Celebrating Fathers’ Day: Must All Men Get Screened For Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy among males worldwide and is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. According to GLOBOCAN (2012), an estimated 1.1 million new cases and 307,000 deaths were reported in 2012. The reasons for the increase of this disease are not known but increasing life expectancy and modified diagnostic techniques have been suggested as causes.

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the prostate, it’s called prostate cancer. In 2018, the US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) made the following recommendation about prostate cancer screening;

Men who are 55-60 years old should make individual decisions about being screened for prostate cancer with a prostate-specific antigen test. Before embarking on this test, the harms and benefits of screening should be discussed with their Doctors. However, men who are 70years old and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely.

It must be noted that there is no gold standard test to screen for prostate cancer. Two tests commonly used to screen for prostate cancer are

Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA)

When undertaking PSA test, your Doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results due to other factors which can affect test results like

Certain medications, medical procedures, an enlarged prostate and prostate infection.

Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)

Here are some symptoms to look out for in prostate cancer

Diifculty starting urination

Weak or interrupted flow of urine

Difficulty emptying the bladder completely

Pain or burning urination

Blood in urine

Pain in the back, hips or pelvis that doesnt go away

Painful ejaculation

Most disabling among symptoms associated with disease progression are bone pain, bone fracture, urinary tract obstructionspinal cord compressioncoagulation disorders, anemia, and edema. Diverse treatments, such as radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and supportive measures, can improve the impact of these problems, although improved symptom control is needed in some areas.

Michaelson, M. D., Cotter, S. E., Gargollo, P. C., Zietman, A. L., Dahl, D. M., & Smith, M. R. (2008). Management of complications of prostate cancer treatment. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians58(4), 196-213.

Bokhorst, L. P., Lepistö, I., Kakehi, Y., Bangma, C. H., Pickles, T., Valdagni, R., … & Rannikko, A. (2016). Complications after prostate biopsies in men on active surveillance and its effects on receiving further biopsies in the Prostate cancer Research International: Active Surveillance (PRIAS) study. BJU international118(3), 366-371.

Bashir, M. N. (2015). Epidemiology of prostate cancer. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention16(13), 5137-5141.


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