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Prostate Cancer: Screening saves lives

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By Dr Ramin Tavakoli Martin

The prostate is a globular gland located at the base of the penis. It produces seminal fluid that acts as a protective and transport medium for the sperms. Prostate cancer is a cancer that affects the prostate. It is the second most common cancer in men worldwide.

Many prostate cancers grow slowly and are confined to the prostate gland, where they may not cause serious harm. However, while some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Most cases of early disease produce no signs and symptoms which is why screening is very important.

There are notable signs and symptoms which include difficulty in passing urine, weak urinary stream, blood stained urine.

With more advanced diseases, patients lose weight, and experience lower back pain, pain in the bones, and lower limb swelling. Prostate cancer that’s detected early, when it is still confined to the prostate gland, has the best chance for successful treatment.

Screening for cervical cancer may be done using the blood measurement of PSA or, less sensitively, using a digital rectal examination.

The American Cancer Society recommends prostate cancer screening for men. All men above the age of 50 who are expected to live for at least 10 more years,

African men above the age of 45, or white men above the age of 45 and with a first-degree relative with cancer of the prostate. All men above the age of 40 with more than one first-degree relative with prostate cancer.

Screening for prostate cancer can be conducted using a simple blood test.

The author is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at UMC Victoria Hospital.

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