Prostate Cancer is extremely common in men; according to some estimates, up to 50% of men may get it sometime in their life.
Women need to be on the lookout for the men in their lives and therefore it is necessary for women to know about the prostate screening options.
Women are able to offer the support and guidance to a man who is undergoing a difficult time as in the case of prostate cancer. Women also need to be able to recognize signs and symptoms that could be those of prostate cancer.
Women can also help make and implement dietary changes and lifestyle changes that can lower risk of developing it. For all these reasons women need to be aware of prostate screening procedures.
When talking about prostate cancer screening procedures, there are several implications of the screening process that have to be taken into consideration.
Some prostate cancers are of course malignant, painful and many can also be the cause of death.
However, in many cases the cancer is so slow growing that there is no need for any kind of treatment. However, it is often the case that needless treatments are initiated and that some men receive treatment that is in retrospect unnecessary.
This is the treatment that could have been better utilized for someone else whose life could have been saved. There are two main prostate screening procedures:
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Prostate Screening test: This is a screening test that measures the concentration of this molecule in the blood.
If men are over the age of 70 years, the PSA test is generally not recommended. This is because even if a cancer were to be detected as a result of the screening most men would likely pass on of another cause before the cancer had the chance to grow to be life threatening.
There is also an argument against screening men who are too young: for one, too many men would have to be screened in order to find one who has the cancer.
For another, if a cancer is detected, then regardless of whether it would progress further or the speed at which it would progress, it is likely that treatment will be obtained. This would result in many men getting themselves treated for a cancer that would not actually progress enough to justify this.
Digital Rectal Examination as a method of Prostate Cancer Screening: This test involves the examiner inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum of the person undergoing the test, in order to physically examine the prostate which adjoins the rectum.
Studies have found that prostate cancer screening does not significantly enhance chances of survival among men and that a small number will actually benefit from the screening.
On the other hand, many will be treated unnecessarily. Experts have not been able to say with any degree of certainty that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks.