Men’s Health Week – Prostate Cancer
Mr Barry Maraj, Consultant Urologist at Highgate Private Hospital
1)How crucial is it to detect prostate cancer early on?
It is critical to detect prostate cancer at a very early stage i.e. when it is localized within the prostate. Thus, making it amenable to cure.
2) What age should men be aware of prostate cancer and get tested for it?
This depends on risk factors that place certain groups at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. African-Caribbean men have the highest risk of developing prostate cancer that tends to be more aggressive. Men with first degree relatives who are diagnosed with prostate cancer under the age of 60 yrs have a threefold increased risk when compared to the general population. These two groups should, therefore, have a discussion about testing from the age of 40 yrs old. The general population can consider having an assessment from the age of 50 yrs old or men with urinary symptoms.
3) Are there any new technological advances that assist diagnosis?
There are currently no proven technical advances in diagnosis. Research and trials are undergoing and multiparametric MRI scan of the prostate is widely used and can detect areas within the prostate that are suspicious of cancer. A biopsy is still, however, required to make a definitive diagnosis. Biopsies can be TRUS guided or more accurately trans perineal. The latter was also known as Template biopsies of the prostate is useful for mapping with a view to focal therapy and for targeted biopsies in regions of the prostate that would otherwise be technically challenging using the TRUS technique.
4) How quickly can someone turn around a prostate checkup?
This can be done in 24 hours (consultation, bloods, urine test and MRI). This can then lead to a biopsy. The latter result can be finalized within a week. So, overall as with the screening service that I run you can have a definitive answer in one week on average.
5) Are there any early visible symptoms that a male should look out for?
There are no real symptoms that can differentiate cancer from a non-cancer enlargement of the prostate. However, should you experience difficulties urinating, notice blood in the urine or fall into one of the high risks groups as in section 2 above you should seek immediate advice. Such patients can attend my ‘assesment’ service at Highgate Private Hospital
6) What advice would you give patients who fear that they may have prostate cancer?
See your GP immediately or book an appointment into my clinic as above.
7) How common is prostate cancer in the UK?
In males in the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer, with around 46,700 cases diagnosed in 2014. Incidence rates for prostate cancer are projected to rise by 12% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 233 cases per 100,000 males by 2035. Overall, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
8) How treatable is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is not only treatable but potentially curable if diagnosed very early and localized within the prostate.