Prostate cancer diagnosis
Often prostate cancer does not produce any symptoms, or it may produce symptoms similar to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Prostate cancer is often detected at an early stage by PSA (prostate specific antigen – blood test). However, the PSA test is not entirely accurate. There is no real safe lower limit. Even in men with “normal” levels of PSA (less than 4 ng/ml) upto 15% may have small prostate cancers. Conversely, the PSA level may be increased by conditions other than the presence prostate cancer, such as BPH or prostatitis.
What Is The Risk of Future Progression In Localised Prostate Cancer?
In many men, small prostate cancers of low Gleason grade (6 or less), of low volume on biopsy and of low stage (T1) may remain dormant throughout the patient’s lifetime. For this reason, careful active surveillance (AS) is sometimes recommended in certain men, especially in those who have other medical conditions or in those who are more elderly. In younger men, an initial conservative approach using AS can be used to enable them to think about surgery or radiotherapy in more detail, and in some cases to avoid radical treatments altogether.
For men who have been diagnosed with an early prostate cancer, we will work hard with you to ensure that you have all the necessary information to work out what treatment is best for you, given your own approach to things, your own values about risks associated with cancer and the risks of side effects from treatment.