The Prostate Cancer Foundation is urging Kiwi men to face their fears and “harden up” by getting tested for prostate cancer. You don’t get much harder than All Black legend Stu Wilson, and he’s prepared to face his fears by having a digital rectal exam in front of the nation.
Who should be tested for prostate cancer?
- The Prostate Foundation recommends that men over the age of 40 have regular prostate checks if there is a family history of prostate cancer.
- The Prostate Foundation says men between 50-70 should consider an annual prostate check that includes both a PSA blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE).
The PSA or Prostate-Specific Antigen Test
This is a simple blood test that measures the level of PSA in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland that can be detected in the blood. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland that can be detected in the blood. Levels rise with age and when the prostate is enlarged. Significantly increased levels of PSA in the blood can indicate prostate cancer. PSA levels are also known to rise in other prostate conditions such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). PSA is not a test for concer in itself, but elevated levels require further assessment and investigation.
Southern Cross says there is debate as o the benefits of screening (regularly testing) men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer. While further studies are being completed as to the advantages/disadvantages of screening, they recommend patients discuss the implication of being screened for prostate cancer with their GP.
Digital rectal examination
This is a quick way for a doctor to check prostate problems. To feel the surface of the prostate, the doctor will place a gloved finger into the rectum to check for rough, hard or irregularities.
Why is it so important to be tested?
Prostate cancer that is found early can usually be cured. The cure rates are very good. Early detection is vital.
What causes prostate cancer?
The causes of prostate cancer are not fully understoof. However, it is known that the chances of developing the condition increase with age.
Sometimes prostate cancer is more common in men who have a history of prostate cancer in their family. There is higher risk.
Story by Kiwi Living