The prostate gland is a small, hormone producing organ that encircles the upper part of the urethra. It is only found in men, and is responsible for the creation of certain male hormones. It is vital to proper sexual functioning and to regular bladder control. The prostate gland is necessary in order to survive, reproduce and just live comfortably, making conditions that affect it of the utmost importance.
Your doctor may have suspected prostate cancer after talking with you about your health and completing a physical examination.
You may have had a DRE (digital rectal examination) and a blood test for a substance called PSA (prostate specific antigen) to look for signs of cancer. If your PSA result is higher than expected for your age, a more detailed analysis may help determine if it’s prostate cancer, or another prostate problem.
All men over the age of 50 years should discuss with their doctor the potential benefits and risks of early detection of prostate cancer using Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examinations (DRE) so that they can make informed decisions about the use of these tests.
Men at higher risk because of family history or those of African ancestry should discuss the need for testing at an earlier age.
Digital rectal examination (DRE)
A digital rectal examination (DRE) is the most common way to screen for prostate cancer. During your annual physical check-up, your doctor places a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. Most prostate cancers develop in the peripheral zone, which is the part of the prostate that lies closest to the rectum. This makes it easy to feel for lumps, irregularities or changes in size or consistency.
A normal prostate feels smooth and rubbery. Abnormalities detected by DRE may suggest a need for more tests.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a blood test to help detect prostate cancer. It measures a substance called prostate specific antigen made by the prostate. It is normal to find small quantities of PSA in the blood but problems with your prostate can cause your PSA level to rise.
PSA levels vary according to age and tend to rise gradually in men as they age . Elevated levels of PSA can be caused by several prostate problems and not necessarily cancer. Sometimes men with prostate cancer still have normal PSA levels. If you have an enlarged prostate that is non-cancerous , your PSA level may also be high.
If your DRE or PSA tests suggest abnormalities in your prostate, your doctor may suggest more tests to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of cancer.
Cells or tissues are removed from the body and checked under a microscope. If the cells are cancerous, they may be studied further to see how fast they are growing.
To stop cancer from ever returning, you must completely stop cancer at its source. Cancer is foremost a psychological disease and its appearance in your body is a sign that at a deep level, your life is not working. Unless you approach and treat ALL the areas of your life, cancer is likely to re-occur.
About the Author: Dr Magne has been researching the origins and causes of disease and cancer for the past 25 years, and is the author of Cancer Free For Life. Visit http://www.cancer-free-for-life.com to receive a free report on The 10 Ways to Cure Cancer Immediately.