due to a high PSA level have prostate cancer.
Its also possible for men with prostate cancer to have normal DRE and PSA test results.
What Are The Prostate Cancer Symptoms I Need To Look Out For
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not show any symptoms. Symptoms of early prostate cancer can include:
- difficulty passing urine
- a slow, interrupted flow of urine
- frequent passing of urine, including at night
Symptoms associated with advanced prostate cancer include:
- blood in urine
- pain during urination
- lower back or pelvic pain.
These symptoms are also found in men who may have benign prostatic hyperplasia , a common, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
If you experience these symptoms, visit your doctor.
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Deciding If You Need A Prostate Screening