Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions…
|Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions…||Darrell Miller||10/25/05|
October 25, 2005 09:57 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions…
What’s a PSA test?
PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen, a protein made by the prostate gland. It’s a simple blood sample that measures the level of the protein. In general, a PSA under 4 ng/ml (Nanograms per milliliter) is considered low, 4 to 10 is moderately elevated, and over 10 is considered high. Keep in mind, though, that prostate cancer isn’t the only thing or even the most likely thing that can cause PSA levels to rise. An enlarged prostate can also boost scores. Its important to have a digital rectal exam along with the PSA.
What’s a digital rectal exam like?
According to Tom Sansone, M.D. urologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital, says, “For a really vigorous exam, go to a urologist. Family practitioners tend to be more gentle and superficial.” An urologist will manipulate the gland for a full minute, exerting pressure in order to feel for nodules, areas of hardness, changes of consistency and symmetry. A normal prostate should have two symmetrical lobes and the consistency of a rubber ball. If it’s so hard that the doctor can’t indent it with this thumb, then he knows there’s a problem.
Can I still have sex with an enlarged prostate?
Yes, in fact, the more sex the better! Regular sex, or at least ejaculation, is beneficial since it gets the juices flowing and clears our the ducts.
If I have an enlarged prostate will I develop prostate cancer?
Not necessarily. According to Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D., medical director of the hoffman center in NYC and host of the “Health Talk”, a syndicated radio program, “It is very common to have prostate enlargement without cancer. In fact, prostate enlargement is virtually universal among north American men, while prostate cancer is not. Nevertheless, its estimated that the vast majority of men may have ‘microfoci’ of cancer: tiny clusters of cancer cells that are normally of very little consequence because they are slow growing. But some of them can develop down the line.” (Conscious Choice, June 1999)