Prostate Cancer More Tests Diagnosis

Many doctors perform screening tests for prostate cancer during regular physical exams in order to identify the disease in its earliest and also its most curable stages. They have to if they are going to catch the disease early enough; you aren’t the only one concerned about your prostate, they are too because they like to see their patients survive. Why, where else do you think the next paycheck will be coming from? You are their meal ticket, of course!

So they start with the physical examination of your prostate gland in which they make your bend over forward then the doctor slips a gloved finger in your rectum to feel out the prostate for lumps and tumors. This is pretty much the same way that they test for colon or colorectal cancer, the digital rectal examination to feel its size, shape, and firmness. If there is a cancer there, the chances are that they will feel the nodule or some other prostate irregularity during this process, even though this result is inconclusive.

That done because it is the simplest and the fastest and they want to check now to see if their suspicions or the suggestions by the lumps that they did or did not touch in there are for real. The doctor migrates to another screening test known as the PSA test, which measures levels of a protein called prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Because, prostate cancer cells overproduce this protein causing an elevation of PSA levels in blood, a positive result is a strong suggestion that you have prostate cancer.

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The normal level of PSA in the blood is lower than 4.0 ng/ml, and a higher level is cause for some more concern. However, even this is not conclusive of the presence of cancer because certain other infections and a number of drugs and medications tend to cause elevated levels of PSA as well.

So on to the biopsy, a prostate cancer diagnostic procedure in which the physician inserts a needle through the wall of the rectum and extracts a sample of tissue from the prostate. They take this tissue and examine it under a microscope for the presence of the cancer cells, which eventually confirms or refutes the fear of prostate cancer. The doctor could have done this first, but it can be painful and invasive, and as such they prefer to leave it as a last resort. The biopsy can usually be performed in the doctor’s office with the aid of a local anesthetic to numb the area because of pain.

The only test that can conceivably confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer is the biopsy, but prior to that, the doctor would have used several other tools to try and gather more information about your prostate and urinary tract. In addition to all of the above, they could try a cystoscopy first, to show the urinary tract from inside your bladder with the aid of a thin, flexible camera tube inserted down your urethra. The transrectal ultrasonography is also a common diagnostic procedure that creates a picture of the prostate with the assistance of sound waves from a probe in the colon end of your large intestine.

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