Prostate Cancer and PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing

Posted on February 21, 2014

What is the Prostate?

The prostate gland is only found in men, is the size and shape of a walnut and lies beneath the bladder, and surrounds the tube the passes urine and semen. It’s job is to make some of the fluid that carries sperm, called semen.

There are three common problems that affect the prostate and they are:

–          An enlarged prostate

–          Prostatitis

–          Prostate Cancer

Who is at Risk?

In the UK, 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their life. Older men, men with a family history and black men are at higher risk.

Prostate cancer is mainly found in men over 50 and the risk increases with age. If you are under 50 your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low, but you can still be affected.

Researchers have found some characteristics in genes that mean that it may be passed on through your parents and therefore increase your risk of developing it. You are two and half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has been diagnosed. If the relative was under 60 when diagnosed or you have multiple relatives with prostate cancer, again your risk increases. This risk can also increase if you have relatives with breast cancer, if their breast cancer is linked to the genes BRCA1 or BRCA 2.

Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of other ethnic backgrounds. In the UK, 1 in 4 black men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their life. The reason for this is not yet known, but is thought to be linked to genes.

Reducing the Risk.

Unlike some health conditions, there are currently no set  ways in which to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer, but it is always important to have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

There are some foods that are thought to reduce your risk such as:

–          Soy foods and pulses.

–          Green Tea

–          Tomatoes

–          Selenium

–          Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, pak choy, spinach & kale).

The foods that are though to increase risk:

–          Dairy and Calcium

–          Processed and red meat

–          Well done and burnt meat

–          Fat and Saturated Fat

–          Alcohol

Prostate Cancer.

Over 250,000 men are currently living with prostate cancer. It can be a very slow growing cancer or a very quick one. Most prostate cancer is slow growing, so is present but will never cause the carrier any symptoms in his lifetime. However, men who have the aggressive form of prostate do need treatment as this can progress and spread outside of the prostate gland.

At Bluecrest we are able to carry out a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test. Read about the PSA test here.