Mens Cancer Prevention & Care At Southwest General
Men should see their doctor regularly for recommended health screenings and testing. Our Southwest General Medical Group offers primary care and specialty care to help men protect and monitor their health. To learn more about our cancer care services or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.
Do Doctors Still Perform Prostate Exams
Post-prostatic massage. In rare cases, your doctor might massage your prostate and test the secretions. Imaging tests. In some cases, your doctor might order a CT scan of your urinary tract and prostate or a sonogram of your prostate. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays do.
Prostate Health: 6 Ways To Keep Your Prostate Healthy
However, suppose you are at a higher risk of prostate cancer or are experiencing urinary or sexual symptoms. In that case, you should have a discussion with your healthcare provider about prostate cancer screening sooner rather than later. People who may have a high risk of prostate cancer include :
- African Americans
- Men with a family history of prostate cancer or who have tested positive for BRCA1, BRCA2, or HOXB13 gene mutations
- Men with symptoms like blood in the urine, painful or frequent urination, or sexual problemsthese may be signs of problems with the prostate, including prostate cancer.
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Imaging Tests For Prostate Cancer
Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. One or more imaging tests might be used:
- To look for cancer in the prostate
- To help the doctor see the prostate during certain procedures
- To look for spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body
Which tests you might need will depend on the situation. For example, a prostate biopsy is typically done with transrectal ultrasound and/or MRI to help guide the biopsy. If you are found to have prostate cancer, you might need imaging tests of other parts of your body to look for possible cancer spread.
The imaging tests used most often to look for prostate cancer spread include:
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Should You Choose To Be Screened For Prostate Cancer At All
Prostate cancer is a disease that many men die with rather than of that is, despite aggressive prostate cancer killing some men, many more men would peacefully co-exist with their mild prostate cancers if they were left undiscovered.
Detecting prostate cancer might do good if it allows timely treatment to save mens lives, but can do harm via treatment side-effects: impotence, incontinence, the anxiety of false alarms or of discovering cancer, and so on.
Whether prostate screening saves lives at all is still debated. Several trials have found no preventive effect. The best-conducted trial showed that screening could prevent about one in five deaths from prostate cancer. However, this protection doesnt happen very often.
For a useful illustration, see the second page of this information sheet. This shows that over 11 years, about 1,000 men must be screened to save one life. In saving this one life, the trade-offs include:
- scores of men will have to undergo a prostate biopsy
- several will have complications of this biopsy
- about 37 extra men will find out they have prostate cancer
- several will suffer cancer treatment side effects such as impotence or incontinence.
How should we weigh up these pros and cons?
For some men, the small chance of benefit and the larger risk of harm leads them to decide not to proceed with testing. For others, the possibility of averting a cancer death, though small and uncertain, is worth the risks.
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Prostate Exam Vs Colonoscopy: Whats The Difference
At first glance, it might seem that a prostate exam is similar to a colonoscopy. After all, both exams involve your rectal area. However, these two tests are quite different.
While a prostate exam involves feeling the prostate with a gloved finger, a colonoscopy examines the walls of your colon by inserting a flexible camera into your rectum. The prostate is not examined at all during this procedure unless your healthcare provider manually performs an exam.
A prostate exam is a fairly quick procedure performed in an office setting. A colonoscopy, on the other hand, is an outpatient procedure in the hospital that requires IV sedation.
When To Start Prostate Exams
The American Cancer Society recommends that men aged 50 start prostate cancer screenings. However, African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should start screening at age 45. In general, most experts recommend getting a prostate exam every three to five years.
Your doctor will check the prostate gland for any lumps or abnormalities during a prostate exam. Its not painful, but some men may feel uncomfortable during the exam.
These are some types of prostate exams:
- Digital Rectal Exams : During a DRE, the doctor physically examines the rectum to feel for any abnormalities in the prostate. This exam can help detect prostate cancer in its early stages
- Prostate-Specific Antigen Tests : A PSA test measures the level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate present in the blood. A high PSA level may be a sign of prostate cancer
If any of the above tests is abnormal, further testing may include:
- Biopsies: A needle is used to sample tissues for cancer cells. This is typically done as an MRI-guided biopsy.
- Screening Tests: Screening tests can sometimes have incorrect or unclear test results, making it essential to speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this test. Men should talk to their doctor about how often they should get a prostate exam, depending on their health status.
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What Is A Digital Rectal Exam
The most common way for doctors to check on the health of your prostate is with a DRE. Its a fairly quick and simple procedure.
For the exam, youll bend at the waist while standing or lie on your side with your knees bent toward your chest.
Your doctor will lubricate a gloved finger and gently place it inside your rectum. Theyll press one hand on your prostate, and their other hand will feel your pelvic area. It should only take a few moments.
You may experience momentary discomfort. You may also feel the urge to urinate, especially if your prostate is enlarged or inflamed.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if your prostate seems to be a normal size and shape. In general, a DRE has no risks.
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.
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Should I Have A Prostate Cancer Screening Test
Routine testing for prostate cancer in all men without symptoms is not recommended in New Zealand at present. Being tested for prostate cancer is your choice. Learning about the pros and cons of prostate testing can help you decide if it is right for you.
To help you decide if a prostate check is right for you, the Ministry of Health has developed the Kupe website. It will help you understand the risks, benefits and implications of prostate testing, so you can have an informed conversation with your doctor.
If you are unsure about whether you need to get tested for prostate cancer, contact your GP for a discussion on the risks and benefits of testing.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
If youre 50 and you havent had your first prostate exam yet, call your healthcare provider to set up an appointment. If youre at higher risk, such as if you’re Black or prostate cancer runs in your family, you should have your first prostate exam by age 45.
Furthermore, if you develop symptoms of urinary tract obstruction, schedule a visit with your provider right away. This may indicate an enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia or a urinary tract infection.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Most people are understandably apprehensive about their first prostate exam. Learning all you can about the process can help abate any fears or uncertainties you have. Talk to your healthcare provider about your screening options. A prostate exam is the first step in the early detection of prostate cancer and early detection is key to successful treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/04/2022.
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Prostate Exams: Do You Really Need One
Prostate cancer, although the second most common cancer in men in the United States, is extremely treatable when it is detected in its early stages.
Recently, there has been debates in the medical community about whether or not the benefits of a prostate exam outweigh the risks. We asked Jeffrey Spencer, MD, a Urologist at Finger Lakes Urology Institute for his expert opinion on prostate exams and prostate cancer screenings.
What Would You Say To Men Who Dont Want To Get A Prostate Check
A rectal exam is recommended but optional. We recommend both, but if theyll just let you do a blood test, thats better than not doing anything at all.
If concern about the rectal exam is the only reason youre not getting screened, talk to your doctor about it. We can discuss the risks and benefits. None of the evaluation tests are mandatory, but the reason we do that is that it improves our ability to detect cancer. So, if thats why youre not being evaluated, we can talk and decide if we can do other tests.
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What Do The Results Mean
PSA levels may be above the baseline for various reasons other than prostate cancer.
Other that can raise PSA levels include:
- 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.
Reach Out To Us Today
Prostate screenings are crucial to have so that men can catch any signs of prostate cancer early on. Once a man reaches the ages of 40 and above, it is best that he begins to consult with a doctor about this test.
If you have questions about getting a prostate screening and the importance of them, then reach out to our office so that we can help you further. Give us a call or stop by our office today and wed be happy to assist you in any way that we can.
Request an appointment here: or call Center for Adult Medicine and Preventive Care at for an appointment in our Passaic office.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
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What Do My Psa Test Results Mean
Once your test results are back, your healthcare provider will let you know if any additional testing is recommended. PSA levels can vary over time for several reasons unrelated to prostate cancer . So, if you have a borderline PSA, your provider may simply recommend another PSA test in six months or so.
Two Main Screening Tests
There are two tests commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:
- The Digital Rectal Exam : A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
- The Prostate Specific Antigen Test: This exam measures the level of PSA in the blood. The levels of PSA in the blood are often higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be high in other conditions that affect the prostate.Usually, the higher the bloods PSA level is, the more likely it is that a prostate problem is present. But other factors, such as age and race, also can raise PSA levels. PSA levels also can be impacted by certain medical procedures, some medications, an enlarged prostate or a prostate infection.Since your PSA level may be high for other reasons, your doctor will need to interpret the test results.
If the results of the PSA and/or DRE suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will need to do a prostate biopsy to find out. This means a sample of your prostate tissue will be removed with a needle and sent to a lab, where a specialist will determine if it contains cancer cells.
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Research Into Prostate Cancer Screening
Research is ongoing to find other prostate cancer screening tests and ways to improve the current test. This includes:
- new blood and urine tests
- a combination of a blood test and other information such as age and family history
- MRI and other types of scans
More research is needed to find out whether these tests are reliable enough to detect prostate cancer.
What You Need To Know About The Prostate How Are Prostate Exams Done
A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.
While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.
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Preparing For A Prostate Exam
Theres nothing special that you need to do to prepare for a prostate exam. Tell your doctor if you have or hemorrhoids, as a DRE may aggravate these.
If you undergo 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.
You can get a prostate exam easily and quickly at your doctors office. Generally, for prostate cancer screenings, your doctor will take a simple blood test.
Are Prostate Cancer Screenings Recommended
Absolutely. Screening for prostate cancer is very important and recommended by the American Urology Association for men over 55 years old–age 40 if they are at higher risk. Prostate cancer is very treatable and early detection of prostate cancer is key to treatment and recovery.
Men should have a conversation with their primary care physician about their personal health to determine the best time for prostate cancer screening.
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Weighing Your Options For Treatment
If you test positive for prostate cancer, you have some options as to what youd like to do about it. Until recently, nearly everyone opted for surgery or radiation, while some patients choose not to undergo treatment, instead opting for active surveillance, during which the cancers are left alone but regularly monitored to be certain that theyre not growing.
Certainly, screening can lead to earlier prostate cancer detection, and with earlier detection, youre eligible for multiple different treatments or active surveillance, said Sia Daneshmand, MD, director of urologic oncology at USC Urology of Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of urology at Keck School of Medicine of USC. So we encourage patients who are candidates for screening to discuss it with their urologist and/or primary care physician so that we can determine whats the best course of treatment for them.
There also is a new option for those seeking prostate cancer treatment. Its called High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound , which uses ultrasound beams to non-surgically destroy prostate tumors.
Examination Of Your Prostate
When your doctor examines you it might include feeling your prostate gland. To do this your doctor puts a gloved finger into your back passage to check for abnormal signs, such as a lumpy, hard prostate. Doctors call this test a digital rectal examination .
Its normal to feel a bit anxious about this test and it might be uncomfortable. But it usually only takes a few minutes.
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