This is a guest piece written by a friend of mine. Prostrate cancer can be fatal but a very simple test can indicate whether it’s present and catch it early. For some men there is a stigma attached to having a prostrate exam – just think of Karl Pilkington in Idiot Abroad who was practically coerced into having his prostrate examined, as he was concerned about the intimate nature of the examination. This simple test could in fact save your life and this is especially important for men over 50.
I’ll link a support resource at the bottom of this thread so read to the bottom for that and hope you will find the following article helpful.
Guest blogger Hadrian’s guide to testing prostrate cancer and the following steps.
This cancer is often known as the silent killer as in many cases it shows no significant symptoms. In the early stages, any symptoms that due show, might be interpreted as the normal effects of ageing that men go through, notably a need to use the loo more often, especially at night. Most prostate
cancers are detected when a man visits his GP with symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.
It is the most common cancer in men with more than 50,000 cases annually, some 12, 000 men will die each year from the disease and 1:8 men will be diagnosed at some point in their lifetime.
It mainly affects men over 50 and black or mixed-race men are more vulnerable.
The first diagnostic step is usually a visit to the GP who will examine the prostate by inserting a finger into the back passage and feeling the prostate the results are likely to be:
Normal It feels smooth and the correct size for your age.
Larger than average A possible sign of an enlarged prostate
Hard and or Lump A possible sign of prostate cancer
A blood test to look at the PSA (prostate specific antigen) level may be carried, its not a definitive
test but an elevated level may be indicative of problems and further tests may be required.
Possible options include an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to get a detailed picture of the gland and the organs around it, a specialist will look at the results and provide a grading indicating how likely it is that you have cancer.
A biopsy will also be performed to take tissue sample to see if it is cancer and how aggressive it is.
A CT scan may also be performed to see if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the nearby bones or lymph nodes.
All the above taken together allows the consultant in charge to develop a detailed picture of your cancer and the associate risk, this is often referred to as the Gleason score or the Grade group, in a nutshell the higher the score the greater the risk.
I won’t go into treatment option here because there are so many variables, but this cancer can be treated and even if it advanced and a cure is not possible then treatments that controls the disease
and prolong life are available.
If you are suffering from prostrate cancer you can find support at the organisation below.