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Whilst prostate checks are a common part of most adult men’s lives, we understand they can often be a nervous and overwhelming procedure. However, they are necessary to detect any early signs of abnormalities before they develop into serious problems.
WHEN SHOULD MEN START GETTING PROSTATE CHECKS?
Prostate checks are necessary for men over the age of 40 twice a year but can be started earlier. Regular prostate checks are recommended from that age due to the increased risk of medical issues and to ensure early detection and prompt treatment. Regular prostate exams can help establish a history and baseline of what is considered normal.
CAN ALL DOCTORS PERFORM A PROSTATE CHECK OR DO I NEED TO GO TO A SPECIALIST?
Prostate checks can be performed by both specialists as well as your trusted BetterMedical general practitioners. Many men prefer to see their regular GP for this exam, as it is more convenient and comfortable.
IS A PROSTATE CHECK PAINFUL?
A prostate check and the associated blood test should not be painful, however, you may experience minor discomfort.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF PROSTATE CANCER?
In between your bi-yearly prostate check, we recommend monitoring for any warning signs of prostate cancer. If you experience these symptoms, contact your BetterMedical GP, however, these warning signs can vary between individuals and most importantly, the absence of symptoms does not necessarily mean the absence of prostate cancer.
Some of the warning signs include:
Changed urination patterns. This can include urinating more frequently or finding it necessary to urinate more often at night. Finding it difficult to empty your bladder, or a weak/interrupted flow can also be a warning sign.
Blood in urine or semen. Sometimes this may be accompanied by pain or a burning sensation.
Erectile dysfunction or otherwise abnormal function. If you’ve found yourself having difficulties gaining or maintaining an erection, and can’t identify any other likely cause, this may be a symptom of prostate cancer.
Discomfort sitting or bending – this can be an indication that your prostate is abnormally enlarged.
HOW IS PROSTATE CANCER DIAGNOSED?
Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by following tests, remembering they ought to support the context of the patient’s signs and symptoms.
PSA Test: The PSA test seeks to identify the presence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) within the blood. Elevated levels of PSA may be an indicator of prostate cancer. For this reason, it’s important to have regular checkups with your doctor, so that PSA levels can be tracked over time.
Radiology test: MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is useful scan to visualize the prostate and proven to be highly effective in detecting prostate cancer changes
Additionally, your doctor may conduct a biomarker test. Biomarkers, found in the blood or urine (or tissue, if you’ve had a biopsy) are substances produced by a cancerous tumour or antibodies produced by the body to combat the tumour. Almost all diagnoses of prostate cancer will require a biopsy at some point.
PROSTATE CHECK NEAR ME
Undergoing regular prostate checks you can ensure that you can stay on top of any developments before things get too serious. Contact your local BetterMedical Family Medical Centre.