What causes prostate cancer? It is likely to occur due to obesity, increasing age, lazy routines, high intake of fatty substances and smoking.
As per the health ministry directive, several breast awareness campaigns are organised around the year and women are made aware of self-examinations and periodic medical check-ups to detect breast cancer at the very early stage. But males are neglected, and very little attention is paid to make males aware of an equally dreadful, probable silent cancer developing in their prostate. Men above 40 should watch their prostate health periodically as they may also have prostate cancer. Those subjects who have a family history of prostate cancer, and visit the doctor with urinary complaints should get undergo PSA, every year, and see to it that you do not ignore the symptoms.
All you need to know about Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
Are you aware? Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) can be described as a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland and tends to enter the bloodstream. Did you know? A range of disorders involving the prostate causes its cells to produce more PSA. One will be able to measure the raised amount of it with a blood test. Increased PSA levels can indicate several different disorders involving the prostate, one of which is prostate cancer.
How is Prostate Specific Antigen detected?
PSA is detected with the help of a blood test. Your doctor will swab your arm with the use of an antiseptic wipe, then insert a sterile needle into a vein (at the front of the elbow) to draw a small sample of blood. Then, the blood sample collected will be put in the test tube and sent to a laboratory for testing. Once, the test is done then your doctor will be able to tell you about the right kind of treatment for you.
This is how you must prepare yourself for PSA testing
- Before opting for the PSA test, one should avoid ejaculating for 48 hours before the test. See to it that your doctor is well-informed about the medications you are taking before undergoing the test as there are chances that some medicines may interfere with your testing.
- In case, you have recently opted for a needle biopsy, prostate surgery or intake of any hormonal medicines, and then your PSA results may be difficult to interpret. Thus, testing should be done after a few weeks in such individuals.
- You can speak to your doctor and clear all your doubts about this. Also, do not forget to discuss it with your doctor for symptoms like painful urination, an urgency to urinate or discharge from the penis as these may indicate prostatitis or a urinary tract infection.
Takeaway tip: You will be able to treat your prostate cancer via PSA testing owing to the early detection. Do you know that PSA levels may be elevated even five years before prostate cancer produces any symptoms? Hence, early detection will be beneficial for the patient and will slash down the risk of complications due to the treatment of the disease, or of the disease itself. The bonus point, you will be able to enhance your quality of life.
(The article has been medically reviewed by Dr S.K.Pal, Urologist and Andrologist, Apollo Spectra hospital Delhi, Kailash colony).
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