Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is September. Three million men in the United States are living with Prostate Cancer. For men whose cancer is confined to their prostate, the five year survival rate is almost 100 percent. For men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is 29 percent.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States.
Nothing could be more important and easy than seeing a doctor or health care provider for a simple blood test (prostate-specific antigen or PSA) and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Despite this it is surprising learn that the PSA blood test for prostate cancer isn’t always part of a man’s annual physical exam. Many men actually refuse a digital rectal exam (DRE).
It’s important to note that an elevated PSA level doesn’t necessarily indicate prostate cancer. It’s simply one of the initial warnings that more information is necessary for your physician to make a good decision. It is best to have a digital rectal exam (DRE) done at the same time as your doctor may detect an abnormal bump (possibly tumor) on your prostate. What men need to know is that a digital rectal exam (DRE) sounds much worse than it is. The same is true for a man’s first colonoscopy.
Generally the first step toward a prostate cancer diagnosis is a biopsy. A prostate biopsy is an invasive procedure that involves a series of needles and puncture wounds to the prostate. Most men fear a biopsy of the prostate due to the fact that in the event cancer is present research has discovered that the biopsy increases inflammation and the progression and spread of cancer. Only 75 percent of cancers are detected via a patient’s initial biopsy. Often this leads to multiple invasive biopsies generally spaced from 6 weeks to three months apart.
Today it is important for patients to know the prostate biopsy alternatives. You can learn more about these alternatives here: http://www.bestprostatehealth.com/category/prostate-biopsy-2/ Another resource about the “Prostate Biopsy, MRI, PSA, and Prostate Cancer” can be found here: http://ezinearticles.com/?Prostate-Biopsy,-MRI,-PSA,-and-Prostate-Cancer&id=9193061
The more you know the more you will realize that there is no reason to fear a simple prostate screening. It could save your life.
** This news and information presented is about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
In the 1980s a technique was developed in which tissues samples were taken systematically from the prostate in hopes of locating a tumor within the prostate gland. Typically men whose physicians discover elevations in PSA levels, a common blood test to screen for prostate cancer, trigger over 1 million prostate biopsies annually. Most biopsies performed are conventional biopsies otherwise known as blind biopsies. Men who undergo these biopsies dread them and for good reason. They are painful and 75 percent of the biopsies performed are negative for prostate cancer.
Despite this many men with negative biopsies but elevated PSA levels may still harbor malignant tumors – tumors missed by these conventional biopsies. Most men who have a prostate biopsy will have additional biopsies. This is especially true as many men with negative biopsies but elevated PSA levels may still harbor malignant tumors – tumors missed by conventional blind biopsies.
A study at Johns Hopkins in 2011 found a significant rise in serious complications post prostate biopsy requiring hospitalization. They found that this common outpatient procedure, used to diagnose prostate cancer, was associated with a 6.9 percent rate of hospitalization within 30 days of biopsy. This does not include complications that were treated in an emergency department or outpatient setting. In 33% of men undergoing prostate biopsy, side effects that men consider a “moderate or major problem” will be experienced, including pain, fever, bleeding, infection, and transient urinary difficulties. A rise in PSA (prostate-specific antigen) may not warrant immediate biopsy, especially because 20%-30% of men will drop back to a lower level simply by repeating the test.
A PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test is still beneficial for you and your health care provider. Despite the fact that a majority of men with an elevated PSA do not in fact have prostate cancer, but may have other reasons for an elevated PSA such as prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
In August 30, 2011 an article entitled “Prostate Cancer: The Dreaded Prostate Biopsy and Alternatives” points out the alternatives to a traditional biopsy. It is now 2015. It is important to note that imaging of a tumor as discussed then never under staged a tumor but it actually makes it look worse than it is. Also in 2011 doctors at UCLA published a study on “Prostate cancer now detectable using imaging-guided biopsy”. This actually makes sense. If you are going to have a biopsy of your prostate there truly is no point in having a conventional blind biopsy of the prostate. The MRI options available today to detect prostate cancer with imaging make a conventional biopsy look Jurassic in comparison. If you suspect you have prostate cancer you should be asking your specialist health care provider about having an MRI before you consider a biopsy.
This article was originally published October 16, 2015 and has been adapted by the publishing author with appropriate links. The author is affiliated with Best Prostate ® a dietary supplement for prostate health. If you have an enlarged prostate or are living with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate you may want to visit www.bestprostate.com to learn about effective natural alternatives as compared to prescription medications.