You have decided to get a PSA blood test and it is higher than expected. The test is repeated, and remains elevated. When you look at you PSA blood test year over year, it has increased with time. You have a discuss with your primary care doctor and it is their recommendation that you consider a biopsy. A referral is placed to a urologist. Yet, before seeing the urologist you ask yourself: “should I consider an MRI of my prostate before undergoing a biopsy?” The answer in most case is “yes.” Let’s find out why.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and in the United States. About 1,600,000 men worldwide, and 165,00 men in the United States, are affected by prostate cancer each year. Typically, a blood called a PSA, or Prostate Specific Antigen, is used to screen for prostate cancer. The chances of being affected by prostate cancer increases as men get older. Therefore, it is important to know the right time to be screened for prostate cancer. With this in mind, the timing of prostate cancer screening depends of whether a man is considered an average or high risk for this disease. Let’s find out more about the when one should be screened for prostate cancer.
When you go to your doctor for a yearly visit, you may be offered a blood test to search for prostate cancer. This blood test is called a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). Nowadays, some professional societies recommend against using digital rectal exam to search for prostate for cancer. We have found the blood test is more helpful than using our finger to find cancer in average risk men, but the blood test is not perfect either. When receiving your test results, it is not enough to know if you test was “positive” or “negative.” You need to know your number. There are 3 different cut offs you should remember when looking at your PSA results.
There are a number of ways to detect prostate cancer. Traditionally, a doctor would attempt to feel the prostate gland with their finger. This is called a digital rectal exam, or a DRE. With time, it become apparent that this was not a perfect test for a number of reasons. Presently, we screen for prostate cancer with a blood test called a Prostate Specific Antigen, or a PSA. This test also has its limitations. Let’s find out more about how to look for prostate cancer with these two methods.
Before we begin our discussion on the symptoms of prostate cancer, it is important to realize that it is our goal to detect prostate cancer before symptoms develop. More prostate cancers are found when there are not symptoms at all. Instead, a high Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) may be found on blood testing or a hard prostate gland may be found on a rectal exam. When symptoms of prostate cancer come about, this can mean that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. At other times, the symptoms of prostate cancer can be confused with other conditions of the bladder and prostate. Let’s find out more about the symptoms of prostate cancer and what we can do to catch this disease early.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in the United States, and the second most common cancer in men worldwide. There are some well-established risk factors for prostate cancer. As with many cancers, there are some risks, such as our age, that are not under our control. While other risk, such as diet, are influenced by our decisions and can help lower the risk of cancer. When we look at the risk for prostate cancer; age, family history and ethnicity are major risk factors for this disease. Let’s find out more about prostate cancer and some of the things we can do decrease the chances of being affected by this disease.