Screening for Prostate Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 17, 2012

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Until now there have been no standard screening tests available for prostate cancer, but there are various tests that are resorted to to diagnose prostate cancer and its symptoms. Digital rectal examination and prostate specific antigen blood test being the most common ones. Take a look at the various prostate cancer screening tests.


Prostate Cancer Screening Tests

There are a number of tests carried out to diagnose prostate cancer. Early detection of prostate cancer can aid you in resorting to treatments available including radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy, advanced prostate cancer therapy and chemotherapy early. The various screening tests for prostate cancer are mentioned below:

Digital Rectal Examination— Digital rectal exam for prostate cancer detects the symptoms at their earliest stage when they are most treatable. This screening test is used to check abnormal growth or development in the prostate gland in men. Digital rectal examination is a part of regular check-up, but to check on the symptoms of prostate cancer, this test is advised by the doctors. The doctor examines patient’s rectum by inserting a gloved and lubricated finger in his rectum. This test may at times fail to diagnose all prostate-related problems.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test— A person is said to be suffering from prostate cancer if the amount of protein produced by the prostate cells is higher than normal levels in blood. The increased level of this protein in the blood can be citied due to some other reasons such as an infection, a non cancerous enlarged prostate, exercise and even sex. Therefore, further medical examination is required to correctly diagnose prostate cancer.

Prostate Ultrasound and Biopsy— Prostate ultrasound is conducted after digital rectal examination and PSA blood test have shown abnormal enlargement of prostate. A finger-sized probe is inserted into the rectum, which produces inaudible and harmless high-frequency sound waves that record images of prostate gland to detect abnormal growth.    

Cystoscopy or Bladder Scope Test— Cystourethroscopy (Cystoscopy) is used to evaluate the health of the bladder and urethra. The process of bladder scope, another name for cystoscopy, involves insertion of a tube into the urethras from the opening end of the penis to diagnose urethra and bladder for abnormal enlargement, pain or any disease of the urinary tract.

Prostate Cancer CAT Scan— CAT scan is another screening test for prostate cancer, which involves X-rays and computers to develop a photographic view of a cross-section of the body to examine the presence of swollen or enlarged lymph nodes that signal cancer metastasis. A high PSA blood test result is generally followed by CAT scan.

MRI Examination— MRI for prostate cancer is used to differentiate between benign and malignant cancerous tissues present in the prostate gland. It uses radio waves, large magnetic piece and a computer to evaluate the health of the prostate and nearby lymph nodes.


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