Prostate Cancer (PC) is not like BPH, it normally begins to grow in the outer area of the prostate gland and therefore does not often announce its presence by giving you early symptoms. However, in its advanced form, it can produce the same symptoms as BPH. On the other hand PC is normally a slow growing cancer and many men have cancer cells and live their full life and die from old age without ever knowing they had these cells present. Some Medics are convinced that taking out the gland as soon as cells are discovered will cure the disease, others are not, the problem is there have been no 10 year trials to establish a 'guaranteed cure'.
Most often, because it rarely gives any outward symptoms in its early stages, prostate cancer is not discovered until it has moved out from the prostate gland and in some cases established secondary growths in other parts of the body. At this stage an operation to remove the gland is not an option and the patient would be offered radiotherapy or probably hormone treatment.
Much like prostatitis this is an under-funded disease. Even a test which can detect a high level of antigen in the blood, (and can indicate a possible cancer) has not been refined to ensure that it is 100% accurate. Little information is available to the general public on the disease, on the tests and treatments, nor on the possible methods of avoiding the disease.
Here in the UK it looks as if the government has at last 'given in' to the PSA test lobby, partially at any rate. They state that a GP can give a man a PSA test as long as he is fully informed. Now that is how we feel, for fully informed men are what the PHA want. Our concern is that not every medic has the time to fully inform each patient and allow him to gain the necessary knowledge to make a balance judgment.
Other considerations are that there is just not the staffing of trained medics to do follow up work on biopsied tissue if the demand grows. Current waiting times for radical treatment are high and will rocket if testing becomes a trend. I choose my words carefully, for there is a growing movement from men and families who have been PC diagnosed who feel that if they had been diagnosed early they could have had treatment which would have 'cured' them. The newspapers are full of men who claim that they are fighting for their fellow man and lobbying for early diagnosis/early treatment. Some medics also state that early diagnosis and radical treatment will 'cure'. All this against the governments own 'think tanks' which recommended against offering PSA tests to all. For more information on this read the PHA Newsletters.
Until trials have been done to establish a cure rate for prostate cancer and there are sufficient staff to check biopsies, perform radicals, give seed implants it is condemning men to knowledge that they have a cancer without being in a position to offer a service to satisfy any demand for early radical treatment. Inexperience medics and short staffing could lead to botched surgery and seed implants, not to speak of errors in diagnosis on par with those found in current women's testing.
The PHA gather together all the information it can on prostate cancer and will publish this in Prostate Focus, see seperate button. The PHA also have a book on prostate cancer published for the layman In addition a book by Prof. J Plant on an alternative positive treatment for P.C.
Inclusion of links is NOT an endorsement by the Prostate Help Association, nor do we guarantee any information you will find, other than our own. We would remind everyone that they should discuss with their medical team all aspects of their condition and then come to a decision in regard to the best treatment for their condition.