Prostate Screening

    • Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men
    • Men over the age of 40 should have a regular prostate screen
    • Earlier diagnosis means more chance of successful treatment
    • Call our patient booking team to discuss the options
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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Ease your mind with a prostate screening test at Kingsbridge Private Hospital.

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At Kingsbridge Private Hospital we provide Prostate Screening for men who are worried about prostate disease, providing fast access to diagnostics tests and results.

Prostate Screening at Kingsbridge Private Hospital includes:

  • PSA Test: A PSA test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA - Prostate Specific Antigen - in a man's blood. PSA is a protein made by the prostate which naturally leaks into the blood stream. After testing, if a man's levels of PSA are said to be 'raised', it could be a sign that he has prostate cancer. However, a raised PSA level can also indicate that another, non-cancerous, prostate condition exists. Following a raised PSA test result, the only way to definitely determine whether prostate cancer exists is through a biopsy of the prostate.
  • Urine Flow Test: A urine flow test evaluates the speed of urination and the total time of urination. During a urine flow test, a patient urinates into a uroflowmeter, a funnel-shaped device that reads, measures and computes the rate and amount of urine flow.
  • Consultant Discussion: Consultant Urologists at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will discuss your results with you and make recommendations if further tests or investigations are required.

What is the prostate?

In men, the prostate is a small gland about the size of a walnut called the prostate gland. The prostate is located just below the bladder. It surrounds the first part of the tube (urethra), which carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The same tube also carries sex fluid (semen). The prostate gland is divided into 2 lobes, to the left and the right of a central groove.

What does the prostate do?

The prostate gland produces a thick clear fluid that is an important part of the semen. The growth and function of the prostate depends on the male sex hormone testosterone, which is produced in the testes.

What are the symptoms of non-cancerous and cancerous prostate conditions?

As men get older their prostate gland often enlarges. This is usually not due to cancer. It is a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The symptoms of growths in the prostate are similar whether they are non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).

The symptoms may include:

  • Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
  • Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night
  • Difficulty when passing urine, including straining to pass it or stopping and starting
  • A sense of not being able to completely empty the bladder
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Blood in the urine or semen 

Pain and bleeding are very rare symptoms of prostate cancer. These symptoms are more often a sign of a non-cancerous prostate condition.

Very early prostate cancer generally does not cause any symptoms at all. For this reason it is recommended that men over the age of 40 have a regular prostate screen. Many prostate cancers start in the outer part of the prostate gland, away from the urethra. If a tumour is not large enough to put much pressure on the tube that carries urine out of the body (the urethra), you may not notice any effects from it.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate which causes it to enlarge and this can be treated effectivly with a new day-procedure called Urolift, available at our Belfast Hospital.

What causes prostate symptoms?

With both prostate cancers and non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, the larger prostate gland presses on the urethra. The pressure blocks the flow of urine and causes symptoms. Screening for prostate cancer can help with the early diagnosis of prostate problems. 

A prostate screen is recommended if you have any symptoms. Most enlargements of the prostate are benign. That means they are not cancer and can be easily treated. A simple check with a member of our team is often all that is needed to help diagnose problems with the prostate.

What are other symptoms of prostate cancer?

Cancer of the prostate gland often grows slowly, especially in older men. Symptoms may be mild and occur over many years. Sometimes the first symptoms are from prostate cancer which has spread to your bones but this is not common.

Prostate cancer cells in the bone may cause pain in your:

  • Back
  • Hips
  • Pelvis
  • Other bony areas 

Cancer that has spread to other areas of the body is called metastatic or secondary prostate cancer.

Other symptoms that may occur are weight loss, particularly in elderly men, and difficulty getting an erection (where you haven't had difficulty before).

Prostate cancer screening is recommended if you have any of the above symptoms.

Why should I get a prostate screen?

The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful. It is important that you get a prostate screen as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms.

Screening for prostate cancer is an important part of cancer care. The aim of screening is to diagnose disease:

  • At an early stage
  • Before symptoms start
  • When it is easier to treat
  • When it is more likely to be curable 

Unlike many other cancers, prostate cancers can be there for years before they are found. This type of cancer can often grow very slowly indeed and may not cause any symptoms or problems at all during a man's lifetime. By the age of 80, many men will have some cancer cells in their prostate, but only 1 in 25 of them will actually die from prostate cancer. On the other hand, some types of prostate cancer are faster growing and can spread to other parts of the body.

For screening to be most helpful, it would only pick up prostate cancer that is faster growing and likely to be a threat to a man's health. Picking up very slow growing cancers with screening would mean that many men would have treatment that they didn't really need. The treatments can cause unpleasant side effects, which affect men for the rest of their lives.

How common is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men (not counting non melanoma skin cancer). More than 41,700 men are diagnosed each year. That is almost a quarter of all cancers diagnosed in men.

What age group is most at risk?

Prostate cancer is quite rare in men under 50. More than half of all cases are diagnosed in men over 70. Age is the most significant risk factor of all for prostate cancer. The older you are, the greater the risk. In old age, up to 8 out of 10 men have prostate cancer cells in the prostate.

About 1 in 9 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Remember, this is lifetime risk and involves men who get prostate cancer at any age, up to 85 or more. The risk of developing prostate cancer in younger men is much lower than 1 in 9.

Can prostate cancer be linked to family history?

A family history means that you have someone in your family who has had cancer. If you have a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer you are 2 to 3 times more likely to get prostate cancer yourself, compared to the average man. The age that your relative is diagnosed with prostate cancer may also be a factor. If they were diagnosed before the age of 60, this increases your risk by slightly more than if they were diagnosed after the age of 60. If you have more than one first degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer (at any age) your risk is about 4 times that of the general population.

If your relative was young when they were diagnosed, or if you have several relatives with prostate cancer, these could be signs that there is a faulty gene running in the family. The younger the age at diagnosis, the more likely it is that an inherited faulty gene is the cause. Remember that for there to be a faulty gene at work, the affected relatives have to come from the same side of your family (your mother's side or your father's side).

Men who have relatives with breast cancer may also have a higher risk of prostate cancer, particularly if the family members were diagnosed under the age of 60. This increased risk is mostly caused by an inherited faulty gene called BRCA2. Men who have a fault (mutation) in the BRCA2 gene can have a risk of prostate cancer that is 5 times higher than men in the general population. The risk can be 7 times higher in men under the age of 65.

Faults in a gene called BRCA1 may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer in men under the age of 65 by a small amount. But in men older than 65 who have a faulty BRCA1 gene there doesn’t appear to be an increased risk.

Statistics available are always a generalisation. For most men there will be specific factors which will increase their risk of Prostate Cancer.

Does ethnicity increase my risk of Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is more common in black Caribbean and black African men than in white or Asian men. Black African and black Caribbean men are 2 or 3 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men. Asian men have a lower risk than white men.

Prostate Screening can offer diagnosis and reassurance if you have been suffering from prostate related symptoms.

If you require further information on the available options, please do not hesitate to contact us via our online enquiry form.

Alternatively, email Kingsbridge Private Hospital Sligo

Or call us on 071 916 2649 

Treatment Locations

Kingsbridge Private Hospital Sligo

Ray MacSharry Road,
Gardenhill, Sligo, Co. Sligo

Healthcare Professionals & Consultants

Mr Philip McLaughlin

Consultant General Surgeon

Mr Ian Walsh

Lead Urology Consultant

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