Everything You Need To Know About Prostate Examinations
Prostate Cancer Awareness
Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men in the UK? Though this is a scary fact, there is no need to be alarmed if your doctor does detect a lump during your routine prostate examination, as the survival rate is very high.
We have all been affected by the coronavirus restrictions, some of us are delaying visiting our GP’s surgery for routine examinations and there has been some delays with the NHS booking system due to the overwhelming coronavirus hospitalisations, whatever the delay the importance of prostate examinations shouldn’t be ignored, that is why we have created this informative blog post to help you identify the importance of prostate screening and the symptoms you should look out for.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
Firstly, not everyone knows exactly what prostate cancer is… and that is fine, that’s the reason blogs like this exist.
Prostate cancer happens when the normal prostate glands change and form a mass of cells, commonly known as a tumor. These cancer cells can impact how the prostate works. Sometimes, the cancerous cells may not grow at all, and if they do, they may grow slowly during a man’s lifetime. Many men don’t develop symptoms or problems from their prostate cancer. In some cases, cancer grows rapidly and needs treatment to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body.
The good news is that in most cases, prostate cancer can be cured and monitored. Cancer of this type usually occurs in men over the age of 50+, however, it can occur in men in their forties too. The risk increases with age.
What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer?
Not everyone who has prostate cancer experiences symptoms, that is why regular screening is so important and should be part of your annual physical check, starting from the age of 40.
The most common symptoms of prostate cancer are listed below:
Frequent urination (especially at night)
Weak urinary stream
Inability to urinate
Interruption of urinary stream
Pain or burning during urination
Blood in the urine or ejaculate
Bone pain in the hips, ribs, or back pain
If you are experiencing symptoms, however, you should not ignore them.
What Can I Do To Reduce The Chances Of Getting Prostate Cancer?
There are a couple of ways to reduce your chances of developing prostate cancer, and most of them are simple lifestyle changes that anyone can do.
Get regular exercise every day – Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity a day.
Maintain a healthy weight – As the amount of fat in the body increases, so does your chance of developing cancer.
Eat healthily – Include vegetables, whole grains, pulses, and fruits in your diet. Limit foods that are high in sugar, salt, and bad fats. Avoid any processed meats and try to reduce red meat intake.
Attend your checkups – If you are over 50 years of age, you should visit your doctor every year for a check-up. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should attend regular screening appointments from the age of 40.
What Happens During A Prostate Examination?
There really isn’t anything to worry about, and we understand that attending these appointments may sometimes cause embarrassment- but trust us, it is for the greater good, and it isn’t all that bad.
During your prostate examination, you will receive a digital rectal examination. Your doctor will examine your back passage, to check that the prostate glands feel regular, he will be looking for enlarged glands or any abnormalities during this procedure.
You will also have a PSA blood test conducted. This blood test measures the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen). Men with prostate cancer will show raised levels of PSA in their blood work.
Can I Self Examine My Prostate?
It is strongly advised that you should not self-examine your prostate at home, either by yourself or with a partner. It takes a skilled professional to correctly assess how the prostate feels to be able to make an accurate determination of overall prostate health.
People who have conducted self-examinations have 9 times out of 10 resulted in injury and a hospital visit regardless.
So remember, schedule those life-saving appointments yearly with your doctors, and avoid self-examination...at all costs.