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Prostate Cancer checks

RHB

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With the latest news that Bill Turnbull has announced that he has been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer is it time for men over, say 40, to be regularly tested? I know it's not a subject that a lot of blokes want to discuss but it is rapidly becoming one of the prevalent cancers in men and early diagnosis can be vital.
 

OldBlueLady

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It's ridiculous that, in this day and age, we women have national screening programmes for breast and cervical cancer, and yet men do not have the same for prostate cancer.

My dad being a survivor of it, it's a subject I'm passionate about. Get checked!
 

Tangled up in Blue

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Been checked once, quite recently, (pretty much at my wife's "insistence" and all OK).Would agree that's hardly regular and will ask for another check up early next year.As a diabetic,fortunately,that's not too difficult to do.
 

Benfleet A1

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The test is a very straight forward blood test to check your PSA count. Finger up the bum comes later if they don't rate your PSA count.

Regular blood tests for my diabetes so it would show something up then. Still think something more regular should be brought in though.
 

RHB

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Regular blood tests for my diabetes so it would show something up then. Still think something more regular should be brought in though.

May be worth asking at the next one. If they arn't asked to test for PSA I'm not sure they would know.
 

Tangled up in Blue

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Regular blood tests for my diabetes so it would show something up then. Still think something more regular should be brought in though.

No you have to ask especially but they'll do it no problem as you (like me I imagine) have 2 blood tests a year.

PS.Haven't got to the finger up the bum stage yet! :winking:
 

Terry Camden

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I think my doctor thought I was strange when I asked him why he'd never stuck his finger up my arse, but he very kindly explained that my blood tests were good so there was no need. I have blood tests done every six months because there is a history of diabetes in my family, and he said that testing for PSA was standard for men of my age (I'm 49). Not sure if this is the case for everyone.
 

Member

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With the latest news that Bill Turnbull has announced that he has been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer is it time for men over, say 40, to be regularly tested? I know it's not a subject that a lot of blokes want to discuss but it is rapidly becoming one of the prevalent cancers in men and early diagnosis can be vital.
I think it's absolutely a good and positive thing that people keep an eye on their personal health and are aware of, and alert to, the signs of prostate cancer (as well as other cancers and general health issues).

I worked on cancer screening initiatives at my old work.

The basic reasons why at the moment we don't have a prostate cancer screening programme are:

- the current (blood) test for prostate cancer is unreliable, and specifically this means patients are told they potentially have cancer (a false positive) when in fact they don't. This results in a huge amount of worry and concern, and also the costs (and risks) of invasive testing to confirm the diagnosis. It also means that patients are given the all clear from the screening but may still have cancer

- prostate cancer can be very slow to grow/progress in many (not all) instances. The slightly trite saying is 'you die with prostate cancer, not of prostate cancer'. This means that if you get a diagnosis of prostate cancer, the best thing all round might still be just to leave it alone, or delay treatment. Treatments are costly and aren't risk-free.

So when the significant cost of running a national screening programme (that not all men will take part in, anyway) are weighed up against the uncertainty of the tests we currently have, and the benefit-risk decision about actually treating prostate cancer, at the moment there are better things the NHS can spend that significant amount of money on.

Hopefully it'll be the case that tests and treatments will improve to the point where screening is feasible and sensible, which will lead to a significant reduction in prostate cancer related deaths.
 

jassyfa1

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I had a colonoscopy last year, I would presume that could indicate signs of cancer?
 

RHB

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I think it's absolutely a good and positive thing that people keep an eye on their personal health and are aware of, and alert to, the signs of prostate cancer (as well as other cancers and general health issues).

I worked on cancer screening initiatives at my old work.

The basic reasons why at the moment we don't have a prostate cancer screening programme are:

- the current (blood) test for prostate cancer is unreliable, and specifically this means patients are told they potentially have cancer (a false positive) when in fact they don't. This results in a huge amount of worry and concern, and also the costs (and risks) of invasive testing to confirm the diagnosis. It also means that patients are given the all clear from the screening but may still have cancer

- prostate cancer can be very slow to grow/progress in many (not all) instances. The slightly trite saying is 'you die with prostate cancer, not of prostate cancer'. This means that if you get a diagnosis of prostate cancer, the best thing all round might still be just to leave it alone, or delay treatment. Treatments are costly and aren't risk-free.

So when the significant cost of running a national screening programme (that not all men will take part in, anyway) are weighed up against the uncertainty of the tests we currently have, and the benefit-risk decision about actually treating prostate cancer, at the moment there are better things the NHS can spend that significant amount of money on.

Hopefully it'll be the case that tests and treatments will improve to the point where screening is feasible and sensible, which will lead to a significant reduction in prostate cancer related deaths.

But until then men will continue to be diagnosed late and die early. Tough old decisions eh?
 

Member

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But until then men will continue to be diagnosed late and die early. Tough old decisions eh?
I don't have the full figures to hand but the majority of prostate cancer diagnoses are before Stage 3, where the survival data is positive (relative to other cancers, and being diagnosed at stage 3 or 4). Irrespective of staging, over 8 out of 10 men diagnosed with prostate cancer live for over 10 years. It's between 7-8 women diagnosed with breast cancer living over 10 years, and under 6 people diagnosed with bowel cancer living over 10 years.

both breast and bowel cancer have more accurate screening tests than the PSA test for prostate cancer.
 

Billy Bests boot laces

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In last 5 years have a mate who works at Keymed, where all staff get a yearly Bupa check up. He was diagnosed with it when 59, didn't have any symtoms, and was successfully treated. In last year 2 other mates 55 & 64, both had Chemo after diagnosed, both due to excess 'peeing' & so far so good.
I'll be 61 in a few months, never been tested. Step-dad ( 90) had it for last 5 years, but just takes tablets, as he was told the older you get, the less aggressive it is?.
 

Tinks

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I totally agree with OBL - us ladies have the privilege of being able to participate in a national screening programme which I would advocate people take up as it does save lives.
Although there is no national screening for prostate I think if anyone is worried then a simple blood test and a trip to the GP should allay any anxieties.
Please I would urge any of you male posters to get checked as if diagnosed early like most conditions now it can be treated and monitored and a simple 5-10 minute doctor consultation could actually save your life
 

Member

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I totally agree with OBL - us ladies have the privilege of being able to participate in a national screening programme which I would advocate people take up as it does save lives.
Although there is no national screening for prostate I think if anyone is worried then a simple blood test and a trip to the GP should allay any anxieties.
Please I would urge any of you male posters to get checked as if diagnosed early like most conditions now it can be treated and monitored and a simple 5-10 minute doctor consultation could actually save your life
The PSA blood test for prostate cancer does not always allay concerns - that's the issue. 15% of men who have a normal result actually have cancer

Your advice is definitely right though, any concerns - go to the doctor.
 

RHB

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The PSA blood test for prostate cancer does not always allay concerns - that's the issue. 15% of men who have a normal result actually have cancer

Your advice is definitely right though, any concerns - go to the doctor.
I genuinely think men should go and see their GP and request a PSA blood test bi-annually post 50. I would be amazed if a GP turned down that request. I understand the possibility that there are inaccuracies, but better that than discovering you have Prostate Cancer in it's later stages.
 

Billy Bests boot laces

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I genuinely think men should go and see their GP and request a PSA blood test bi-annually post 50. I would be amazed if a GP turned down that request. I understand the possibility that there are inaccuracies, but better that than discovering you have Prostate Cancer in it's later stages.

I had a text from my Dr's today, giving me statistics about smoking. At my time in life, I would have thought they should have suggested I had a PSA blood test?.
 
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