When Should I Get Checked For Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is more likely to occur in men aged between forty and seventy years. It is therefore important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. Symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor as soon as possible.
Deciding on whether or not to be screened for cancer in the prostate gland 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 too.
What Test Is Done To Diagnose Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer can develop very slowly, sometimes making it difficult to detect. However, others develop rapidly and are easier to detect. The PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening is the most commonly used test for screening prostate cancer.
When to begin screening for prostate cancer is usually based on various factors such as:
- The health of the individual
- The history of prostate cancer in your 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:
- It helps in early detection of prostate cancer thus increasing the chances of the disease being treated sooner.
- It is a simple procedure.
- It helps men determine whether or not they have cancer.
- It reduces fatality chances as a result of early detection.
However despite the advantages, PSA tests are accompanied with demerits such as: PSA test results can be inaccurate. They may show presence of cancer when in fact it is not there or show absence of the disease when it is there.
If it shows presence of prostate cancer, you may undergo unnecessary. 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 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, especially if the cancer is life threatening. You will therefore require every support available from friends and family in order to cope with the situation.
By analyzing the occurrence of prostate cancer in your family, you can be able to assess the risks and chances of getting prostate cancer. If there are family members who have had it, the risks of getting prostate cancer are higher. It is therefore important that you too go for a PSA screening in the earliest possible time.
The Bottom Line
Making the decision to go for prostate cancer screening is entirely dependent on an individual. If symptoms begin to show up, or you get concerned based on your family history on the disease, it is best to consult a doctor for advice on whether to do the screening or not.