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The Pros And Cons Of Prostate Cancer Screening

Performing a prostate cancer screening test is the best way to obtain statistics of those in a certain geographical area who may or may not suffer from prostate cancer. Unfortunately, even those who don’t have any reason to think they may have prostate cancer are screened, just to obtain the needed numbers for these important health statistics. It not only is costly, it can cost a man his pride as well.

Today, there are two basic ways a prostate screening is done on a man. The first method is the DRE or Digital Rectal Examination and the second is called the PSA or Prostate Specific Antigens.

The Dreaded Digital Rectal Examination

Much to the embarrassment of the man, a medical doctor will insert his finger which has been gloved and lubricated, into the man’s rectum. He does this to determine if there is any reason to suspect signs of prostate cancer.

The PSA or Prostate Specific Antigens Test

The other, and much less embarrassing of the two tests, is the PSA blood test. Blood is taken and tests are done on it to check the concentration of prostate molecules that can reveal the presence of prostate cancer.

There are many benefits but also controversies surrounding prostate cancer screening. Trials have been conducted to make known if the timely detection of prostate cancer, through use of the PSA, is beneficial or not. Only about four percent of patients have benefited from prostate screening and amazingly enough, the mortality rate in the United States has declined over the past ten years.

It is entirely up to you, the individual, if you choose to have this testing done. If you have a family history of cancer, then perhaps it may be a good idea. However, listen to the advice of your family doctor. If he feels there is a need for it, then maybe you should have it done, especially if you are between the ages of fifty and seventy-five. It’s a sure thing though that prostate cancer screening is not beneficial for those men whose life expectancy is shortened anyway, due to suffering from another serious disease.

There are many cases of men having prostate cancer and not even being aware of their condition. They are still able to live a healthy normal life. Statistics show that about one in every six males will develop the symptoms of prostate cancer, though it will only be life threatening to about a third. It is however, wise to weigh the various pros and cons of prostate cancer screening. The answers aren’t clear as to who should undergo the screening and who should not.

If you have passed your seventy-fifth birthday, then getting a prostate cancer screening may seem meaningless. Men of this age should go on and enjoy their life. In the cases of younger men however, the prostate cancer screening may be able to help doctors determine if the man is at risk, how serious it could become, and what treatment options would be best.

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