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PSA Test (Prostate Cancer Screen)

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Calling all men! Gone are the days of embarrassing doctors' visits and rubber gloves to test for prostate trouble. Now you can test from your own home. But do you know where your prostate gland is? The prostate gland sits below the bladder and just in front of the rectum. The prostate grows very fast during puberty and then slowly as men grow older as it is charged by male hormones. The fluid in the prostate nourishes and protects sperm cells in semen and that’s why semen is more of a liquid.

The urethra that you urinate from and release semen from, actually travels through the center of the prostate. This area around the urethra can keep growing with age and can sometimes cause a benign area of pain. Meaning it is not cancer but can press on the urethra and cause pain and problems urinating so is still serious and must be treated. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men after skin cancer and there are more than 2 million US male prostate cancer survivors.

That is because it is often very responsive to treatment. In the very first stages of prostate cancer it is very unlikely to have any symptoms. However once the disease has advanced, the symptoms are:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
  • Problems starting urination or holding back your urine.
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow.
  • Painful or burning urination.
  • Difficulty getting an erection or a painful ejaculation.
  • Blood in semen or urine
  • Bone pains
  • Pelvic discomfort

There are higher risk factors for some:

  • Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you get older.
  • Dark skinned men have a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other skin colors. It’s not clear why but prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or advanced.
  • Family history of prostate or breast cancer. If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased. Also, if you have a family history of genes that increase the risk of breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2) or a very strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of prostate cancer may be higher.
  • Obesity.

There are a lot of cells in the prostate but the cancer develops from the actual gland cells. This is named Adenocarcinoma. Other types of cancer can also start in the prostate gland but are rare, including:

  • Sarcomas
  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (other than small cell carcinomas)
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

There is much debate on the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer as often, not always, prostate cancer will grow slowly and men who have died from other causes have had slow growing prostate cancer that was not detected and caused no symptoms.

The PSA test at Home:-

To save an initial trip to the doctors, a PSA or prostate home test is now available. It actually tests the prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in your bloodstream or urine which if raised can mean the gland is enlarged or cancerous. If you levels are high you must see a doctor for further consultation.

Features and benefits:

  • Have an initial easy to use test in your own home
  • Easy to read the levels/results
  • See results in 10 minutes

PSA Test (Prostate Cancer Screen)

Making a decision to get tested for Prostate Cancer is a serious one as this type of cancer grows very slow and many males can carry it for some time before any symptoms start to show or the cancer progresses. There are various factors and information that can help you decide, in the resources and links below. Read through this information to make an informed decision about your body.

American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org

Prostate Specific Antigen Testing: www.cancer.net

Test yourself from Home: www.hometests.com

Benefits, limitations and risks of getting tested: www.mayoclinic.org