What you need to know to reduce your risk of prostate cancer

According to urologist Jamin Brahmbhatt, prostate cancer continues to be a significant concern. In this regard, the doctor emphasized the importance of early detection, reports CNN.

Regular PSA screenings are especially important. Photo: Shutterstock (Archive)

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be nearly 300,000 new cases of prostate cancer and around 35,000 deaths in 2024.

A vital tool in diagnosing and treating this common cancer is the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test, a simple blood test that provides valuable information about prostate health. Those who have a family history, risk factors, or are black may start screening as early as age 40.

What is prostate specific antigen testing?

Prostate-specific antigen testing is an essential element in the early detection of prostate cancer. When combined with other diagnostic tests and clinical evaluations, it helps identify prostate cancer in the early stages, when surgery and radiation therapy for prostate cancer has the best chance of a cure.

Regular PSA screenings are especially important for people at high risk, such as those with a family history of prostate cancer or advanced age. The blood test is also essential for men during their annual check-ups with their GP.

What else can affect the PSA level?

Conditions such as an enlarged prostate, recent sexual activity, or prostate infections can contribute to high PSA levels, leading to unnecessary worry. By considering these factors along with PSA test results, healthcare professionals can make recommendations and avoid unnecessary interventions.

Prostate-specific antigen testing has also evolved beyond its traditional boundaries with advances in urine and blood molecular testing and imaging technology.

Blood and urine tests can now identify specific genetic markers associated with prostate cancer, providing information about each patient's unique risk profile.

Combined with traditional PSA tests, these tests provide an even more comprehensive picture of a patient's prostate health and cancer risk. These tests, in combination with the PSA test, can help identify those who need further investigation, such as a prostate biopsy.

Prostate MRI technology provides a clear image of the prostate. This allows the identification of suspicious lesions in the prostate gland that could harbor prostate cancer. These “hot spots” are then targeted using MRI fusion technology, where MRI images are fused with live ultrasound images during a prostate biopsy. Using this imaging tool allows for more accurate cancer detection during prostate biopsy. Prostate.

Together, these additional investigations may contribute to better detection of prostate cancer, which will ultimately lead to more effective and personalized treatments.

Recent research and guidelines from the Prostate Cancer Foundation highlight a significant update to prostate cancer screening in black men. Recognizing their increased risk, PSA testing is recommended between ages 40 and 45, earlier than current recommendations offered by other organizations. Regular screenings, preferably yearly, should continue until at least age 70. These updates aim to address disparities in prostate cancer outcomes among black men by providing essential screening recommendations that save lives.

Lowering the recommended age for PSA testing in black men could reduce prostate cancer deaths by about 30 percent without significantly increasing rates of overdiagnosis, according to recent results.

Additionally, black men are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with and die from prostate cancer as white men.