×

Is it possible to somehow detect prostate cancer at an early stage?

The physician evaluates the benefits and harms of screening and https://pillintrip.com/medicine/buscapina based on family history, ethnicity, comorbidities, and the patient’s values.

The latter means that it is necessary to explain to the patient further actions in case of a positive test result, tell about a possible overdiagnosis and make a decision together.

Unlike breast cancer, where screening is recommended for all women from the age of 40, prostate cancer does not have such a strict recommendation. In men, the decision to undergo a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is made on an individual basis. Different countries and organizations have their own opinions about the age at which you can think about it, for example, in the USPSTF (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) it is from 55 to 69 years old, and in the UK – from 50 years old. If a person has a family history of prostate cancer or a possible mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, screening can be discussed from the age of 40.

Yes, screening can slightly reduce the chance of dying from prostate cancer, but many men face potential harm as a result. These include false positives that will require additional testing and possibly a prostate biopsy, the stress of the situation, and treatment complications such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

According to the UK, about 15% of men with prostate cancer have a normal PSA level (which means the result will be a false negative), so many cases can be missed. In addition, PSA can detect aggressive prostate cancer that needs treatment, but it can also detect slow-growing cancer that will never cause symptoms or shorten a person’s life expectancy.

As we said above, prostate cancer is a cancer of older men, so people often already have other diseases that can affect mortality and treatment. In this case, doctors may suggest a “watchful waiting” strategy, or expectant management. This method allows people with serious health problems (eg, cardiovascular disease, life expectancy up to 10 years) to live without cancer treatment and its side effects, but only with supportive care.

There is also “active surveillance”, or active surveillance, which is used for men with a possible life expectancy of more than 10 years. It is necessary to avoid treatment of harmless prostate cancers, but not to miss those that need intervention. In this case, the man does not undergo treatment, but regularly repeats the PSA analysis, does an MRI scan, and a biopsy of the prostate. If the doctor sees that the disease is progressing, treatment options can be considered.