Mens Health: Prostate Cancer

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  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men.
  • It is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths among New Zealand men.
  • Prostate cancer that is found early has a better chance of successful treatment.

Symptoms and Signs:

These may not be apparent until the cancer is quite advanced. Symptoms include:

  • Reduced urinary flow,
  • Difficulty or discomfort peeing,
  • Impaired bladder control,
  • More frequent peeing, especially at night,
  • Blood in your urine,
  • Inability to pee,
  • Difficulty starting to pee.

To screen or not to screen:

The experts disagree on a screening plan. Men with any of the symptoms above should be assessed by their GP. What is also recommended is that men over 40 years old with a close relative (father or brother) who had prostate cancer before the age of 65 years  should be assessed by their GP, and then will be reviewed intermittently thereafter. Otherwise men 50 years old and above should be assessed by their GP from time to time. The assessment will involve an assessment of any urinary symptoms, a digital rectal examination (DRE) and a simple blood test (Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA). A normal PSA test alone is not sufficient to exclude prostate cancer. The DRE assesses for size and irregularity of the prostate.

There are reasons, other than cancer, that can increase your PSA. These include: prostatitis (an inflamed prostate); Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (an enlarged prostate); a urinary tract infection; sexual activity within 2-3 days of the blood test; and prolonged cycling in the 2-3 days before the test.

If your GP is concerned about the findings of your prostate assessment he or she is likely to refer you to a Urologist for more specialised testing.

Dr Simon Mayhew

HealthZone – Medical

Primary Care and Sports Medicine Doctor

Healthzone Medical is located on the ground floor inside AUT Millennium.

Go through the entrance doors of the main building, past the Café and past the stairs on the left and you will see us.

If you would like to make an appointment please contact one of our friendly receptionists on 09 4772090

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