CPR First Aid

Prostate Health: Understanding Risk Factors and Early Detection

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an independent statutory government agency, reports that prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the country. AIHW also states that it is the fourth leading cause of mortality among Australian men. It outlines the risk factors for it such as age. The same resource discusses the importance of education on its early detection before it has the opportunity to spread. It mentions which tests detect an increased risk of the disease and that a biopsy confirms a diagnosis. The article below provides further information on these including details on how to change your lifestyle to prevent it.

What are the Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer?

AIHW explains that the following may contribute to the development of prostate cancer.

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Ethnicity
  • Lifestyle 
  • Environmental factors

It also states that the risk of developing it increases with age.

AIHW explains that these may contribute to prostate cancer development.

What are the Methods of an Early Detection for a Prostate Cancer?

According to AIHW, the following tests indicate an increased risk of prostate cancer.

  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
  • Digital rectal examination

It further explains that only a biopsy confirms a diagnosis.

What is a Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) Test?

A government-supported health website, Healthdirect, explains that the PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. Prostate cancer may cause high PSA levels, but it does not always mean there is a need for diagnosis.

When Do You Need to Take a Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) Test?

Healthdirect states that your doctor may recommend you to take the test if you experience the below.

  • More frequent urinating
  • Discomfort or difficulty when urinating
  • There is blood in the urine or semen

Healthdirect also informs that it is still possible to take the test even without the above symptoms. A discussion with your doctor may guide you on how to proceed with it.

What is a Digital Rectal Examination?

Cancer Council NSW, Australia’s leading cancer charity, states that a urologist places a finger into your rectum to feel the back of the prostate. It is possible to take further tests if your specialist feels a hardened area or an odd shape.

When Do You Need to Take a Digital Rectal Examination?

According to The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), this examination is essential for someone who has:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Acute abdominopelvic pain

MJA follows the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Association of Medical Editors.

What is the Biopsy for Prostate Cancer?

Men’s Health Melbourne states that it involves taking tiny samples of tissue from the prostate to check if there is cancer. A urologist places an ultrasound probe into your rectum which scans the entire prostate. Then, the next step includes either a transrectal or a transperineal biopsy. 

MHM is a clinic for urological care and men’s health care that has specialist urologists (urological surgeons), andrologists, men’s health, and nurse practitioners.

When Do You Need to Take a Biopsy for Prostate Cancer?

MHM states that a biopsy is recommended after taking the above initial tests and if there are concerns about possible cancer.

How Has Prostate Cancer Affected the Men’s Health?

AIHW provides the following data regarding prostate cancer on its website.

  • The type of cancer with the most diagnosed patients in 2009
  • The fourth leading cause of mortality in 2011

It also reports that this disease led to an increased expenditure on healthcare.

What Happens When You Have a Prostate Cancer?

AIHW explains that the uncontrolled replication of cells in the prostate, which produces fluid to protect and enrich sperm, causes prostate cancer. 

What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

Cancer Council, a charity that works with every aspect of every cancer, lists the following symptoms of advanced prostate cancer.

  • Urinating more frequently
  • Experiencing pain while urinating
  • There is blood in the urine or semen
  • There is a weak stream
  • There is a feeling of pain in the back or pelvis
  • The legs or feet are weak legs or feet

Its website also discusses the possibility of the disease spreading to the bones which causes pain, sudden weight loss, and fatigue.

Is there a First Aid to Prostate Cancer?

Online and in-person training at CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903) is helpful in many emergencies, but not prostate cancer. Cancer Council also outlines the kind of treatments that apply to this disease.

What are the Treatments for Prostate Cancer?

Cancer Council provides further information on the following treatments that depend on the extent of prostate cancer.

  • Staging
  • Active Surveillance
  • Watchful waiting
  • Surgery
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Androgen deprivation therapy
  • Palliative care

Cancer Council also itemises the different types of medical experts that may work in the treatment of the disease. 

Cancer Council details treatments for prostate cancer based on its extent.

How Do You Prevent Prostate Cancer?

Unfortunately, Cancer Council reports that there are no proven measures to prevent prostate cancer.

Conclusion

Age, family history, ethnicity, lifestyle, and the environment are the risk factors for prostate cancer. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination are the initial tests that help detect it in its early stages. A biopsy then confirms a diagnosis depending on the results of these tests. Prostate cancer had the most number of diagnoses and became one of the leading causes of mortality in men. It occurs when there is an uncontrolled replication of cells in the prostate which causes different symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no known first aid or prevention. So, taking the initial tests when you experience any unusual patterns with your urinating may help with early detection.

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