Why Prostate Cancer Testing Is Important

Prostate cancer poses a number of risks, and testing for it is critical to intervening before those issues might get out of hand. If you're wondering whether you should schedule prostate cancer testing, here are four reasons to make an appointment now.

Similarity of Symptoms

A worrisome aspect of prostate cancer is that some of its symptoms are similar to issues associated with prostate swelling. This makes it easy for those who might have cancer to dismiss the situation as just the product of getting a bit older. For example, the combination of pressure on the bladder and the inability to urinate is common in both disorders.

Worse, men are more likely to be dismissive of health issues in general. This is especially true if they believe they can tough the problem out. Even if the issue ends up being swelling and not cancer, you'll be thankful that you went in for testing. Regardless of the problem, you should address it before it leads to urinary or blood pressure issues.

Risk of Spread

Notably, prostate cancer sometimes doesn't spread. Likewise, in many cases, a doctor won't recommend aggressive treatments like chemotherapy because the risk of spread is relatively low compared to other cancers.

However, the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body isn't zero. It can spread to neighboring areas, causing what may feel like hip or joint pain. More importantly, you and a doctor can't determine whether or not to treat prostate cancer until there has been a full diagnosis. Even if the decision ends up being to not do anything about the cancer that's present, a patient will need regular prostate testing for the rest of their life to guard against the risk that it could spread.

Possible Worsening Symptoms

Much like with prostate swelling, the symptoms can worsen with time. Left uncontrolled, these issues can compound. For example, pressure on the bladder can become a driver of high blood pressure because of the pain and straining during urination. Consequently, if you have prostate cancer, you will need regular testing to see if things have worsened over time. If they do, you and the doctor may need to consider various treatment options, surgery, or chemotherapy.

Family Risk

The primary risks for prostate cancer are being a man and aging. However, some prostate cancers are tracked with known genetic markers that run in families. If other men in your family have developed prostate cancer, regular testing is a good idea.

To learn more about prostate cancer testing, contact a health care clinic in your area.