Prostate cancer: prevention remains the most important weapon


Early prostate cancer diagnosis opens up better chances of recovery

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. However, prostate carcinoma hardly triggers symptoms in the initial stage, only in the advanced stage do affected people report problems with urination, blood clots in the urine or problems with bowel movements. With early diagnosis, doctors and patients have promising surgical and radiation options. Therefore, regular visits to the urologist should be mandatory for men in order to detect prostate cancer in good time. In addition to tactile examination and ultrasound of the prostate, important parameters include the taking of tissue samples and the determination of a specific tumor marker in the blood.

"In prostate cancer, the value of a certain protein increases, also called prostate-specific antigen - PSA for short," explains Dr. Reinhold Schaefer, urologist and managing director of the medical network Uro-GmbH North Rhine. However, the correct interpretation of the PSA value belongs in the hands of an experienced urologist, since a healthy prostate also forms this substance under certain circumstances. According to the latest scientific findings and clinical studies, the PSA test can reduce mortality from prostate cancer by more than 20 percent. "Unfortunately, the statutory health insurance companies continue to ignore this fact because they do not want to pay for the test routinely," notes Dr. Shepherd.

Basically, however, only a thorough urological examination provides reliable conclusions about the state of health. Therefore, a qualified urine test as well as a transrectal ultrasound is part of the early detection program against prostate cancer. The ultrasound examination via the intestine gives the urologist far better information about the size and shape of the prostate than a mere touch examination, which only reaches a third of the organ. "What may sound uncomfortable at first may take less than 5 minutes, is completely painless and can save lives in many cases," emphasizes Dr. Shepherd. (pm)

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