As per health ministry directive, several breast awareness campaigns are organised round the year and women are made aware of self-examinations and periodic medical check-ups to detect breast cancer at the very early stage. But males are neglected and very little attention is paid to make males aware of an equally dreadful , probable silent cancer developing in their prostate.
In fact , men above 40 should watch their prostate health periodically as they may also suffer from prostate cancer. To determine prostate cancer, a blood test called Serum PSA should be done , which measures how much of a particular protein (called a prostate-specific antigen) is in their blood, which allows the early detection of prostate cancer. Hence, just a simple blood test done once every year for men above 40 will be able to detect any suspicious activity in the prostate to seek timely intervention.
Prostate problems and even prostate cancer is commonly seen in older men. The three most common forms of prostate disease are inflammation (prostatitis), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) and prostate cancer. Prostate cancer tends to affect the prostate gland that produces some of the fluid in one’s semen. It is usually seen in men above the age group of 60, and the typical symptoms are poor and interrupted flow of urine , frequent urge to urinate, painful urination, and blood in the urine or semen. If diagnosed in early stages before this cancer has spread to other organs of the body , Apart from open surgery (open radical prostatectomy )that is the surgical removal of the prostate gland, robotic surgery (Robotic radical prostatectomy ), can be performed with precision, and can aid cure from this dreadful cancer , faster recovery, along with reduced blood loss and pain, and short hospital stay.
If people suffering from prostate cancer are diagnosed at an early stage then it can be curable. . Since the risk of prostate cancer increases with age, early diagnosis is the key, and one of the best ways to do so is screening. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination of prostate by an urologist on annual basis , may aid in the early detection of prostate cancer, even before any clinical symptoms or discomfort is noted by the individual. Those patients who have a family history of prostate cancer, and visit the doctor with urinary complaints should get undergo PSA, every year, and see to it that you do not ignore the symptoms.
All you need to know about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
Are you aware? Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) can be described as a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland and tends to enter the bloodstream. Did you know? A range of disorders involving the prostate causes its cells to produce more PSA. One will be able to measure the raised amount of it with a blood test. Raised PSA levels can indicate several different disorders involving the prostate, one of which is prostate cancer.
Men who are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer, or men who have symptoms that may indicate cancer, are more likely to benefit from testing.
PSA is detected with the help of a blood test. Your doctor will swab your arm with the help of an antiseptic wipe, then insert a sterile needle into a vein (at the front of the elbow) to draw a small sample of blood. Then, the blood sample collected will be put in the test tube and sent to a laboratory for testing. Once, the test is done then your doctor will be able to tell you about the right kind of treatment for you.
This is how you must prepare yourself for PSA testing
Before opting for the PSA test, one should avoid ejaculating for 48 hours before the test. See to it that your doctor is well-informed about the medications you are taking before undergoing the test as there are chances that some medicines may interfere with your testing.
In case, you have recently opted for a needle biopsy, prostate surgery or intake of any hormonal medicines then your PSA results may be difficult to interpret. Thus, testing should be done after a few weeks in such individuals.
You can speak to your doctor and clear all your doubts about this. Also, do not forget to consult your doctor for symptoms like painful urination, an urgency to urinate, or discharge from the penis as these may indicate prostatitis or a urinary tract infection.
Takeaway: You will be able to treat your prostate cancer via PSA testing owing to the early detection. Do you know that PSA levels may be elevated even 5 years before prostate cancer produces any symptoms? Hence, early detection will be beneficial for the patient and will slash down the risk of complications due to the treatment of the disease, or of the disease itself. The bonus point, you will be able to enhance your quality of life.
BY: Dr S.K.Pal, Urologist and Andrologist, Apollo Spectra hospital Delhi, Kailash colony.