Prostate Cancer & Prostate Check
Prostate cancer is the most common cacner in New Zealand men. Some are slow growing and will never cause problems. Other grow quickly and spread. If caught early, prostate cancer can be managed well and can usually be cured.
All men have a prostate. It is a small walnut-shaped gland that surronds the bladder opening. It produces some of the fluid in the semen. Early prostate cancer causes no symptoms. As the cancer grows, it can cause symptons such as urinating mor often, trouble starting or stopping and often getting up at night to pee. If it has spread outside the prostate gland, it can cause pain in the lower back, hips or ribs. These symptoms may not be caused by prostate cancer but it's important to get them checked by your doctor straight away.
Prostate cancer is more common as men get older. It is rare in men under 50. Men with father or brother with prostate cancer are more than twice as likely to develop it. Talk to your doctor about your prostate cancer risk.
Having a prostate check is your decision. It won't tell you if you have a prostate cacner. The check assesses how likely you are to have prostate cancer. Checks usually involved a blood test - called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and a rectal examination.
The prostate gland maks PSA. Higher than normal levels of PSA can be caused by an infection of the prostate gland, by an enlarged prostate (not cancer) or by prostate cancer. Most men with a higher than normal PSA level won't have prostate cancer. However, your overall risk of having prostate cancer is higher if you have a higher level of PSA than normal.
Rectal examination is a quick way for your doctor to check for prostate problems. To feel the surface of your prostate, the doctor will place a gloved finger into your rectum. You are more likely to have prostate cancer if your prostate feels rough, hard or irregular.
Your doctor will discuss your prostate check resultes with you. If the results indicate that you have higher risk of prostate cancer, your doctor will refer you to a specialist. The specialist may discuss having a biopsy. Prostate cancer that is found early can usually be cured. If cancer is found, your specialist will discuss treatment options with you.
Yours in good health - Dr. Ruoh Sim