Our Doctors are sensitive to the difficulty some men have in discussing these issues and are experienced in managing them.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the prostate that form a lump (tumour). In time, without treatment, it may spread to other organs, particularly the bones and lymph nodes, which can be life threatening. Generally at the early and potentially curable stage, prostate cancer does not have obvious symptoms. This makes it different from other benign prostate disorders, which may result in urinary symptoms.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
In the early stages of prostate cancer, there may be no symptoms at all. As prostate cancer develops, symptoms can include the need to urinate frequently, particularly at night, sudden urges to urinate, difficulty in starting urine flow, a slow interrupted flow and dribbling afterwards, pain during urination or blood in the urine or semen.
Please note that these symptoms are not always signs of prostate cancer. They can also be symptoms of other common and non-life threatening prostate disorders. Men who experience these symptoms should make an appointment at the clinic immediately to determine the cause and best treatment.
What testing methods are available?
Two simple tests can be done by a doctor:
The Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) – most men who have had the DRE test said it was a simple, painless exercise.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test – this test measures the amount of PSA in the blood. PSA blood test is not a cancer specific diagnostic test however it will alert doctors to abnormal growth in the prostate.
A combination of both a DRE and PSA blood test is recommended. These tests should be considered as part of a general male health check annually from 50 years of age or 40 if there is a family history of prostate cancer.
Who should be aware of prostate cancer and what should they do?
It is recommended that men aged 50 and over talk to their doctor about prostate cancer and if they decide to be tested, to do so annually. If there is a family history of prostate cancer, men from the age of 40 should talk to their doctor.