Prostate Cancer Symptoms Screening and Diagnosis

Prostate cancer signs and symptoms

Early stage (stage I, and partly stage II) have no symptoms ? at least none that are known. But the cancer grows ever so slowly, and the indicators gradually begin to emerge: pain, in urination and in ejaculation; blood, in urine and in semen; and frequent urination, especially at night. Further progression of the adenocarcinoma into the lymphatic system, the bloodstream, and finally, metastasis into the bones in various locations around the body later produces its own symptoms as well: pain, in the bones of the lower back, in the pelvis, the upper thighs, and the ribs. Sometimes the pain may even get to the feet of even the skull, rare but real, signals that prostate cancer cells have spread at least that far.

These symptoms often appear for a range of other diseases, in particular, prostate disorder; but this unique collection of them belongs to prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer screening and diagnosis

Screening tests are necessary for all men over the age of 40, or at least 50, to be able to catch prostate cancer early when it is treatable with the intent to cure. For this reason, regular physical exams are done on as many patients as walk in for them ? the American Cancer Society urges that every man over fifty years (or even over forty five years) should have these tests no fewer than once a year.

A digital rectal examination is often the first to be done to determine if the prostate is enlarged, which may signal the need for other screening tests. The physician slips a gloved finger into the rectum to feel its size, shape, and firmness. A nodule or prostate irregularity, if felt, will often be the decider that a PSA test be carried out. The prostate-specific antigen test measures levels of the protein in the blood of the patient. Any elevation of PSA levels in blood above 4ng/ml could mean anything from an infection to BPH, which is what eventually may call for a prostate biopsy; anything lower may mean a clean bill of health.

The biopsy of the prostate gland is often the final decisive test that determines if a patient has prostate cancer. A needle is inserted into the prostate through the wall of the rectum to extract a sample of tissue which is to be examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If it is prostate cancer, the doctor will be able to tell from the results obtained from the biopsy; if it is not prostate cancer, it is probably just a benign prostate hyperplasia and all the man needs is a transurethral resection of the prostate to have the tumor removed.

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