Next Gen Life - eMagazine Sept 2019 - Page 10



Unfortunately, prostate
cancer often shows no signs
or symptoms in its early
stages.
Who is most at risk?
Age and family history are the biggest risk factors in developing prostate cancer. As a
man ages, the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with one in six men
diagnosed by the age of 85.
A man with an immediate male relative with prostate cancer has a 50 per cent greater
chance of developing prostate cancer than a man with no family history. The more family
members with prostate cancer, and the younger they were when diagnosed, the higher
the risk.
Things to look out for
Unfortunately, prostate cancer often shows no signs or symptoms in its early stages. This
can make it difficult for it to be discovered early, when treatment is most effective.
When it is more advanced, some warning signs to look out for include having trouble
urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in semen, discomfort in the pelvic
area, bone pain or erectile dysfunction.
The lack of symptoms means that it’s even more important that men are familiar with their
bodies so that any changes are quickly noticeable. And if there’s any family history, then
annual check-ups are the best option for detection.
Diagnosis
The most common methods used to detect prostate cancer are through a PSA test
(prostate-specific antigen test) and a DRE (digital rectal examination).
PSA is a protein made by the cells of the prostate gland and found in the blood. A PSA
test measures the amount of the PSA protein in a man’s blood sample. The higher the
PSA level, the greater the chance that prostate cancer is present.
A DRE involves a doctor physically examining the prostate itself for any irregularities in
shape and size.
If either of these tests confirm a patient may be at risk of prostate cancer, the doctor will
arrange a biopsy.

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