THRIVE: Prostate Cancer Screenings
The Men's health forum coming up on April 11 brings health awareness to men.. Focusing in on prostate cancer at this year's event.
There are two types of screenings for prostate cancer that man can receive; a rectal exam, or PSA, which stands for Prostate Specific antigen.
"I think ideally the two go hand in hand but some providers aren't so keen on performing that and some patients aren't so keen on allowing that test to be performed. It's really not a big deal but for some men it's just beyond their level of comfort," Mankato Clinic Physician, Dr. Robert Gazzola said.
Which is why some lean toward a PSA.
PSA, standing for prostate specific antigen, is a blood test.
"Neither one of them is an ideal screen so it's like stack on as many of these things on board as you can," Gazzola said.
Because with using one or the other you may not get a clear answer.
"Even with a digital exam, the prostate is a three dimensional structure and you're only going to feel a portion of that sort of walnut shape and size organ and so you miss a lot of it so there's a lot of things that can be going on that you're not going to feel there that's where that PSA is going to help there but the PSA isn't a perfect test either," Gazzola said.
The PSA is a blood test that is based on a scale of numbers.
"Starts at 0 can go to double digits for sure perhaps even triple digits, pretty rare. Normal range increases as we get older," Gazzola said.
Depending on the life span, most men will have prostate cancer.
"By the time men are in the 80's and you look microscopically you will be able to see 80 percent of those men will have prostate cancer. Most men though will die with but not of prostate cancer," Gazzola said.
Which is why screenings are so important to identify those men at a younger age before it turns more aggressive.
For more information on the health forum or to register visit http://www.mankatoclinic.com/register-here