Prostate cancer can be frightening, as it threatens the sexuality of men. As a lot is at stake when a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis is made, early detection of prostate cancer is important. Furthermore, when detected early there is a greater chance of successful treatment and longer survival rate. In fact, statistics of prostate cancer show that there is only 3% risk of dying of the disease that is why there should be a focus on early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.
Since prostate cancer symptoms are vague, your physician would recommend the following tests:
- PSA blood tests
Routine blood tests are ordered to check the overall health condition of the patient. For older men, PSA blood test is included in the routine blood test to check whether there is a problem with the prostate. PSA or protein-specific antigen levels in the blood are evaluated. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate cells, both normal and abnormal. High levels of PSA may signal a presence of cancer but it can also mean other prostate problems or a urine infection. PSA test should not be taken when you have a urine infection, therefore you should inform the physician for any recent episodes of urine infection.
There are no “normal” PSA blood test results. However, a standard range for men 60 years old and below is 3ng/ml, and any significant increase (more than 10ng/ml) from this value means that it is most likely prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Diagnosis usually shows PSA readings in the level of hundreds or thousands, and this also means rapid spread of the cancer.
PSA blood tests are also used during the treatment of prostate cancer to detect prostate cancer resolution. For instance, if the PSA readings are stable this means that the cancer spread has halted, while decreasing levels would signify that the treatment is successful.
- Digital Rectal Examination
In this procedure, the physician will insert a gloved finger into the rectum (through the anus) and palpate for any lumps or nodules in the prostate gland. Any positive findings would warrant further tests, like PSA or ultrasound.
- Rectal Ultrasound
In order to visualize the prostate gland, rectal ultrasound is done to create a picture of the prostate gland. This test is non-invasive, thus there is no pain involved. If you are scheduled for an rectal ultrasound, you should have had a bowel movement first in order to gain a clear picture of the prostate gland.
- Prostatic Biopsy
Another Prostate Cancer Diagnosis tool that is important is the prostatic biopsy. If there are findings of lumps in the digital rectal exam, a needle biopsy of the prostate gland follows. Rectal ultrasound is also used as a guide for needle biopsy. By visualizing the affected areas of the prostate gland, a tissue sample is taken and checked for the presence of cancer. This is accomplished by having the needle passed through the rectal wall.
Preparations for prostatic biopsy include repeat PSA blood tests and antibiotics to prevent infection after the biopsy. The physician will inject a local anesthetic into the rectum first and then go on with the needle biopsy. After the biopsy, you should make sure to increase your fluids to prevent bleeding and the development of infection. It is normal to notice small amount of blood in the urine or stool, however heavy bleeding should be reported to the physician immediately.
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis through early detection and screening save and prolongs the life of the patient. All are encouraged to be conscientious to the annual prostate cancer screening. Relatives are also encouraged to be more aware of the subtle symptoms of prostate cancer, in this way death from prostate cancer would be reduced, and a lot of deaths could be avoided by starting erlier with prostate cancer treatment.