In brief introduction, the prostate gland is located behind the bladder in men. The major problems related to the prostate are enlargement, cancer and infection. The symptoms of each are similar and therefore it is necessary to carry out a number of tests to arrive at the right diagnosis.
The hot-topic in the world of prostate health seems to be screening for various prostate conditions. The PSA test in particular has received heavy criticism. Doctors who are too enthusiastic about recommending biopsies have been critiqued as well. What is the criticism about? Does it have any basis? How can you promote prostate health?
The first prostate problem doctors are keen on ruling out is cancer. The zeal to rule out or catch it early has led to medical mishaps due to ‘over-treatment’. Here are a few topics that have been recently debated in the prostate world.
1. PSA Test:
In the PSA test, a measure of blood is tested for a protein (called prostate specific antigen or PSA). If levels are found below or above 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood then the patient is said to have low or high PSA levels.
Since 2008 the United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that the routine screening of men above the age of 75 should be stopped. Not only does this test usually give false-positives in men over 75, it also gives false-positives and false-negatives for younger men. It is just a guideline but it has become procedure. This would all be alright if doctors could use other diagnostic methods to reduce the number of patients with elevated PSA that need to have a biopsy to rule out cancer.
The problem with a biopsy is that it usually leads to complications like prostate infection or worse. Close to 75% of people who have a biopsy do not have cancer and have been subjected to an invasive procedure. Critics say there has got to be some way to streamline this group.
It has become very popular to believe that early detection of cancer is the best solution. However it is true and difficult to accept that some types of cancer are so slow growing that the patient will probably die of other causes before the cancer becomes problematic. The elevated PSA levels in such patients only leads to an unnecessary dose of radiation with agonizing side-effects like urinary incontinence, bowel problems and erectile dysfunction. A better diagnosis is the need of the day to prevent this over-treatment.
4. Awareness about practices that support prostate health
All over the board, men are simply unaware of what they need to do to develop a healthy prostate. Eating red meat 6 days a week is only going to increase the risk of prostate enlargement which is a tough condition to live with. It often cripples a man’s ability to do things independently. Enlarged prostate makes urinating frequent, unsatisfactory and painful. Men should be aware of the 6-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables they need. Also supplements like Super Beta Prostate Supplement that help reduce the symptoms of enlarged prostate naturally are known to but a few. Many supplements have clinical research and reviews like Super Beta Prostate reviews to back them up.
Live a healthy life even as you age by taking care of your prostate now and find a doctor you can trust to ask about which tests and supplements are right for you.