If Detected Earlier, Prostate Cancer Can Be Cured
It is not clear what causes prostate cancer. Yet, early detection of this cancer remains an option to keep away the fatal consequences of this disease. By having regular examination annually, prostate cancer can be detected since the earliest, allowing for easier treatment. Therefore, if detected earlier, prostate cancer can be cured. That is why early detection of prostate cancer is crucial to determine the sufferers' life expectancy.
The American Cancer Society recommends a prostate cancer screening to men entering the age of 50. If there is a family history of prostate cancer, the man should take the screening from the age of 40. The treatments in prostate cancer screening include Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), and Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS).
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
In DRE, the doctor slips a lubricated index finger to touch the prostate through the rectum. If during palpation a lump with irregular shape or a hardening section on the surface of the gland is found, prostate cancer might have developed. This treatment may cause inconvenience, yet this is the quickest and easiest method.
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
The PSA test is a blood test that measures the total PSA level. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland, and helps liquefy the semen, resulting in a more fluid flow of the sperm. Normally, only a little amount of PSA might enter the bloodstream, but when there is an inflammation or damage in the prostate tissue, the level of PSA in the blood will go higher. An elevated PSA level within the blood is not solely triggered by prostate cancer. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate gland enlargement that is common among elderly men), infection, or prostate inflammation can also cause the level of PSA to rise. If a man has a total PSA level between 2.6-10 ng/ml, he should take a free/total PSA test to determine whether the elevated level is caused by prostate cancer, inflammation, or prostate tissue damage.
- Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS)
This examination is commonly used as a guide for prostate biopsy sampling.
The DRE and TSA tests are the first-line tests to assess the risks of prostate cancer in a man. When the first-line screening shows abnormal results, the doctor will recommend prostate biopsy examination, which is done by taking the sample of prostate tissue with the TRUS result as the guide. Having been taken, the prostate tissue is examined under the microscope to see whether or not it contains the cancer cells.