Prostate cancer is a disease caused by a malignant or metastatic tumor, which starts from the outside of the prostate and may spread out to other organs of the body. The sooner a prostate cancer is detected and treated, the better chances of survival are given to the patient. Below are the medical ways of how prostate cancer can be detected:
- As soon as a man reaches the age of 40, he should begin visiting his urologist for prostate cancer screening. This is an important step even if he's not feeling any symptoms of the disease yet. At the early stage of prostate cancer, when the tumor is still small and treatable, there are no detectable symptoms yet. You have all the more reason for prostate cancer screening if you have a history of the disease in your family.
- There are two well-known methods of prostate cancer screening which are recommended at least once a year. These are:
- DRE or the Digital Rectal Exam. In this method, the doctor places his gloved finger into the rectum to check if there is any abnormality of the prostrate. Typically, an enlargement on the size or shape of the prostate will be seen. The prostate is located just in front of the rectum, so this process isn't really hard to do.
- PSA or the Prostate Specific Antigen Test. This procedure includes performing blood tests to calculate the PSA level, which is a protein produced by the prostate. Even though high PSA level results may not necessarily signify the presence of prostate cancer cells, it may from time to time denote an enlargement, but a benign one, or maybe a urinary tract infection. Normal PSA levels show a discrepancy for certain ages. Men belonging to the age range from 40 to 49 should have a normal PSA level of less than 2.5ug/L. Those from 50 to 59 should have a normal value of less than 3ug/ml, while those from 60 to 69 must have a normal value of less than 4ug/L.
- If, from any of the two tests, a positive result would come out, a biopsy would be the next necessary procedure to confirm if the patient really has prostate cancer. This is done with the aid of ultrasonography, while the doctor tries to get sample tissues from different parts of the prostate. The tissue samples will then be viewed under a microscope to check if cancerous cells are present. A computer scanner can provide details of the extent of cancer cells.
- When an undetected tumor reaches its advanced stage, symptoms below can be observed:
- frequent nocturnal urination
- pelvic or lower back pains
- intermittent urination
- nausea and vomiting
- burning sensation or presence of pain
- easily gets tired while urinating or during ejaculation
- presence of blood in the urine or semen
- loss of appetite
- unable to urinate
Early detection of prostate cancer lies in the awareness of the person himself. It is a fact that one in every six men will be diagnosed with this disease, so don't let yourself be caught unguarded.