Should You Screen for Prostate Cancer?

A visit to St Pete Urology to screen for prostate cancer is also an opportunity to have a variety of health issues resolved. St Pete Urology operates according to the principle that most health issues affecting men are interconnected and can only be treated effectively through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach. When you visit our urologists for prostate cancer information, screening, diagnosis and treatment, we extend our role to include screening for signs of mental health disorder, make efforts to influence behavior change and speak with you candidly about psychological and medical care beyond our direct involvement in treatment of urologic disease.

At St Pete Urology, we are committed to safe, holistic and effective care for all our patients. We handle diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer using the latest technological, medical and psychosocial approaches.

Tackling mental health issues during prostate cancer screening

Helping patients with mental health problems is a familiar territory for urologists at St Pete Urology, Fl. For instance, during prostate cancer screening, the urologists also screen for signs of distress, educate patients on their diagnosis, treatment and potential side effects, and provide support through referral to psychosocial services or rehabilitation programs. For men experiencing urinary tract symptoms, the urologist may conduct a functional analysis to assess the effect of the symptoms on everyday activities, recommend practical solutions such as Kegel exercises, and provide psychosocial referrals to help deal with issues related to interpersonal relationships and self-esteem. Working with our urologists not only provides the opportunity to detect and treat urological problems like prostate cancer, but also for early detection and treatment of mental health disorders.

Should you undergo prostate cancer screening?

Prostate cancer is a very common cancer so it is very important to get checked for its presence. While screening tests will not show with certainty that you have cancer, they help to find warning signs and help to detect the cancer when it is still at an early stage, making treatment easier and more effective. If one of the screening tests gives an abnormal result, you will need a biopsy of prostate tissue to confirm whether or not you have cancer. Men who want to be checked are tested using the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test and the DRE (digital rectal exam).

1. PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) blood test

PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) is an essential substance made by the cells of the prostate, typically by both normal and cancerous cells. It is predominantly found in semen. However, it also may be found in small quantities in blood. The majority of men with no prostate cancer do have PSA levels below 4 nanograms-per-milliliter [abbreviated as ng/mL] of blood. Those with higher PSA readings have a greater likelihood of developing cancer of the prostate.

While the PSA usually goes up beyond 4ng/mL as prostate cancer develops, a reading below 4 is not a guarantee that you do not have the cancer. In fact, about 15 percent of men whose PSA is under 4ng/mL are found to have the cancer upon a biopsy. Similarly, men with PSA between 4 and 10 have 25 percent chance of having the cancer, while those with PSA above 10 have a 50 percent chance of developing prostate cancer. If you have elevated PSA, your urologist may indicate that you either wait for a period of time and you repeat the test or take a prostate biopsy to confirm the cancer.

2. DRE (Digital Rectal Exam)

During a DRE (digital rectal exam), your urologist will insert a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum in order to feel or detect any hard areas, nodules or bumps on your prostate, which may be due to cancer. Prostate cancer usually starts at the back of the prostate and this can be felt through a rectal exam. The DRE may be a bit uncomfortable, particularly for men with hemorrhoids, but it is not usually painful and often takes a very short time. Although the DRE is less accurate than PSA in screening or detecting prostate cancer, its ability to occasionally find cancer in men whose PSA values are normal makes it a vital component of prostate cancer screening.

Making screening decisions

It is important to work closely with your doctor in order to make informed screening decisions. At St Pete Urology, we recommend that men should screen for prostate cancer at:

  1. Age 50 for those men who are at average risk of getting prostate cancer and are still expected to live for more than 10 years.
  2. Age 45 for men who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer, such as African Americans and men whose first-degree relative [father, son or brother] had the cancer before the age of 65 years.
  3. Age 40 for men with even greater risk, especially those who have had more than one first-degree relative get prostate cancer at a very early age.

For more information, visit the “St Pete Urology” site.

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St Pete Urology is a team of medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urological diseases and conditions. We offer quality care with compassion. For an appointment, call us at (727) 478-1172