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The PSA blood test had been considered an accurate and easy method of screening for prostate cancer. PSA stands for prostate specific antigen, which is a type of protein produced by the prostate gland. However, this test can still help many people to ensure an early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
We urge men and male cancer Survivors to encourage one another to invest in their health by being aware of changes in their bodies, getting screened and adopting a balanced lifestyle, in order to reduce their cancer risk or the recurrence of cancer. CANSA places the focus on Prostate and Testicular Cancer during its Men’s Health Awareness Campaign in June.
Contact your local CANSA Care Centre for health awareness materials and arrange for screening for Prostate or Skin Cancer, or ask about scheduled visits to provide screening via our Mobile Health Clinics, if you live in a remote area. The lifetime risk for Prostate Cancer in men in South Africa, is 1 in 27, according to the 2010 National Cancer Registry.
Men need to go for simple screening tests to detect Prostate Cancer (see guidelines below).
Routine Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, annually, from age 40 for all men at high risk of prostate cancer. Routine Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, annually, as from age 45 for all males who are at risk of prostate cancer. Although most enlargements of the prostate are not cancerous, regular screening is essential. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by both cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign) prostate tissue.
Men aged 50 (40 – 45 for those at high risk, such as men with a family history of Prostate Cancer) should be examined annually. A doctor examines the prostate through the rectum to check for any prostate lumps or abnormalities.
The lifetime risk for Testicular Cancer in men in South Africa, is 1 in 2 040, according to the 2010 National Cancer Registry.
Most Testicular Cancers can be detected early – a lump or swelling may be the first sign that a medical practitioner should be consulted. Men from the age 15 to 39 years need to examine their testicles each month, preferably after a bath or shower, to feel for any pea-sized lumps that could indicate Testicular Cancer.

Testi-monials, a campaign created by FCB Cape Town for CANSA which is setting out to remove the awkwardness around talking about testicular cancer, and drive awareness about how important it is that men not only talk balls but take care of them too. The campaign features testicles giving their own testi-monials about cancer and how they have been personally affected.
The testi-ambassador will give it to you straight, so there’s no need to beat around the bush. Consult your doctor for advice on specific cancer screening tests relevant to your age, medical and family history. The runs involve brave men running in a speedo to raise awareness about cancers affecting men. This is the 7th year that CANSA is partnering with Movember in November. We encourage YOU to grow a moustache in lieu of wearing a ribbon and to raise awareness regarding prostate and testicular cancer.
Cancer affects one in four South Africans, through diagnosis of family, friends, colleagues or self. We want you to know that you are not alone and that we would like to support you and your loved ones, regardless of how cancer has touched your life. A significantly high level of PSA in the blood is sometimes considered as an indicator of diseases like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. More commonly, it can be associated with some non-cancerous conditions like enlarged prostate or BPH, which is quite common among the elderly. Even factors like inflammation within two days of having this test can cause the PSA level in the body to rise slightly. PSA velocity refers to the change in the PSA concentration over time, while PSA density is the comparison of PSA concentration to the volume of the prostate gland.
At the same time, low-level of prostate-specific antigen also does not rule out the possibility of cancer.
It is very important and mandatory to consult your health care provider for detailed information or any doubts regarding the PSA levels and tests with regards to your specific case. However, it’s also important to know about other cancers affecting men such as HPV related cancers including penile and anal cancer.
PSA tests are available at most CANSA Care Centres across the country and via CANSA’s Mobile Health Clinics. Now researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that even men with a PSA below four may have a substantial risk of cancer.

Moreover, this antigen's level in the body usually rises with growing age, which leads to the formulation of age-adjusted PSA. Measuring this antigen's density is important as its level is usually higher in a man with larger prostate gland. However, a high level of this antigen alone is not sufficient for a confirmed diagnosis of prostate cancer, for which this test is sometimes followed by digital rectal exam (DRE) and biopsy.
Other than BPH, it could be an indicator of prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate gland. Therefore, one should disclose all information pertaining to the use of medications to their physician before the test, in order to ensure a proper evaluation of prostate health. To sum up, this test is not perfect, as it is prone to 'false positive' and 'false negative' test results.
Moreover, a high level of this antigen can also be associated with other benign or non-cancerous conditions. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to help in the detection of prostate cancer in men aged 50 years or more. A false positive test (high level of PSA in the absence of cancer) is usually followed by other diagnostic tests, which can not only be costly, but can carry certain potential risks for the individual as well. This test has also been approved to monitor the patients with a history of prostate cancer, in order to detect recurrences. On the other hand, false negative results may show the PSA to be in the normal range, even when the cancer is actually present. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium.
Ian Thompson, of the University of Texas in San Antonio, said the most worrisome finding was that aggressive, or "high-grade," cancers were found at all levels of PSA; the researchers were unable to find a level of PSA below which there was no risk of prostate cancer.

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