Three prime ministers and nearly three years ago, “first bloke” Tim Mathieson caused a brouhaha with his advice on prostate cancer screening:
We can get a blood test for it, but the digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate, so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small Asian female doctor is probably the best way.
It was the “small Asian female” part of this statement that attracted criticism, but what of the rest of his advice?
It correctly identifies the two common ways GPs screen for prostate cancer: a blood test (for a protein called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA) and the digital rectal examination, in which a doctor feels the prostate gland by inserting a gloved finger (“digit”) into a man’s rectum.
But rectal examination is less accurate than the PSA blood test, missing more cancer and causing more false alarm. Read more …
Are PSA tests not worth the risk in checking for prostate cancer? is it worth getting a psa test or not? Until recently this was a no brainer. Every man over the age of 50 was strongly encouraged to get a psa test in case there was a high psa count or there was a rapid increase in psa. Recently there has been a change in thinking now that the numbers have been crunched.
Across 38 years in tobacco control, I have been asked countless times in media interviews if I ever smoked. It’s often an early question. I always unhesitatingly explain that I did: I stopped in my mid 20s. The tone of the interview immediately relaxes because the sub-text of the question is about authenticity. If this person has never smoked, what would he really know about quitting? If I chose to stammer something about it being private or “not the point here”, most would become preoccupied with my evasiveness. Fudging and equivocal replies tend to suggest disingenuousness or lack of personal conviction aboutthe information being given. Read more …
Cancer Council Australia and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia yesterday released new draft guidelines to help GPs counsel men who ask about prostate cancer tests. They advise GPs to explain the pros and cons of testing and, if the man wants to proceed, to give him a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test every two years between the ages of 50 to 69. Read more …
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment changes your life.
Many decisions become urgent about treatments, lifestyle, family and cost. You will need to make some challenging decisions that could affect your day-to-day life for the future. Usually, prostate cancer is diagnosed in men who do not have debilitating symptoms. This means you can make decisions without the added setback of physical pain. Read more …
A new test for prostate cancer is now available in some areas. It is believed to be more accurate than the PSA test because it is specific for prostate cancer. By comparison, the psa test can give results affected by other factors, such as enlarged prostate (BPH) or prostatitis. Read more …
Getting a prostate examination (DRE) for the first time may sound like a horrible experience. In reality, a prostate examination is simple, quick and painless. It is certainly better to know if there is a prostate problem than not know. But some like to make a great drama of it all.
Prostate biopsy results were due from my TURP operation and I had an appointment with the urologist. The most important point of this was to get the results of the histology, that is, the testing of the tissue samples from the TURP. I had also been asked to have a psa test taken a week before the appointment.
The PSA Test is useful, but far from perfect. Here is an excellent video for those looking for guidance as to whether to have a biopsy or not. By using Age Adjusted PSA Levels, PSA velocity, amount of free PSA/ bound PSA, and the newer PCA3 test (not covered in this video) one can understand further whether a biopsy is warranted.
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