FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER
The Cancer Association of South Africa offers a wealth of information on screening, treatment and managing the disease. Here are useful tips from the organisation:
1. The symptoms: Be aware of urinating problems, pain in the pelvis, pain when ejaculating, sexual dysfunction, weight loss and intense bone pain.
2. The science: Prostate specific antigens are a protein produced by the tissue in the prostate. High levels can indicate either cancer or an inflamed prostate.
3. Screening: Men should go for an annual screening from the age of 40, then every second year after 50. 4. Types of screening:
There are two main types – digital rectal examination or blood testing for prostate specific antigens (toxins). 5. What digital rectal
examination entails: A gloved finger is inserted into the rectum to examine the prostate. If there are abnormalities, more tests may be conducted. 6. What blood testing entails: A sample of blood is drawn from the arm and sent for testing to detect the presence or levels of antigens. 7. Treatment options:
There are numerous treatment options, from surgery to remove the prostate, radiation that kills cancer cells, radioactive seeds placed in the prostate ( brachytherapy), to hormone therapy and chemotherapy.