Jon Savage, who is now cancer free, was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer after he went to the doctor with a common male health related complaint. He pointed out that the first symptom of something not being normal was that the urine flow was not as strong as it has been in the past years.
When he went to see the doctor, the ‘c’ word wasn’t in his mind and he thought it to be just an old age related issue. He wasn’t too worried initially after being diagnosed with an enlarged prostate since enlarged prostate does not necessarily relate to cancer.
After the MRI scan on prostate and many further tests, his medical consultant found out that he had Prostate Cancer which came as a shock to Mr. Jon. Within four months of the diagnosis, he got his prostate removed and now is cancer free. Some of the important Prostate Cancer facts are given below.
IS THERE A NEED FOR A RECTAL EXAM TO CHECK FOR PROSTATE CANCER?
Professor Hashim Ahmed, Consultant Urological Surgeon with Bupa Cromwell Hospital suggested five things one needs to know about Prostate Cancer. He explained that the first done done by a doctor is a simple blood test- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). A rectal exam can help in Prostate Cancer prognosis and in identifying obvious abnormalities on the surface of prostate even if the PSA is normal. In case of a raised PSA or rectal exam reflecting a lump, doctors may refer an individual for an MRI scan in a specialised unit for Prostate Cancer screening in a more effective way.
PSA could be high if one has cancer however, it might be higher than normal due to a large prostate, inflammation or an infection. Raised PSA levels can also be a result of recent sexual activity or cycling due to pressure exerted from saddle. It is important to ensure that the doctor is aware of anything that could affect the test results.
WHAT DOES A BIOPSY INCLUDE?
Biopsy helps in checking Prostate Cancer by taking samples from the prostate. Some of the expert centres only biopsy the prostate if the MRI reflects some suspicious areas. One of the common ways for prostate biopsy includes transrectal ultrasound biopsy or TRUS biopsy. It is done through the back passage and the procedure takes around 20- 30 minutes. Doctor can engage in discussion about the biopsy and its side effects.
Some of the urologists biopsy the prostate through the skin behind the scrotum also known as transperineal approach. This approach is a much more cleaner and more accurate approach but it needs sedation or general anaesthetic to be carried out.
DOES PROSTATE CANCER AFFECT SEXUAL ACTIVITY?
One may face some erectile issues depending on the type of treatment one wants. However, it is safe to be sexually active if one has Prostate Cancer or is undergoing a treatment for the same.
DOES PROSTATE CANCER HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
Some Prostate Cancers come with low risk and can be better managed with active surveillance. For men having Prostate Cancer of medium or high risk and if not treated, can result in local urinary and erectile side effects. There are also chances of it spreading outside the capsule of the prostate and causing many other complications.
CAN PROSTATE CANCER LEAD TO INFERTILITY?
Main function of the prostate is to make semen, the fluid which carries sperm. Cancer in the prostate can affect the ability to make semen resulting in infertility through the normal conception route. However, artificial methods of conception can help in retrieving using testicles that can produce sperm. Some of the latest treatments could help men to normally conceive.
After or within 5 years of diagnosis, the Prostate Cancer survival rate for most men with local or regional Prostate Cancer is almost 100 %. Around 98 % continue living even after 10 years with 96% living for at least 15 years.
If you have any further questions about Prostate Cancer treatment options available with Verita Life, drop us a message and one of our Patient Representatives will get back to answer your queries.