Screening and Testing
overall prognosis for prostate cancer patients has dramatically
improved compared with years ago. Over the past 20 years, the overall
survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer combined have increased
from 67% to 97%. This means more men are living longer after diagnosis.
Some of the possible reasons for this increase in survival rates include
public awareness and early detection.
Prostate Cancer is often curable
when diagnosed and treated properly. Starting at age 50 (or
sooner, if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family), the
following test should be a part of your annual physical exam:
Antigen (PSA) Test
This blood test helps identify the possible presence of
cancer by checking for Prostate Specific Antigen (a protein
substance produced by the prostate gland), which is present in high
levels in many people who have Prostate Cancer Prognosis Treatment The lower the
score, the better. A score below 4 is desirable, and a score below 2
is even better.
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The free PSA test is another tumor marker. It's newer than
the regular PSA test. Free PSA is a special version of PSA,
specifically, it's the inactive form of the antigen. Regular
PSA tests are used to screen patients for Prostate cancer prognosis treatment, but free
PSA can provide extra information, especially in determining whether
another biopsy should be performed. The free PSA test costs
around $65 or more (depending on the lab)---about twice the cost of
a regular PSA test. (The term free obviously doesn't refer to
the test itself!). Unlike regular PSA test, the value is expressed
as the free PSA divided by the total PSA, and a low percentage score
is bad. Generally scores of 20 percent and above are
considered good, while scores of 15 percent and below mean the
chances of cancer are high.
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Prostate Cancer Prognosis Treatment is one of the best
diagnostic aids available today for the early detection and
monitoring of cancer. It is superior to conventional blood tests
such as the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), CEA and CA125,
which measure antigen, a cancer indicator that is not detectable
until late in the disease. Thus, these tests are especially
poorly suited for Prostate cancer prognosis treatment early detection and are not suitable as early
biomarkers in chemo prevention.
The AMAS test works by
indicating the presence of a cancer-specific antibody,
anti-malign. A function of the immune system, anti-malign
antibody is released at the onset of cancer. More than 3,314
double-blind studies have proven a direct correlation between
the presence of anti-malign antibody and all types of active,
The specificity and 95% to
99% accuracy of the AMAS test permits confirmation of a
diagnosis of cancer while reducing or eliminating the need for
other traditional detection tests. These include mammograms,
biopsies, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other expensive,
uncomfortable procedures. It is easy to see that the medical
people might want this to be kept secret.
High risk individuals are
recommended to begin using the AMAS test as early as age 30.
Click here for more information on AMAS
Sometimes the doctor will ask a
patient to urinate into a special device that measures how quickly
the urine is flowing. A reduced flow often suggest BPH.
Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
The doctor inserts his lubricated finger into the rectum to
feel for lumps on the prostate, which is normally smooth.
Nobody likes this test but it can a life saver.
If the digital rectal exam, PSA,
or other indicators (such as urinary symptoms) point to the possibility
of prostate cancer, the following tests may be performed.
Procedure where tissue samples form the prostate are removed
to be checked for cancer. Prostate biopsy is recommended when
a digital rectal examination reveals a lump or some other
abnormality in the prostate. In addition, if blood tests reveal that
the levels of certain markers, such as PSA, are above normal, the
doctor may order a biopsy.
biopsies can be performed in three different ways. They can be
performed by inserting a needle through the perineum (the area
between the base of the penis and the rectum), by inserting a needle
through the wall of the rectum, or by cytoscopy. Before the
procedure is performed, the patient may be given a sedative to help
him relax. Patients undergoing cytoscopy may be given either general
anesthesia or local anesthesia. The doctor will ask the patient to
have an enema before carrying out the biopsy. The patient is also
given antibiotics to prevent any possible infection. Prostate biopsy performed with a
needle is a low-risk procedure. The possible complications include
some bleeding into the urethra, an infection, or an inability to
biopsy via the perineum
The patient lies either on one side or on his back with his
knees up. The skin of the perineum is thoroughly cleansed with
an iodine solution. A local anesthetic is injected at the site
where the biopsy is performed. Once the area is numb, the doctor
makes a small (1 in) incision in the perineum. The doctor places
one finger in the rectum to guide the placement of the needle.
The needle is then inserted into the prostate, a small amount of
tissue is collected, and the needle is withdrawn. The needle is
then re-inserted into another part of the prostate. Tissue may
be taken from several areas. Pressure is then applied at the
biopsy site to stop the bleeding. The procedure generally takes
15-30 minutes and is usually done in a physician's office or in
a hospital operating room. Though it sounds painful, it
typically causes only slight discomfort.
biopsy via the rectum
This procedure is also done in the physician's office or in the
hospital operating room, and is usually done without any
anesthetic. The patient is asked to lie on his side or on his
back with his legs in stirrups. The doctor attaches a curved
needle guide to his finger and then inserts the finger into the
rectum. After firmly placing the needle guide in the rectum, the
biopsy needle is pushed along the guide, through the wall of the
rectum and into the prostate. The needle is rotated gently,
prostate tissue samples are collected and the needle withdrawn.
In this exam, the doctor
inserts a small tube through the opening of the urethra in the
penis. This procedure is done after a solution numbs the
inside of the penis so all sensation is lost. The tube,
called a cystoscope, contains a lens and a light system, which
help the doctor see the inside of the urethra and the bladder.
This test allows the doctor to determine the size of the gland
and identify the location and degree of the obstruction.
biopsy/ tissue samples show the presence of prostate cancer, the
pathologist assigns each tissue sample a grade, indicating how far
the cells have traveled along the path from normal to abnormal. The
grade offers a good clue to your tumor's behavior: a tumor with a
low grade is likely to be slow-growing, while one with a high grade
is more likely to grow aggressively or already to have spread
outside the prostate (metastasized). The most widely used grading
method for prostate cancer is known as the Gleason grading system.
Click here for more information about
the Gleason grading system.
A test that uses sound waves to check for the presence of
tumors. An external ultrasound may be used in addition to the
Radionuclide Bone Scan
A bone scan may be performed in addition to a biopsy, to
check whether cancer may have spread to the bones. The
procedure involves an intravenous injection of a small amount of
a radioactive material. The radioactive substance settles in
damaged bone tissue throughout the entire skeleton. Areas of
bone damage will be more radioactive and will appear as "hot
spots" in your skeleton. These areas may suggest metastatic
cancer is present, but arthritis or other bone diseases can also
cause the same pattern. To distinguish among these conditions,
your cancer care team may use other imaging tests such as simple
x-rays, CT, or MRI or even take bone biopsies to better evaluate
these hot spots.
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