Younger African American men appear to have twice the risk and fatalities of Caucasians. Sadly, many are diagnosed before they reach the age of 50.
Another risk group is men who have a family history of prostate cancer, placing them in the same group who may contract the disease before the age of 50.
The only method to determine whether you are at risk for prostate cancer is diagnostic testing. The earlier you are screened the higher your chances of survival. Lets explore some of the screening options.
Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
Testing begins with a digital rectal exam (DRE). This examination has been the benchmark for discovering cancer as well as BPH. Your doctor can determine the condition and size of the prostate by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum.
A standard urine test can also help to diagnose prostate problems by screening for blood or infection. The chemical tests will also check for liver, diabetes or kidney disease.
Hyperplasia INTRAVENOUSPYELOGRAM (IVP)
This test is actually an X-ray. Dye is injected into one of the major veins.
While the dye is circulating, pictures of vital organs are taken. This test will record the progress of the dye through the kidneys, bladder and ureter tubes (the tubes that drain the kidneys).
This test is more or less optional since most men who have enlargement of the prostate usually have no abnormalities of the ureter tubes or kidneys in a normal urinalysis.
This is a simple procedure that can be conducted right in the doctors office. It is non-invasive and determines if there is urine left in the bladder after urination. If a large amount of urine remains, it could be an indicator of enlarged prostate that is not allowing the bladder to be completely emptied.
This is a test to estimate the size of the prostate by using state of the art software that helps guide the physician. The prostate ultrasound is also important if a biopsy is called for which we will discuss later.
This is a simple test that entails the patient urinating into a container and measuring how strong the stream of urine is.
This test allows the physician to visually examine the bladder and prostate. This is done by inserting an instrument through the urethra.