Editorial Sources And Fact
- Can prostate cancer be found early? American Cancer Society.
- What’s new in prostate cancer screening and prevention? Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, August 2009 vol. 76 8 439-445.
- Interview with Dan Zenka.
Understanding Your Biopsy Results
You might have a negative biopsy. This means that no cancer cells were found. Your doctor might arrange another biopsy even if the first biopsy was negative. Theyll discuss this with you. This is because in some cases biopsies can miss cancer.
If they find cancer cells, a pathologist grades each sample of prostate cancer cells from 3 to 5 based on how quickly they are likely to grow or how aggressive the cells look. You may hear this being called the Gleason grade, Gleason score or Grade Group.
Gleason score or Grade Group
The pathologist works out an overall Gleason score by adding together the 2 most common Gleason grades. This combined score is also now called the Grade Group.
There are 5 Grade Groups. Grade Group 1 is the least aggressive and Grade Group 5 is the most aggressive.
It can be difficult to understand what the Gleason score and Grade Group mean in your situation. We have more information about the Gleason score and Grade Groups. And you can ask your doctor and specialist nurse if you have any questions about this.
What Are The Limitations Of Prostate Ultrasound Imaging
Men who have had the tail end of their bowel removed during prior surgery are not good candidates for ultrasound of the prostate gland because this type of ultrasound typically requires placing a probe into the rectum. However, the radiologist may attempt to examine the prostate gland by placing a regular ultrasound imaging probe on the perineal skin of the patient, between the legs and behind the scrotum of the patient. Sometimes the gland can be examined by ultrasound this way, but the images may not be as detailed as with the transrectal probe. An MRI of the pelvis may be obtained as an alternative imaging test, because it may be obtained with an external receiver coil.
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Other Factors That Influence Psa Levels
The PSA blood test alone cannot diagnose prostate cancer. It is possible, although rare, to have prostate cancer without raised PSA levels in the blood. A higher-than-normal PSA level doesnt automatically indicate prostate cancer either. A high PSA level is due to cancer in around one in three cases.
PSA levels can be raised by other factors, including:
- , also known as benign prostatic enlargement .
For this reason, the PSA blood test isnt used in isolation when checking for prostate cancer.
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Genetic Testing For Some Men With Prostate Cancer
Some doctors now recommend that some men with prostate cancer be tested to look for certain inherited gene changes. This includes men in whom a family cancer syndrome is suspected, as well as men with prostate cancer that has certain high-risk features or that has spread to other parts of the body. Talk to your doctor about the possible pros, cons, and limitations of such testing.
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Any Sign Of My Car Keys
At what age should you get a prostate exam? Because the early stages of prostate cancer often show no symptoms, detecting it ASAP is the only reason you need to get checked. And if the doctor finds your keys, consider it a bonus. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends you wait until youre around 50 to get screened for prostate cancer.
As you can tell, prostate exams are, ahem, the butts of some pretty good one-liners. Here are some more:
After my prostate exam, the doctor left. The nurse came in with a worried look on her face, and said the three words I was dreading to hear: Who was that?
I had a prostate exam yesterday. Thats the last time I will ever fall asleep on the subway!
I went to see my doctor for a prostate exam. There was nothing to worry about he gave me the thumbs up!
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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Whats The Best Treatment For Prostate Symptoms
Treatments for prostate cancer include surgery to remove the prostate, radiation therapy, and ablation therapies, as well as active surveillance. Some treatments are better for some men and some prostates than others. There are side effects for each, so it really requires an informed discussion to help each man make an educated decision.
One thing we do at Yale is use an MRI of the prostate to evaluate the location of the prostate cancer for surgical planning. Ive found it to be quite helpful. Its not done everywhere.
Medical History And Physical Exam
If your doctor suspects you might have prostate cancer, you will be asked about symptoms you are having, such as any urinary or sexual problems, and how long you have had them. You might also be asked about possible risk factors, including your family history.
Your doctor will also examine you. This might include a digital rectal exam , during which the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that might be cancer. If you do have cancer, the DRE can sometimes help tell if its only on one side of the prostate, if its on both sides, or if its likely to have spread beyond the prostate to nearby tissues. Your doctor may also examine other areas of your body.
After the exam, your doctor might then order some tests.
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What Should You Do Before Prostate Exam
Prostate exams need no preparations beforehand. Some men might feel responsible for emptying their bowels before a prostate exam. However, doctors reassure their patients that there is no need to worry about the fecal matter during the prostate exam. They are professional staff that know how to handle the situation so as their patients feel comfortable and safe at all times.
There are other concerns regarding the need of a fasting period before prostate exam. This consideration also relates to the bowel movement before prostate exam. Nonetheless, patients have no need to deviate from their eating and drinking habits before their doctor appointment.
Who Should Get A Digital Rectal Exam
Not all medical institutions agree on when men should begin screening for prostate cancer or even if a DRE should be part of the screening.
To help detect prostate cancer in its early stages, the American Cancer Society recommends that men talk to their doctors about the benefits, risks, and limitations of prostate cancer screening before deciding whether to be tested.
For most men at average risk, discussions about screening begin at age 50. However, some doctors recommend that men at higher risk of prostate cancer African-American men or men with a family history of prostate cancer start screening earlier.
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What Happens After The Exam
When abnormalities are found with the rectal exam, the doctor will order a PSA test. After the results for PSA testing are returned, the doctor will analyze the measurements of prostate-specific antigen in the patients blood.
The findings of the PSA test determine what the doctor will do next.
If the doctor suspects prostate cancer, other tests may be requested. A transrectal ultrasound is often requested. This gives the doctor a visual view of the patients prostate gland.
Cancerous growths can be observed through this type of ultrasound test. The test is also relatively quick to perform. Men may experience discomfort when an ultrasound is performed. The discomfort should not last long, however.
A prostate biopsy is sometimes done. This helps to provide a more accurate test for cancer. A colonoscopy is sometimes needed too. This is especially the case when prostatic carcinoma is suspected.
American Cancer Society Recommendations For Prostate Cancer Early Detection
The American Cancer Society recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion about screening should take place at:
- Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
- Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age .
- Age 40 for men at even higher risk .
After this discussion, men who want to be screened should get the prostate-specific antigen blood test. The digital rectal exam may also be done as a part of screening.
If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the mans general health preferences and values.
If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:
- Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
- Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.
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Who Should Get Screened For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer typically starts in men around 55 to 70 years old. For men who are not at a higher risk of developing the disease should begin a conversation with their doctor about getting screened in their fifties and repeat the screening about every two years.
Men who are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer should begin screenings at age 40. Those at higher risk for prostate cancer include:
- Black or African-American men
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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.
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Can A Swollen Prostate If Untreated Cause Prostate Cancer
We have no evidence of that. Theyre completely unrelated problems. The area of the prostate that causes urinary symptoms is usually a different part of the prostate than where cancer is likeliest to develop.
Doctors divide the prostate into different zones. The zone that is associated with BPHand the majority of prostate growthis the transition zone. Prostate cancer occurs there much less often than in the peripheral zone, which is the outer area.
What Is A Prostate Examination
A prostate examination is also known as a digital rectal exam and it entails a doctor inserting his or her gloved finger into the rectum. The doctor feels for any abnormal surfaces and growths.
This empiric examination is usually backed up by a PSA blood test. This routine checkup measures the level of Prostate-Specific Antigen in the blood. If the results come back with abnormal PSA quantity in the blood, and the prostate exam concluded with the presence of unusual lumps, then the healthcare provider may suggest a prostate biopsy on grounds of prostate cancer concerns.
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Trust The Urology Team At Lmh
If youre a man over 50, you need an experienced urologist on your care team. Theyre trained to check for prostate cancer and other urologic diseases, often before symptoms appear.
If youre experiencing urinary symptoms, Dr. Stephen Beck and Monica Davis, NP, will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that restores your health and improves your quality of life.
The Test Is Often Not Needed
Most men with high PSAs dont have prostate cancer. Their high PSAs might be due to:
- An enlarged prostate gland.
- Recent sexual activity.
- A recent, long bike ride.
Up to 25% of men with high PSAs may have prostate cancer, depending on age and PSA level. But most of these cancers do not cause problems. It is common for older men to have some cancer cells in their prostate glands. These cancers are usually slow to grow. They are not likely to spread beyond the prostate. They usually dont cause symptoms, or death.
Studies show that routine PSA tests of 1,000 men ages 55 to 69 prevent one prostate cancer death. But the PSA also has risks.
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What Does An Enlarged Prostate Feel Like On Exam
Doctors performing a prostate exam are well versed in how a healthy prostate feels versus a diseased one. For that matter, a healthy prostate is recognized by its smooth surface.
On the other hand, an ill prostate gland is swollen, so it its size is unusually larger. Whats more, the surface gets hard and it can be full of lumps.
Tests To Diagnose And Stage Prostate Cancer
Most prostate cancers are first found as a result of screening. Early prostate cancers usually dont cause symptoms, but more advanced cancers are sometimes first found because of symptoms they cause.
If prostate cancer is suspected based on results of screening tests or symptoms, tests will be needed to be sure. If youre seeing your primary care doctor, you might be referred to a urologist, a doctor who treats cancers of the genital and urinary tract, including the prostate.
The actual diagnosis of prostate cancer can only be made with a prostate biopsy .
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What Is A Psa Test
If the doctor finds abnormalities during the DRE, then the patient needs to undergo more tests. A PSA test is very commonly requested. It is also called a prostate-specific antigen test, or a PSA blood test.
A PSA test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the patients bloodstream. This is an indicator of various prostate-related conditions. The doctor may use the results from a PSA test to determine the abnormality of the male patients prostate.
Several conditions may be detected through a PSA test. This is because the level of PSA in the body increases when certain things affect the prostate gland.
When the prostate is affected by inflammation, the PSA levels will generally increase. The same happens when the man develops an infection in their prostate.
An enlargement of the prostate gland is also known to elevate the protein levels in the mans body. This is an indication of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a prevalent condition in men. When left untreated, an enlarged prostate can cause problems. This includes a risk of infections bladder infection and urinary tract infections can occur.
A PSA test can also help in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. When cancerous cells develop in the prostate gland, the PSA levels in the mans body will also rise.
Information Needed To Diagnose An Enlarged Prostate
When you go to your appointment, bring information on your current symptoms, as well as a written record of your past medical problems.
Your healthcare provider will ask if you are having difficulty urinating, a weak stream, or nighttime urinating. They will aslo want to know if youve noticed blood in your urine or if there is burning .
You should also bring a complete list of all prescription and over-the-counter medicines that you are taking to see whether they are related to your symptoms. Certain drugs may interfere with urination. Over-the-counter medications, such as allergy and decongestant medicines, may prevent you from urinating. Other drugs that can make your symptoms more severe are opioids and anticholinergics.
Finally, tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of alcohol use. Alcohol can also interfere with urination.
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