How to keep your prostate from turning against you

By September 28, 2017Men's Health

In the spirit of Movember, let’s get to grips with one of the scariest health issues facing men today: prostate cancer 애플 자동 다운로드.

First the good news: early preventative screening goes a long way. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting South African men today. About one in eight men are at risk of getting it. If you’ve just turned 40, pick up the phone and have yourself checked out!

Risk factors

According to a recent study, prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer-death amongst men in the world. The prostate is a small gland that produces seminal fluid. It’s found underneath the bladder and forms part of the reproductive system.

Age: Your risk increases with age. It rarely affects young men and is more common in older men. It’s usually diagnosed between the ages of 65 and 69.

Genetics: If there’s a history of prostate cancer in your family, you have a higher risk for developing it. This is because you may have inherited the same damaged DNA (mutation) that in some cases, leads to cancer.

Diet: A recent study finds that a high dairy intake is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Too many saturated fats and obesity increases the risk too.

What happens during the test?

Screenings make it possible to detect cancer at its early stages. A common screening test is the digital rectal exam (DRE).

  • The doctor will ask you to stand and bend in a forward positon or lay on your side on an exam table and pull up your knees.
  • The doctor will insert a lubricated and gloved finger into your rectum to feel the prostate gland. Expect slight discomfort and pressure.
  • Your doctor will examine and look out for abnormalities, size, bumps, hard and soft spots, the wall of your rectum and determine the size of your prostate. Prostate cancers often begin in the back part of the gland, which may be felt during a rectal exam.
  • If you have haemorrhoids (swollen veins in the anus) or anal fissures (a small tear in the lining of the anus), you may have a small amount of bleeding and discomfort.
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Further testing

  • The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a simple blood test that helps with diagnosis. High PSA levels may tell the doctor if it’s inflammation or cancer.
  • A urine test may also be done to check for abnormal cells, infection or blood in your urine.
  • The only certainty in diagnosing prostate cancer is through a prostate biopsy. Your doctor will get tissue samples of your prostate gland to look at under a microscope.

Prep ahead
Avoid food three hours before the exam, and heavy meals the day before. They may cause digestive problems.

Your blood sample will be sent to a lab for analysis but your results won’t be available immediately. For the DRE exam, your doctor may be able to discuss with you what was discovered during the process. Your results will ultimately determine the next step.

Still have questions? Why not ask one of our doctors? Simply sign up on our website. download the free Hello Doctor app from the Google Play or iTunes store. Then you can ask our doctors a question via text or call, anytime, anywhere!