PROSTATE CANCER TESTING
A prostate cancer test involves testing for levels of PSA. Men with an elevated PSA are more likely than those with a low PSA. So having a PSA test can identify if you are at increased risk.
WHAT IS PSA?
PSA is a product of the prostate which forms a constituent of the semen. It leaks into the blood a little and the amount of this ‘leak’ can rise with various prostate conditions including enlargement, infection, inflammation and of course cancer.
Men with a high PSA test need a full urological assessment. This includes assessment of urinary symptoms and bladder emptying and a calculation of the your individual risk using the prostate cancer risk calculator.
SHOULD I HAVE PSA TEST?
Men with urinary symptoms should always have a PSA test and the benefits certainly outweigh the risks in these men.
The best research available suggests that the risk of death from prostate cancer can be reduced by PSA screening of asymptomatic men but at the risk of identifying cancers that may not harm you and the subsequent over-treatment of these cancers.
WHAT IF I AM A PATIENT AT RISK?
For those considered at increased risk a trans-rectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy used to be the next step. However Mr Dudderidge has been advocating multi-parametric MRI as a primary test prior to biopsy for some years and the latest evidence suggests 25% of men may safely avoid a biopsy using this scan.
In many centres men are only offered systematic random biopsies throughout the prostate. However Mr Dudderidge uses findings from the MRI scan to direct targeted biopsies into suspicious lesions in the prostate. Using state of the art software Mr Dudderidge is also able to perform MRI-Ultrasound image fusion to get even more accurate targeting of lesions. Typically Mr Dudderidge suggests transperienal biopsy for many men to help avoid the infection risks of trans-rectal biopsy.
Using risk assessment, imaging and targeted biopsy Mr Dudderidge has seen significant improvements in the accuracy of the diagnostic process compared to traditional methods.
BLOOD IN URINE
Finding blood in your urine is potentially a risky symptom that needs urgent investigation. Although there are many causes of blood in the urine, the most concerning is bladder cancer.
WHAT IF I HAVE BLOOD IN MY URINE?
Patients with blood in their urine are seen at the next available clinic to discuss possible causes, which may include infection, prostate enlargement or stones.
Investigations are performed as soon as possible, and may include blood and urine tests, an ultrasound scan, an x-ray and a cystoscopy, a procedure used to examine the inside of the bladder using an instrument called a flexible cystoscope.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Treatment options for bladder cancer very much depend on how far advanced the tumour is. Tim will discuss the best possible plan with you and ensure treatment is carried out swiftly. Meanwhile patients with benign (harmless) results can be reassured and choose to have the underlying cause treated.
URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.
WHAT IS A UTI?
The symptoms, which can be painful, usually pass within a few days and can be cleared up with antibiotics.
But sometimes people have been treated by their GP for many months -yet their symptoms have not been resolved.
In men, this may be related to bladder outlet obstruction, a blockage in the base of the bladder, and in women it can be linked to post-menopausal changes.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
With all patients, Tim will carry out thorough tests to rule out any other underlying problems before coming up with a personalised treatment plan.
Investigations range from urine flow and bladder emptying tests through to a cystoscopy, a medical procedure used to examine the inside of the bladder using a thin, flexible tube.
Once Tim has a full microbiological assessment, he will be able to recommend the best way forward for each patient.
Some patients are found to be suffering from painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis, a bladder condition that causes long-term pelvic pain and problems with urination.
There are a number of different treatments which can help relieve the symptoms, such as diet and lifestyle changes, but the condition cannot be treated with antibiotics.