Prostate cancer is more likely to occur in men aged between forty and seventy years old. It is, therefore, important that you should always be on alert in case any symptoms begin to show. This prompts a visit to the doctor within the quickest possible time.
Deciding on whether or not to be screened for prostate cancer is difficult and requires a lot of thought. Consultations with your doctor need to be done thoroughly, especially if there are any symptoms showing. It is also important to gather as much information as possible in order to understand the risks and benefits involved in the treatments that deal with prostate cancer.
What test is done to diagnose prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer can develop very slowly, sometimes making it difficult to detect. However, other cancer cells develop rapidly and are easy to detect. The prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening is the most commonly used test for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. When to begin screening for prostate cancer is usually based on various factors such as:
- Health of the individual
- History of prostate cancer in the family
What are the advantages and disadvantages of PSA tests?
Early screening for prostate cancer increases the chances of the cancer being detected and treated early. The PSA test has advantages and disadvantages that come with it. Some of the advantages of this test include:
- Early detection of prostate cancer
- Simple blood test
- It helps men to know whether or not they have cancer
- Prostate cancer can be treated early
However, despite the advantages, PSA tests are accompanied with disadvantages such as inaccurate PSA test results. They may show the presence of cancer when in fact it is not there, or show the absence of the disease when it is there.
If it shows the presence of prostate cancer, you may undergo treatment, when in the real sense, you are not sick. These treatments may result in other problems such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Hence, you may end up dealing with problems you didn’t have before. If the PSA test shows the absence of cancer, the cancer may spread, and thus, cause more harm as it will not be treated early.
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can also cause restlessness. You may begin to feel depressed or traumatized, especially if the cancer is life-threatening. You will, therefore, require every support available from friends and family to cope with the situation.
By analyzing the occurrence of prostate cancer in your family, you will be able to assess the risks and chances of getting prostate cancer. If you have family members who have had it, the risk of getting prostate cancer is higher. It is, therefore, important that you go for a PSA screening at the earliest possible time.
The Bottom Line
Making the decision to go for a prostate cancer screening is entirely dependent on an individual. If symptoms begin to show up, or you get concerned based on your family history of the disease, it is best to consult a doctor for advice on whether to do the screening or not.