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Detection of Cancer

article written by article by Dr Philip Ayoung-Chee

Cancer of the prostate gland is an important disease and a significant cause of mortality and morbidity. There has been a steady increase in the incidence of prostate cancer; in many industralised countries, prostate cancer has become the most common cancer diagnosed in men and the second most common cause of cancer death.

Because advanced prostatic cancer is only amenable to palliative treatment, there is considerable attraction in seeking early diagnosis and treatment, in the hope of a cure while the disease is confined to the prostatic capsule. Currently, the most realistic opportunity for cure is to detect prostatic cancer at an early stage.

In Trinidad and Tobago, patients with localized or early prostate cancer are offered either radical prostatectomy or brachytherapy.

There are many screening methods available. The preliminary methods include digital rectal examination (DRE), prostate specific antigen (PSA) and trans-rectal ultra-sound (TRUS); their values will be discussed later. Patients with any abnormality in the preliminary tests will be advised to have a prostate biopsy.

It must be noted that at present, there are many different methods of screening. However, there is no controlled data to prove that screening is beneficial and hence an effective method remains to be established. Screening has thus remained a debatable issue.

© Trinidad and Tobago Prostate Brachytherapy Limited.