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.
Is It Time You Booked A Prostate Exam
Prostate checks are a part of life for most adult men. Its a necessary step to ensure that you stay on top of your health and become aware of any abnormalities before they evolve into serious problems.
For many men, it can be a nervous time. General Practitioner, Dr Sir-Kit Leong, from SmartClinics Clayfield in Brisbane has answered some of the most frequently asked questions by patients. Take a read and if youre still unsure, book an appointment with your GP for a chat before committing.
The Test Is Often Not Needed
Most men with high PSAs dont have prostate cancer. Their high PSAs might be due to:
- An enlarged prostate gland.
- Recent sexual activity.
- A recent, long bike ride.
Up to 25% of men with high PSAs may have prostate cancer, depending on age and PSA level. But most of these cancers do not cause problems. It is common for older men to have some cancer cells in their prostate glands. These cancers are usually slow to grow. They are not likely to spread beyond the prostate. They usually dont cause symptoms, or death.
Studies show that routine PSA tests of 1,000 men ages 55 to 69 prevent one prostate cancer death. But the PSA also has risks.
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Preparing For A Prostate Exam
If you decide to get a prostate cancer screening, your doctor will likely order a blood test, so inform the person drawing your blood if youre prone to dizziness.
Your doctor may ask you to sign a consent form before performing a cancer screening.
What To Expect During The Digital Rectal Exam
Your doctor may examine you either standing or lying down.
- If standing, you will be asked to stand facing the examination bed, with feet apart, body bent forward and your arms or elbows on the bed. Feel free to ask your doctor to give you a heads up before making any sudden movements.
- Wearing surgical gloves, the doctor will coat a finger in lubricant.
- The finger will be inserted into your rectum in a downwards angle. You may feel a little pressure or slight discomfort, but it shouldn’t hurt. It is important to relax and take deep breaths and let the doctor know immediately if there is pain.
- Your doctor may have to wait a few seconds for your external sphincter muscle to relax, and may ask you to bear down as if you are having a bowel movement.
- The doctor moves the finger in a circular motion in order to identify the lobes and groove of the prostate gland. The doctor checks for:Lumps on or around the prostate
- Hard spots or bumps
- Abnormalities on the prostate
- A normal prostate is usually around 2-4 cm long and has a triangular shape, with a firm and rubbery texture
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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.
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.
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How Should I Prepare For The Exam
Men need to understand how they should prepare for a prostate exam. The first thing to know is how the process works. Men should know exactly what to expect. This will help them to remain relaxed during the procedure. The man will also be able to breathe normally if they know how the procedure works.
Men do need to ensure that they tell the doctor if they have any problems with their anus or rectum. This includes telling the doctor about hemorrhoids. The man should also tell the doctor if they have an anal tear.
When the man needs to undergo a PSA test, there are a few things they should tell their doctor too.
A list of medications and supplements taken by the man should be noted to the doctor. There are a few products that can interfere with the results of a PSA test. The doctor will be able to determine if any drugs the patient takes may alter the PSA test results.
The man also needs to understand that ejaculation can affect their PSA levels. If the man had recently ejaculated, they should note this to the doctor too. Men should also ensure they do not ejaculate too closely to a PSA test. A doctor will be able to tell the patient if they need to avoid having sexual intercourse prior to the test.
How A Doctor Performs A Prostate Exam
The male reproductive system relies on a healthy prostate to function. The prostate is a relatively small gland. It is the size of a chestnut . The prostate produces a fluid that combines with sperm.
The prostate fluid helps to nourish sperm. In turn, reproduction is possible, and semen can survive in the acidic environment of the vagina.
There are times when a prostate may give a man problems. Several complications have been linked to the prostate gland. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is generally considered the most common type of prostate condition.
Other common issues that men are concerned about include prostate cancer and prostatitis.
Prostate screening is one of the first diagnostic tools used to detect these problems.
While men generally find this to be an uncomfortable procedure, its benefits need to be considered.
We take a look at how a prostate exam is done. The post also considers why a prostate exam is done.
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What Is The Prostates Function
The prostate is a gland which produces some of the semens ingredients. About the size of an apricot, the gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The fluid that the prostate gland secretes keeps sperm alive. It also keeps the genetic code of sperm protected as they travel from the testes and through the urethra.
Prostate Exam In Concord Mint Hill And Charlotte
Some men are hesitant about getting tested, but a skilled urologist will give you confidence and knowledge about maintaining your prostate health. Dr. Richard Natale is here to help you maintain optimum sexual health and overall health as well.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natale, contact our friendly staff at Carolina Urology today by calling 786-5131 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.
What Do The Results Mean
PSA levels may be above the baseline for various reasons other than prostate cancer.
Other factors that can raise PSA levels include:
- older age
- an enlarged prostate â because of benign prostatic hyperplasia , for example
- prostatitis, which is inflammation and swelling of the prostate
Also, people with obesity may have lower PSA readings.
In addition, some medications may reduce PSA levels, including:
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which can help treat BPH
- aspirin, which some people take regularly as a blood thinner
- statins, which help manage cholesterol levels
- thiazide diuretics, a kind of water pill that can help reduce high blood pressure
Some herbal medicines and supplements can also lower PSA levels. Tell the doctor about any medications and supplements before undergoing the test.
High PSA levels alone do not indicate cancer. However, if a DRE also reveals changes, a doctor may recommend a biopsy for a more accurate result.
The PCA3 is another test for prostate cancer that doctors use in some circumstances. Find out more.
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What Happens After A Clinical Exam
Your next steps will depend on what, if any, symptoms your doctor observed during the clinical exam.
Here are some possibilities:
- Youre referred to a urologist or other specialist for specialized testing and diagnosis.
- You get further testing done to diagnose conditions that may be causing genital abnormalities or growths.
- Youre prescribed medication that can relieve symptoms of genital abnormalities or dysfunction.
- Youre referred to a therapist or counselor if the cause of your genital abnormalities is psychological or emotional.
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What Happens During A Prostate Exam
If youve never had a DRE before, you may be concerned about what happens during a prostate exam and what it feels like. Dont worryit is not a painful experience.
Before performing a prostate exam, your healthcare provider will ask you to remove your clothes from the waist down and will provide you with a gown to wear. During the DRE, you will stand and bend at the waist or lie on your side with your knees bent. Your healthcare provider will apply lubricant to a gloved finger, gently insert it into your rectum, and sweep their finger along the wall of the rectumthis allows them to feel any abnormalities in the prostate.
Your provider may press down on your lower abdomen during this process, potentially causing mild discomfort and the urge to urinatethis is normal. The good news is these sensations only last a few minutes.
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.
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How Often Do I Need A Prostate Exam
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, and its also highly treatable if caught early. There are a number of treatment options that have proven to be successful in combatting prostate cancer, even in its advanced stage.
Early detection is crucial because it gives you more treatment options and a better chance of eliminating cancer. The prostate-specific antigen test is used to check the PSA levels in your blood, and these levels are different for every man the indicator is whether the number is going up as compared to your prior PSA exam result. If your PSA is high the first time you have the test, your doctor may ask you to have a biopsy.
Similarly, your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam during your annual checkup to feel for any lumps or enlargement of your prostate. Lets talk about how often you might need to have a prostate exam and what you can expect.
When Should Guys Start Getting Prostate Exams
In general, it is recommended that men with an average risk of prostate cancer start being screened with a digital rectal exam and PSA blood levels at age 50. See a doctor who can help Find Urologists near you There is some evidence that…
When should a man start getting his prostate checked …
When should a man start getting his prostate checked … Answer. In general, it is recommended that men with an average risk of prostate cancer start being screened with a digital rectal exam and PSA blood levels at age 50. There is some evidence that African-American men should start being screened a decade earlier, at age 40.
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What Should I Look Out For
The above recommendations apply to screening only i.e. if youre not experiencing symptoms. For many men, prostate cancer can be symptomless because of the way it grows: youll only notice changes if it grows too close to your urethra, disrupting the urinary process. The symptoms of this include:
- Trouble starting a urine stream
- Having a weak urine stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Urinary retention
- Pain after urination or ejaculation.
If youre experiencing these, you should come in for a prostate exam. However, dont panic: the most common cause of the above isnt cancer its benign prostatic hyperplasia . This is when your prostate naturally grows large enough to block your urinary tract. 50% of men aged 51 60 suffer from it, and the number rises as you age. There are a number of treatment options available, from lifestyle changes and medications to minimally invasive procedures and surgery.
Another cause of these symptoms could be prostatitis, which is when your prostate becomes infected. This usually affects men aged 30 50. Additional symptoms include pain in and around your penis, testes, anus, abdomen or lower back, or erectile dysfunction. Usually, this will improve over time and with treatment.
The other symptoms to look out for are signs that prostate cancer has spread. If the cancer breaks out of the prostate, symptoms could include back, hip or pelvis pain, erectile dysfunction, blood in urine or semen, and unexplained weight loss.
When Should You Start Doing Self
If you develop a genital or rectal condition at a young age, your doctor may ask you to start doing genital self-exams.
Otherwise, you probably wont need to do self-exams until you begin going through puberty.
Your doctor may also start performing genital exams at this time if they arent already as part of your annual physical.
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Expert Review And References
- Prostate cancer. American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society . Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society 2013: .
- Andriole GL, Crawford ED, Grubb RL 3rd, et al. Prostate cancer screening in the randomized Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial: mortality results after 13 years of follow-up. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2012.
- National Cancer Institute. Prostate Cancer Screening Health Professional Version. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute 2014: .
- Scher HI, Scardino PT, Zelefsky. Cancer of the prostate. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 68:932-980.
- Tangen CM, Neuhouser ML, Stanford JL. Prostate cancer. Thun MJ . Schottenfeld and Fraumeni Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. 4th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press 2018: 53:997-1018.
When To Startand Stopscreening
The doctors and researchers who recommend screening argue that cases of prostate cancer found very early can be cured more quickly, with less chance of relapse or spread. Those who recommend against routine screening point to the slow-moving nature of prostate cancer and the side effects of surgical and medical treatment, which can be considerable.
The introduction of PSA screening in the US led to an initial increase in the number of prostate cancer cases diagnosed each year, even though many of these new cases were non-aggressive or low-risk prostate cancer. The issue was not that screening was harmful, it was that many of these low-risk cancers did not necessarily need immediate treatment. It seems strange to say that a patient might be better off leaving cancer untreated, but in some cases, it can be true. For a few years, the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommended against PSA screening. We are now seeing more cases of advanced prostate cancer diagnosed in recent years. This may be a long-tail effect of that USPSTF recommendation. It has now been changed to note that for men aged 55 to 69 years, the decision to undergo PSA screening is an individual one and should be discussed with your doctor. USPSTF continues to recommend against screening for men aged 70 and over.
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