Prostate Cancer Screening: Purpose, Process, Risks

Cancer screening or the process of checking or screening for any cancers within an individual’s body is a great way to determine if a patient has or does not have cancer.

Prostate Cancer Screening

Cancer screening or the process of checking or screening for any cancers within an individual’s body is a great way to determine if a patient has or does not have cancer. Prostate Cancer screening or sometimes called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) can help patients determine if they have prostate cancer before it gets out of hand.

However, just like any other medical procedure, Prostate Cancer screening or the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), is not always perfect. In fact, some male patients may find that the disadvantages of undergoing a prostate cancer screening may outweigh the possible advantages of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

How is Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing conducted?

Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Testing is usually accomplished by taking blood samples alongside the conduct of rectal exam for the patient. Prostate- Specific Antigens (PSA) are substances produced by both benign prostate tissues and cancerous prostate tissues. Cancerous prostate tissues produce higher levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) which gets introduced into the bloodstream of the patient.

Doctors and healthcare professionals will usually consider the other variables or factors of the patient in checking for the possibility of having prostate cancer or if increased levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) should be cause for concern. These other factors include the size of the patient’s prostate gland, the patient’s age, any medications that may increase the production of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) in the body and the speed in which Prostate-Specific Antigens (PSA) levels are changing within the patient’s body.

What are the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing can help in the early detection of Prostate cancer. However, there are some risk factors that may increase a patient’s chances of contracting prostate cancer. Enumerated below are some of these risk factors:

  • A patient’s age can increase his risk factor for developing prostate cancer. Patients who are fifty (50) years or older have an increased level of developing prostate cancer compared to those who are younger.
  • A patient’s race can be a risk factor in terms of prostate cancer development. It has been observed that black men or African Americans have a higher risk factor of developing prostate cancer compared to other men of different races.
  • A patient’s family history may determine the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Patients with family members who were diagnosed to have prostate cancer before the turning 65 years old such as a father or an uncle have a higher risk factor of developing prostate cancer as well.
  • Gene Mutations that are inherited. Some gene mutations may increase a patient’s risk for developing prostate cancer. These gene mutations are usually associated with the development of breast cancer but the presence of BRCA2 and BRCA1 may also be an indication of a higher risk in terms of developing prostate cancer.
  • A patient’s diet may also affect his chances of developing prostate cancer. Patients who are low on vegetables and fiber but high on animal meat and protein may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Advantages of Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

Since prostate cancer or any kind of cancer for that matter is a serious health concern for patients and individuals, it is important to understand the advantages of undergoing the Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Testing. Enumerated below are some of the said advantages:

  1. Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing can help patients and health professionals detect prostate cancer in its early stages.
  2. Prostate Cancer is more manageable and easier to treat during its initial stages if detected and diagnosed early.
  3. Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing is a procedure that can easily be conducted using blood tests that are available in most laboratories.
  4. Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing can help boost a patient’s assurance of whether he has prostate cancer or if he is negative of the said illness.
  5. Evidence suggests that upon the introduction of prostate cancer screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, a significant amount of prostate cancer-related deaths were reduced.

Disadvantages of Undergoing Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)

Despite some of the advantages mentioned above, Prostate Cancer Screening or the Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Testing also has disadvantages. Listed below are some of the disadvantages of Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing:

  1. Prostate Cancer Screening may not be able to detect prostate cancers that do not grow fast enough or outside the prostate gland itself
  2. Some forms of prostate cancers may not even require treatment. In fact, some of these treatments may even result in adverse health effects on the patient such as bowel and erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
  3. Prostate Cancer Screening or Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing is not a 100% perfect test. It may give the patient a false positive indicating cancer when there is none or it may give the patient a negative response to cancer when in fact, the patient has prostate cancer.
  4. A prostate cancer diagnosis can be stressful and emotionally devastating for some patients and can render some patients confused and anxious about the future of their treatment.
  5. While prostate cancer diagnosis or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing has helped reduce deaths caused by prostate cancer, the adverse effects or risks that come with prostate cancer testing may be a price that some patients may not be willing to pay.

What do the doctors and healthcare professionals recommend?

Doctors and healthcare professionals are encouraging male patients to discuss their options in terms of undergoing a Prostate Cancer Screening procedure. This is especially true for men who are older than 50 years old and for African American males how may have had some family history of prostate cancer. It is best to discuss the advantages and disadvantages or the pros and cons of a prostate cancer screening procedure or the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing as they can either positively or negatively impact the patient’s overall diagnosis and possible treatment for prostate cancer.

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