Prostate cancer screening and prevention
November is Men’s Health month, a campaign to raise awareness of male health issues such as prostate disease. The most dangerous of the prostate diseases is a malignant prostate gland, which can now be screened and successfully cured. We asked Dr. József Varga, a urologist at Dr. Rose Private Hospital, about prostate diseases.
From what age is screening recommended and what does the test consist of?
The European urological recommendation is for regular screening from the age of 45. Prostate screening consists of a physical examination and determining the level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) via a blood sample. Elevated PSA levels indicate prostate disease - prostate cancer, prostatitis, or a benign enlargement. The blood sample is supplemented by a physical examination, which is painless.
If an elevated PSA level or a malignancy of the prostate is discovered during a physical examination, the urologist will order an ultrasound examination with an MRI examination and, if necessary, a histological examination.
There is no need to be afraid of the tests and the result of the test as the disease is very treatable. Patients who are screened have a much better chance of recovery than those who have consulted a doctor already showing symptoms.
Are men with a family history of the disease at greater risk?
The disease is not inherited from father to son, but it can occur cumulatively in the family, in which case it is worth starting regular screening at the age of 40.
With what kind of symptoms is it worth seeing a urologist? What should we watch for ourselves?
Prostate cancer has no typical symptoms, which is why it is important to participate in screening tests. Of course, if you have any complaints, feel free to consult your urologist.
What can we do to prevent the disease?
By following the recommendations of a healthy lifestyle, we can reduce the chances of developing cancer. Maintain a healthy bodyweight, and avoid sugary or very fatty foods. Eat red meat only in moderation, instead eating sea fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Eat lots of vegetables and cold-pressed oils, for example pumpkin seed oil. Maintain your physical condition with regular exercise. By living a health-conscious lifestyle, we not only reduce the chances of developing the disease, but also increase our chances of survival in the case of emerging diseases.
Many wonder whether there is a correlation between the frequency of sex and the development of prostate disease, but there is no evidence of this.
How has the number of people applying for screening changed in recent years? Can the impact of the November campaign be felt?
Over the past 10 years, there has been a significant improvement in the number of screening participants, as evidenced by the fact that 15 years ago I performed surgery around 100-200 times, a figure currently close to 2,000 per year. Campaigns are needed, but keep in mind that screening is available year-round, takes only a few minutes and is painless.
Prostate cancer screening tests are available at Dr. Rose Private Hospital.
For more information and to make an appointment, call +36 1 377 6737.