The Importance of Screening for Prostate Cancer
A significant percentage of men over the age of 50 will experience prostate enlargement. Known as prostatic hyperplasia, the condition has numerous symptoms, including frequent urination, pain while urinating and blood in the urine. These can also be symptoms of prostate cancer. However, more than half of the men who develop cancer of the prostate have no symptoms. This is why testing is so important.
Health Testing Centers have for more than 30 years been providing the type of affordable testing that can detect cancer in its early stages and ultimately save lives. Prostate cancer screening can be done through a simple blood test that checks for the level of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA. This protein is secreted from the prostate, and generally a higher PSA reading will mean a greater likelihood that cancer has developed in the gland. A prostate gland that is affected by cancer will produce some 10 times the amount of protein as one that is healthy. Prostate enlargement that is benign can also produce a higher PSA reading, and further testing may be needed to determine whether the condition is malignant. Research as shown that PSA testing can increase the chance of early cancer detection by some 70 percent.
Prostate cancer that is not treated in its early stages can spread to other parts of the body, and will then begin to reveal itself through other physical symptoms. However, treatment at that point can be difficult or even impossible. Every man over the age of 50 should have an annual PSA blood test, and those with fathers or brothers who have suffered from prostate cancer should begin annual testing at the age of 40. Besides heredity, other risk factors for prostate cancer include obesity and one's age and race. These factors add to the importance of early detection. Health Testing Centers in Torrance can play a vital role in protecting those who may be prone to the disease and men in general from the threat of prostate cancer.
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