21 March 2017
Has the man in your life taken the test?
It doesn’t hurt, takes just a few minutes and could save your life!
Men over 50 are being urged to take the test as soon as possible in an effort to cut the number of lives a year lost to prostate cancer.
They are also appealing to wives and girlfriends to ‘bring the subject into the open’ if their menfolk are still putting off getting themselves tested.
Consultant Urologist Mr Peter Acher wants to see a big rise in the number of men visiting their GP for an examination that could save their life.
He explained: “There isn’t any point skirting around the subject, the most common test usually involves a ‘digital examination’. That means the doctor feeling inside the man’s back passage – it’s a simple as that!
“It is common practice for the doctor, usually takes less than a minute, is relatively painless and can save your life – so what are you waiting for!”
Mr Acher, who practices at Spire Wellesley Hospital in Southend, Essex, said: “Many men are embarrassed by the thought of this and so put off the test. If someone has a loved one over 50-years-old who they know hasn’t been tested I want them to bring the subject up and help take away that embarrassment factor.”
The causes of prostate cancer, which is responsible for more than 10,000 UK deaths each year, are largely unknown but what is certain is that chances of developing it increase in men over 50 years of age. Although it is more common in men of African-Caribbean or African descent it is actually less common in men of Asian descent.
Men whose father or brother has been affected by prostate cancer are also at higher risk of being affected themselves.
“A blood test known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can be the first step to checking for cancer but this can only supply an indicator.
The problem with the PSA test is that levels can be raised by non-cancerous growths or urinary infections of the prostate. Multiparametric MRI, however, is very good at determining whether or not men should have further investigation. Modern biopsy techniques, if required, are not only much more accurate at giving a diagnosis, but also much safer than just a few years ago."
“The good news is that, if spotted in time, prostate cancer is very treatable with latest figures showing that 84% of those treated live for 10 years or more after treatment,” Mr Acher added.
The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.