Prostate Cancer Doctor in Charleston, SC
The physicians at Lowcountry Urology Clinics of Charleston SC have years of experience in the detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about prostate cancer.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. It is a small, walnut-sized gland located below the bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounding the urethra.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is different from most other cancers. A large percentage of men may have a silent form of cancer without any perceptible symptoms. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and is a significant health care problem in the United States.
When should I get screened for prostate cancer?
Most experts agree that screening for prostate cancer should begin at age 40. Screening consists of a serum prostate-specific antigen and a digital rectal exam. At age 40 a patient’s prostate exam should be normal and the PSA should be 0.7 or less. If this is the case, the next screening should be at age 45. If the prostate exam is normal and the PSA is 1.0 or less, then annual screening with a digital rectal exam and PSA should begin at age 50. Prostate cancer screening improves the probability of early detection and cure of prostate cancer if found. Two groups who have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer are African Americans and patients with a family history of prostate cancer.
How do you diagnose prostate cancer?
Doctors may suspect prostate cancer if they feel an abnormality during digital rectal examination (DRE) or by detecting an elevated prostatic specific antigen (PSA) measurement from a blood sample. It is important to know that not all PSA elevations or abnormal rectal exams mean that you have prostate cancer. Prostate inflammation, infection, or other processes may cause abnormal test results. Even so, your Urologist will want to follow up on any abnormal findings.
Your urologist may recommend a biopsy of your prostate gland. At Lowcountry Urology Clinics we routinely perform prostate biopsies in the office using local anesthesia and ultrasound guidance. We typically don’t use general anesthesia, and the biopsy usually takes 10 minutes. The patient may be in the office for 30 minutes in order to administer antibiotics which decreases the risk of infection following the biopsy. Prostate biopsy results generally take 1 week to process. It provides your Urologist with a better understanding of what is taking place inside the prostate gland.
If your Urologist finds an inflammation or infection, will likely prescribe anti-inflammatory meds or antibiotics. If we discover prostate cancer in the biopsy specimen, we will carefully consider your PSA level, age, medical history, physical examination, and biopsy characteristics to determine your most appropriate options for treatment.
Schedule a Prostate Cancer Consultation
As with any cancer, early detection is key. If you are a man of a certain age, or if you have a family history of prostate cancer, regular screening is important. To learn more, please contact Lowcountry Urology Clinics of Charleston SC.