All You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer
It is quite perplexing yet true that a cancerous growth can start developing anywhere in the human body, which is primarily made up of trillions of cells. When you get cancer, the orderly process of the cells in your body gets disrupted. Cancer cells are abnormal cells, and these cells live on even when they become old or damaged. New cells are formed even when they are not needed by the body and they keep dividing without stopping. The extra cells form tumours. Cancerous tumours may be malignant or benign.
A prostate cancer is a cancerous growth that occurs in the prostrate gland in men. In the early stages, cancer grows very slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland only. According to medical research, prostate cancer is known to affect one in every six men at some stage of their lives. Older men above the age of 60 years are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Prostate cancer is like a silent ticking bomb. It causes no noticeable signs or symptoms during the early stages. Doctors feel that patients with prostate cancer who have been detected early (first stage), have a greater chance at eliminating the cancerous symptoms and becoming cancer-free.
Advanced prostate cancer may develop certain symptoms such as the following:
- Trouble during urination
- Blood detected in the semen
- Noticeable decrease in the force while passing urine
- Vague discomfort in the pelvic region
- Experiencing bone-related pain
- Developing erectile dysfunction
New Prostate Cancer Test
According to a 2018 research, a brand new prostate cancer-related screening called IsoPSA is said to be more precise and accurate than the normal PSA testing. Unlike PSA test, this new testing doesn't require unnecessary and extensive procedures.
IsoPSA study was published in the scientific 'Journal of Urology' and hints at accurate results and elimination of unwanted biopsies and other follow-up tests. The current PSA test cannot distinguish between a common inflammation, enlargement of prostate gland or cancer. Men suspected of stage one prostate cancer end up going through irrelevant biopsies conducted to rule out cancer. The new IsoPSA test is said to be an ideal screening procedure for detecting prostate cancer.
Prostrate Test Procedure
Screening for prostate cancer may include:
- a) DRE or Digital rectal examination. In this procedure, the medical expert inserts a lubricated and gloved finger inside the rectum to examine the prostate gland. If the physician finds any kind of abnormality in the shape, size or quality of the prostate gland, he may suggest further tests.
- b) PSA testing, wherein a blood sample is taken to analyse the prostate-specific antigen that is naturally found in the blood. If the level of PSA is abnormal, it may indicate infection or even cancer.
- c) Newer tests such as IsoPSA test can be undergone for an exact diagnosis to identify prostate cancers.
- d) Both PSA testing and DRE test needs to be done to identify stage one prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
As per USPSTF recommendation, for men between the ages of 55 to 69 years, the decisiveness to undergo a professional PSA screening needs to be a personal one after consulting their doctors. There may be several underlying factors such as over-diagnosis, treatment complications and even false or baseless results (positive) that can actually cause more harm than good. In men who are above the age of 70 years, it is recommended that the PSA screening for prostate cancer should be avoided.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Treatment procedures for prostate cancer patients depend on varied medical factors like the spread of cancer, its growth and potential advantages and disadvantages of a specific treatment. Men who are diagnosed with very low-risk prostate cancer can opt out of remedial treatment and focus on active surveillance.
In the active surveillance, the patient has to under regular blood check-ups, rectal exams and even biopsies to monitor the progression of cancer. Advanced prostate cancer can be treated by surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, cryosurgery, chemotherapy or biological therapy.
What are the five red warning signs that indicate prostate cancer?
The 5 early warning signals that indicate prostate cancer are facing difficulty while urinating, frequent urination during night time, sudden loss of bladder control, blood found in the semen, and blood detected in the urine.
What age should you have a prostate cancer exam?
Men above the age of 50 years should undergo a prostate cancer exam after discussing it with a reputed healthcare provider.
How to check for prostate cancer at home?
You can buy a DIY medical kit for prostate self-test and check yourself for prostate cancer.
What is a normal PSA for a 75-year-old man?
For men in the age group of 70 to 79 years, doctors feel that a serum PSA reference range – 0.0 to 4.0 ng/ml is considered to be normal.