Early Detection Saves Lives
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian men .
Prostate cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland. This gland is only found in males and is about the size of a walnut.
The causes of prostate cancer are not understood and there is currently no clear prevention strategy.
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.
American Cancer Society Recommendations For Prostate Cancer Early Detection
The American Cancer Society recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion about screening should take place at:
- Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
- Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age .
- Age 40 for men at even higher risk .
After this discussion, men who want to be screened should get the prostate-specific antigen blood test. The digital rectal exam may also be done as a part of screening.
If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the mans general health preferences and values.
If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:
- Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
- Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.
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Points To Remember About Referral Guidelines
- While reading these guidelines, it is important to remember that
- PSA testing of men who do not have symptoms or PSA screening is not national policy, a proistate assessment consisits odf a digital rectal examination and a PSA test.
- PSA testing should only be carried out after full advice and provision of information
- More than 99 out of every 100 men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 50
- About 75 out of every 100 men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 70
- The cumulative risk of a man developing prostate cancer before the age of 50 is 1 in 485 and before the age of 70 is I in 13
- Difficulty passing urine is common in the general population and on its own, is not a reason for your GP to suspect prostate cancer
- The most common signs of prostate cancer are a raised PSA blood test and an abnormality found by your GP during an examination of your prostate
- A normal PSA reading varies depending on your age
- Men with a first degree relative who have prostate or breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer themselves
Ask About Screening For Bowel Cancer
Early detection of bowel cancer greatly improves chances of successful treatment. Your risk of bowel cancer increases with age. If you are over age 50, you should be tested for bowel cancer every two years.
The National Bowel Screening Program, using FOBT, is offered free to all Australians aged 50-74 every two years. Cancer Council urges all eligible Australians to participate. Screening kits usually arrive within six months of your birthday.
Some people have known risk factors that put them at increased risk. If you do, your doctor will talk to you about regular surveillance.
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Psa Test For Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland makes a protein called prostate specific antigen . This protein helps to nourish sperm. Normally, only tiny amounts of it enter the bloodstream.
Cancer cells in the prostate interfere with proper functioning and can cause large amounts of PSA to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, when high levels of PSA are detected in the bloodstream, this may indicate cancer.
Early prostate cancer often has no symptoms. However, high PSA levels can occur five to 10 years before the onset of prostate cancer symptoms. In such circumstances, the PSA test can help to indicate the presence of cancer at an early stage.
Other tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis because an abnormal PSA test can be due to non-cancerous causes. Equally, it is possible for a man to have a normal PSA level when cancer is present.
How Is Prostate Cancer Detected
There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen blood test and the digital rectal examination .
The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A PSA above the typical range may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.
A DRE is generally conducted by a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.
If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging scan and transrectal ultrasound biopsy.
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Is Prostate Cancer An Hereditary Disease
Family history is the strongest known risk factor for prostate cancer. Current guidelines do recommend that earlier screening for men with a family history of the disease is necessary. The problem, due to limited evidence-based guidance available, was at what age this earlier screening should start.
The purpose of the study was to provide precise recommendations about at what age should relatives of prostate cancer patients start screening based on the number of affected relatives and the age at onset of prostate cancer in the family.
Prostate cancer screenings for men with a family history of the disease aim to prevent a diagnosis at a later, less treatable stage. This is what has been lacking in current prostate cancer screening guidelines. Currently, guidelines do recommend men with a family history to be screened earlier but the question has always been, at what age to start these earlier screenings. This is where this study aimed to fill in the data on the limited evidence available by pinpointing at what age these men should begin screening for prostate cancer.
The study was a register-based nationwide cohort study of all men living in Sweden born after 1931 along with their fathers who were included. Follow-up occurred from 1958 to 2015 of more than 6.3 million men out of which 88,999 of those men were diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 prostate cancer or died from the disease.
Get To And Stay At A Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for many types of cancer. You can control your weight with the choices you make about healthy eating and exercise:- Avoiding excessive weight gain throughout life- Balance the calories you take in with the amount of physical activity you do
If you are overweight, try to get to a healthy weight and stay there. Losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start. Watching your portion sizes is an important part of weight control especially for foods high in fat and sugar. Low-fat and fat-free doesnt always mean low-calorie, so read labels and try to eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in the place of higher-calorie foods.
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Risks And Benefits Of Psa Test
There are benefits of having a PSA test which include early detection of prostate cancer. The earlier cancer is detected, the better the chance of a cure.
There are also risks involved. These include:
- Worry about false-positive results caused by elevated PSA levels from something other than prostate cancer. A raised PSA result could be from something benign
- Invasive, stressful, expensive or time-consuming follow-up tests
- Stress or anxiety caused by knowing you have a slow-growing prostate cancer that doesnt need treatment
- Deciding to have surgery, radiation or other treatments that cause side effects that are more harmful than untreated cancer
Schedule A Comprehensive Health Screening With A Practitioner You Can Trust
Health screenings are based on the information you provide, so be sure to discuss your complete health history with your practitioner at every yearly visit. Write down questions you may have for your provider ahead of time and take notes during your appointment. Bring a list of your medications and supplements with you and share that information with your provider as well.
Your annual health screening is an opportunity to take control of your personal health and work with your provider to make shared decisions. Services available to you may differ based on your history, current symptoms, and health insurance provider.
Some variation exists regarding the timing and frequency of screening guidelines from the recommending entities.
Columbia NPGs board-certified nurse practitioners will work with you to decide which annual health screenings are best for you. You can call us at 212-326-5705 to schedule your appointment today.
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Early Cancer Detection Can Save Lives And Cut Treatment Costs But When Should You Start Having Prostate Exams And Do You Need To Have Them At All
When it comes to screening for prostate cancer, some men may be confused or apprehensive about beginning to get annual exams.
As prostate cancer affects one out of every six men, the American Cancer Society and other leading medical organizations recommend older men discuss having annual prostate cancer screenings with their primary care doctor to help detect the disease early. Early detection of the disease helps cure it in 90 percent of cases.
Generally, it is recommended that men with an average risk of prostate cancer start being screened with a digital rectal exam and PSA blood-level exam when they hit the age of 50. African-American men and men who have a father, brother or son who were diagnosed with prostate cancer when they were younger than 65 are at higher risk and should start screenings at age 40. Men who have had more than one of these close relatives diagnosed before age 65 are at even higher risk.
Study Finds Family History Of Prostate Cancer Supports Earlier Screening For These Men
A large nationwide cohort study in Sweden has found that men with a family history of prostate cancer have a greater risk of being diagnosed with an advanced phase of the disease making it more likely to be fatal. This has now warranted that screening guidelines be adjusted to include men with a family history of prostate cancer be advised to screen earlier for the disease than men in the general population.
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Cancer Screening Guidelines By Age
The choices you make about diet, exercise, and other habits can affect your overall health as well as your risk for developing cancer and other serious diseases.
Its also important to follow recommendations for cancer screening tests. Screening tests are used to find cancer in people who have no symptoms. Regular screening gives you the best chance of finding cancer early when its small and before it has spread.
Health care facilities are providing cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic with many safety precautions in place. Learn how you can talk to your doctor and what steps you can take to plan, schedule, and get your regular cancer screenings in Cancer Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The tabs below provide information on healthy lifestyle choices that can help lower your cancer risk, and cancer screening test recommendations by age.
Prostate Cancer Family History Warrants Earlier Risk
Men who have first-degree relatives affected by prostate cancer should start screening from 3 to 12 years earlier than the general population depending on their level of risk, according to investigators.
Current guidelines recommend earlier screening for men with a family history of prostate cancer, but the proposed screening ages are typically based on limited evidence and expert opinion.
To fill in the evidence gap, Mahdi Fallah, MD, PhD, of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and colleagues studied 6,343,727 men living in Sweden. Of the cohort, 88,999 men were diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 prostate cancer or died from the disease.
The investigators calculated that the 10-year cumulative risk of stage 3, 4, or fatal prostate cancer in the general population using age 50 years as the benchmark was 0.2%. Men with 2 or more first-degree relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer reached this risk level at 41 years of age when the youngest affected relative was diagnosed before age 60, or at 43 years of age when all affected relatives were diagnosed after age 59, Dr Fallahs team reported in PLOS One. Men with 1 affected first-degree relative reached this risk level at age 43, 45, and 47 when the relative was diagnosed before age 60, age 60 to 69, and age 70 or older, respectively.
The study authors acknowledged that the Swedish population is relatively homogeneous and genetic data were lacking, so their findings require validation.
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Should I Get Screened For Prostate Cancer
This video helps men understand their prostate cancer screening options.
In 2018, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force made the following recommendations about prostate cancer screeningexternal icon
- Men who are 55 to 69 years old should make individual decisions about being screened for prostate cancer with a prostate specific antigen test.
- Before making a decision, men should talk to their doctor about the benefits and harms of screening for prostate cancer, including the benefits and harms of other tests and treatment.
- Men who are 70 years old and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely.
This recommendation applies to men who
- Are at average risk for prostate cancer.
- Are at increased risk for prostate cancer.
Other organizations, like the American Urological Association,external icon the American Cancer Society,external icon and the American College of Physiciansexternal icon may have other recommendations.
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 .
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Two Main Screening Tests
There are two tests commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:
- The Digital Rectal Exam : A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
- The Prostate Specific Antigen Test: This exam measures the level of PSA in the blood. The levels of PSA in the blood are often higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be high in other conditions that affect the prostate.Usually, the higher the bloods PSA level is, the more likely it is that a prostate problem is present. But other factors, such as age and race, also can raise PSA levels. PSA levels also can be impacted by certain medical procedures, some medications, an enlarged prostate or a prostate infection.
Since your PSA level may be high for other reasons, your doctor will need to interpret the test results.
If the results of the PSA and/or DRE suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will need to do a prostate biopsy to find out. This means a sample of your prostate tissue will be removed with a needle and sent to a lab, where a specialist will determine if it contains cancer cells.
How Often Should Men Have A Prostate Screening
A prostate screening is extremely important to have regularly. Because, without them, a mans health is at a high risk of developing prostate cancer. Knowing how often prostate screenings should be had can be helpful to those men who are not sure.
A mans health is just as important to maintain as a womans. But most people are under the assumption that womens health needs more attention. However, that is not true. Men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, and it can become very problematic if not addressed.
Keep reading to find out how often a man should have a prostate screening.
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