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15th February 2024

How to get screened for prostate cancer

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It’s no secret that prostate cancer has become more talked about in the public domain. However, work still needs to be done to raise awareness of how people can get screened and why prostate cancer screening is important. If you’re worried about prostate cancer or think you might be exhibiting symptoms, screening is a way to get the answers you need. This post is designed to point you in the right direction whilst also providing some key information about screening for prostate cancer.

 

Why get screened for prostate cancer

If you’re worried about getting prostate cancer, or suspect that you have symptoms of prostate cancer, it can be beneficial to have a consultation with a healthcare professional. They will discuss the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening, as well as what is involved in the process. This professional will consider the risks to each guest individually, looking at factors like urinary tract symptoms, age and family medical history. Symptoms of prostate cancer include having to get up at night to urinate, difficulty starting and stopping urination and a reduced urine stream.

The primary reason to get screened is to identify cancer that has a high risk of spreading to other parts of the body. Early treatment of these kinds of cancer can help prevent their spread. The bottom line is that treating prostate cancer before it can spread can reduce the chance of death. Plus, some people simply prefer to know if they have prostate cancer regardless of how far along it is.

 

Can other cancer screening diagnose prostate cancer

While the NHS offers screening programmes for cervical, breast, and bowel cancer respectively, there is not (at the time of writing) a national infrastructure for prostate cancer screening in the UK.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t one definitive test for prostate cancer. Instead, the screening process has evolved over time to include a number of tests. This allows it to be more reliable in identifying the presence of prostate cancer, but it is still not guaranteed.

 

How to get a prostate cancer screening

A prostate cancer screening test can consist of multiple separate tests, each designed to check for the possible presence of cancerous tissue in different ways. Guests won’t necessarily have to go through all of these tests. Certain ones will instead be recommended depending on the guest and whether previous tests have proven inconclusive. None of the tests detailed below are guaranteed to be accurate or without risk. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether to have screening following a consultation with a medical professional.

Physical examination

A specialist will conduct an in-person Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), where they’ll physically feel the size, shape, and texture of the prostate through the rectum. If you’re in the Liverpool region, you might have noticed the VIDA Clinics’ ‘Face the Finger’ beer mats. This campaign is designed to break the stigma around prostate examinations and raise money for Prostate Cancer UK through our screening services.

PSA test

A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test involves analysing the level of PSA in the blood. As the PSA substance is produced by the prostate, those with high amounts could have prostate cancer. However, there are other conditions and procedures that can also lead to elevated blood PSA levels.

Imaging

If either the PSA test or physical examination raise the possibility of prostate cancer, you will need referral to a specialist. Given the advancements in technology, the next stage of investigation is usually a form of scan. This would generally be an MRI scan as this will give the most detail. Depending on the results of the scan, you may require a biopsy.

Biopsy

A biopsy is where a small tissue sample is removed from the target area and taken to a lab for analysis. By their nature, biopsies are invasive and so can carry greater risk than the other tests above. However, a biopsy is usually needed to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer. The two types that can be used here are:

  • Transperineal biopsy – a needle is used to access the prostate and take a tissue sample. Often conducted with the guest under general anaesthetic.
  • Transrectal biopsy – an ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to locate areas to take tissue samples from. It’s usually possible for guests to be given local anaesthetic to avoid any discomfort or pain.

 

There are many private clinics around the UK that will offer specialist treatments and health checks not offered on the NHS. However, of these not all will offer services for prostate cancer screening. VIDA Clinics are different. We are proud to offer affordable screening tests conducted by trained specialists.

Professional and friendly medical services

The team at VIDA Clinics have seen it all, so talking about the prostate really doesn’t bother us. We want everyone who walks through our doors to feel as though they can be honest about how they’re feeling and any discomfort they’ve been experiencing. Prostate cancer affects approximately 52,000 men each year in the UK. Don’t hesitate to contact us online, over the phone, or in person if you think you have the symptoms.

We also offer a comprehensive TruCheck Early Cancer Screening service that uses new technology to test for multiple types of cancer. See our website for further details.

Our Locations
VIDA Woodside

1 Pacific Road

Wirral

Merseyside

CH41 1LJ

info@vidaclinics.co.uk

Woodsidevida 57
VIDA South Road

18 South Road

Waterloo

Liverpool

L22 5PQ

info@vidaclinics.co.uk

99Efb9b3 2626 425D A84a 9Df45c0020ef
VIDA Birchwood
Venturi Cardiology

720 Birchwood Boulevard

Birchwood

WA3 7QY

info@vidaclinics.co.uk

DCS0273
VIDA Chester
Total Fitness

53 Liverpool Rd

Chester

CH2 1AQ

info@vidaclinics.co.uk

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