Prostate cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the prostate gland thatÕs located at the base of the urinary bladder. This cancer differs in each patient. Of all cancers, itÕs the leading solid tumor in men, although the death rate for prostate cancer patients is declining. Still, prostate cancer is one of top 10 causes of death in men older than 45 years of age. Over a lifetime, men have a probability of 1 in 6 of getting the cancer during their lifetime.ÊThe 5-year survival rate for metastatic prostate cancer is approximately 35%. The following are the different ways that doctors screen patients for the cancer that affects so many men.
Checking for Prostate Cancer Ð Moving Beyond PSA Tests
The following factors play a role in the likelihood of someone getting prostate cancer:
- Family history: Although more than 85% of patients have no family history of prostate cancer, there is a small 5% to 10% of the population that do have a family history of the disease. If more two first-degree relatives have the disease, then the relative risk increases 2 to 5 times.
- Some prostate cancer risk factors: Race is a factor in the disease. Pacific Rim / Asian countries have the lowest incidence of prostate cancer, but the incidence increases as you get closer in geographic proximity to Europe. Interesting enough, Japanese-Americans (who were either born in or settled in the United States at an early age) have the highest incidence of the disease. Black men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men, but black men have contributory factors including poor diet and obesity.
Screening for Prostate cancer
The good news is that prostate cancer mortality rates are decreasing around the world, and screening is likely the reason why. Early detection and PSA treatments are beginning to have a positive effect for surviving prostate cancer.
- There is currently no accepted genetic test for Prostate cancer, but an FDA-approved uPM3 urine test does exist.
- There is a prostate-specific antigen blood test available. Men who have prostate cancer may have a higher level of prostate-specific antigen show up in their blood. These antigen levels can be high because of other reasons, so further tests should be done if this test is positive.
- Your doctor may examine your prostate by sticking a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel your prostate gland. A healthy prostate should feel firm, and any hard spots will likely be a signal for further testing to be done.