Following on from our post last week on what to expect during a physical examination, today’s blog will explain some of the laboratory and screening tests you may also undergo. Now it’s important to note that there are no standard laboratory or screening tests during a physical exam, so what you are advised to have will depend on your physician and health history. Laboratory tests during a physical exam The main laboratory tests you are likely to undergo during a physical exam are: – Complete blood count (CBC) – A CBC is a blood test that helps evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of conditions, including anemia, infection and leukemia. – Chemistry panel – A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) will include an electrolyte panel (which measures levels of sodium, chloride, potassium and bicarbonate), kidney function tests, liver function tests and also measures glucose and calcium. – Blood glucose – To look for signs of diabetes or pre-diabetes. – Urinalysis – Using a sample of your urine, this test can detect a range of conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney disease and diabetes. – Fecalysis – A stool sample test (fecalysis) can detect certain conditions affecting your digestive tract, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrient absorption and even cancer. Screening tests during a physical exam In addition to the laboratory tests outlined above, you may also undergo the following screening tests: For women: – Mammogram – A screening test for breast cancer, usually recommended for women 40 and over – Pap smear – A screening test for cervical cancer, usually recommended for women 21 and older For men: – Prostate exam – A digital rectal exam is the most common method used for physically checking your prostate, while a PSA test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in your blood – both of which can flag early signs of prostate cancer. – Testicular exam – A physical exam that checks both testicles for signs of abnormality, including lumps, changes in size, and tenderness. – Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening – This simple ultrasound looks for a bulge or swelling in the aorta, and is usually recommended for men 65 and over, as they are most at risk. Both men and women: – Cholesterol test – Also called a ‘lipid panel’, this checks your cholesterol levels to see if you are at risk of heart attack or stroke. – Osteoporosis - A bone density scan can help reveal potential issues relating to weak bones. – Hepatitis – Everyone should be tested for hepatitis C at least once to find out if they have ever been infected with the virus. – Colorectal – A colonoscopy is usually used to check for colorectal cancer and other abnormalities in your colon. If you are a smoker, or have a family history of certain conditions, your physician may also recommend further tests in addition to those above. * Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay
If there wasn’t already enough motivation for overweight men to shed some pounds, new research suggests losing weight could help lower the risk of advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men globally, with approximately 1.3 million new cases in 2018 alone. Fortunately, if discovered early enough, prostate cancer has a relatively low mortality rate, with 96% of patients surviving for 15 years or more following an early stage diagnosis. However, as with any cancer, prevention is better than cure, and survival rates for advanced prostate cancer are very poor. That’s why a new, large-scale analysis of 15 studies involving nearly 831,000 men is significant. It found that having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of above 25 during middle to late adulthood was associated with the highest risk for advanced prostate cancer. Furthermore, the researchers from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University found that having a larger waist size was also associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer and death. “These study results show that risk for advanced prostate cancer can be decreased by maintaining a 'healthy' weight, which is in line with guidelines by the American Cancer Society and World Cancer Research Fund,” said study author Jeanine Genkinger, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health The study was published March 4 in the Annals of Oncology.
In 2018, there were nearly 50,000 confirmed cases of prostate cancer in England – around 8,000 more than in 2017, which makes it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country, overtaking breast cancer for the first time. Now Public Health England says that the reason why more cases of prostate cancer are being confirmed is simply because more men are getting tested, and not because the cancer has seen a sharp rise. With 49,029 confirmed cases, prostate tops the list of common cancers in England, followed by breast with 47,476 cases. Lung and bowel cancers are the next most commonly diagnosed. The head of the NHS, Simon Stevens, says that celebrity prostate cancer stories, like actor and comedian Stephen Fry’s, have helped raise awareness of the importance of having prostate cancer tests. Fry was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, which he says was “thankfully caught in the nick of time". He subsequently underwent prostate cancer surgery. Prostate cancer has a high survival rate, with Cancer Research UK statistics showing that more than 8 in 10 (84%) men diagnosed with the disease in England and Wales survive for 10 years or more. But the key to successfully treating prostate cancer is to detect it early and begin treatment as soon as possible, which is why it’s crucial for men to get tested on a regular basis. Cancer tsar Prof Peter Johnson said: “As people live longer, we're likely to see prostate cancer diagnosed more often, and with well-known figures like Rod Stewart, Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull all talking openly about their diagnosis, more people will be aware of the risk.”
While it’s been known for quite some time that increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays increases a person’s chances of developing skin cancer, no link has ever been found between precipitation and cancer risk, until now… A new study has revealed a potential link between living in cold, wet regions and increased cancer prevalence. The study, the results of which are published in the journal Environmental Engineering Science, is the first in the United States to check if a relationship exists between cancer rates, precipitation, and climate zone. To find out, the scientists collated data on breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. They also used county-level data relating to cancer incidence, climate, and demographics. Having adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, income level, population age, and diversity, the scientists identified a strong association between increased precipitation and an increase in incidence of all cancers. While it is important to note that not all cancer types were included in the analysis, the findings are still significant and strongly suggest climate zone is a risk factor for many cancers.
Hundreds of men in the UK are trialling a new prostate cancer screening scan to see if it could eventually be offered on the NHS. Right now, there is no routine prostate cancer screening performed in the UK. Blood tests and biopsies are the most reliable ways to determine if a man has prostate cancer. The new test involves a non-invasive MRI scan that checks the inside of the body for any abnormal growths. It will be a few years yet before we know if the new scan is better than the current blood tests, scientists say, but NHS England is, nevertheless, hailing the breakthrough as a “potentially exciting development”. In the UK alone, prostate cancer claims the lives of around 11,800 men every year. It usually develops slowly, so there are often no associated signs or symptoms for many years. Prostate cancer treatment depends on its development. Doctors may suggest to monitor the situation first, while surgery and radiotherapy will be advised for others. Speaking about the new test, Karen Stalbow, from Prostate Cancer UK, said: “This trial could provide an exciting step towards our ambition for a national screening programme that enables men to get the early prostate cancer diagnosis that can save more lives.”
In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. It’s also overtaken breast cancer in recent years to become the third most common type of cancer. That’s why any news when it comes to potential prostate cancer breakthroughs is always exciting. Immunotherapy has been revolutionising the treatment of cancer and now a team from the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London have conducted a trial, the results of which they say are "spectacular" and a "big deal". The trial focussed on drugs that boost a patient’s immune system, saving the lives of some men with terminal prostate cancer. Immunotherapy works by helping a person’s immune system recognise and subsequently attack cancer cells. One of the study participants, Michael English, 72, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone-based therapies did not kill his cancer, however. Then, two years ago, he started taking the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab. Today, he is effectively cancer free, with scans no longer showing any signs of the tumour. However, it’s an approach that will not, unfortunately, help all men. In fact, only between 10% and 15% of patients had any response to the therapy at all. This is not something that’s unusual for immunotherapy. Nell Barrie, from Cancer Research UK, said: "The next step will be to find out how to tell which men will benefit from taking this drug. "This is important as although immunotherapy is exciting, it can have severe side effects".
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 47,000 new cases diagnosed every year. And up until now, the most widely used tests for the disease had included the PSA blood test, a digital rectal examination (DRE), MRI scans and a biopsy. However, each of these wasn’t without its problems. But now a new ultrasound process, which offers more successful diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, has been identified by researchers at Dundee University. The technique, known as non-invasive shear wave elastography (SWE), offers "much greater accuracy and reliability" than current methods and is less expensive, according to the researchers. It targets the prostate with ultrasound and was evaluated using a study at Dundee University involving around 200 patients. Because cancerous tissue is denser than normal tissue, the shear waves are slowed as they pass through it. During the study, the technique was able to successfully identify 89% of prostate cancers, as well as other more aggressive cancers, including those spreading outside of the prostate. Ghulam Nabi, professor of surgical uro-oncology at Dundee University, said, "Prostate cancer is one of the most difficult to pinpoint. "We are still in a position where our diagnosis of prostate cancer is extremely inefficient, leading to unnecessary treatments for many patients." Speaking about the new test, Prof Nabi said it was “like someone has turned the lights on in a darkened room."
You should never ignore back pain because it could be a sign of pancreatic cancer. That’s the frank warning from charity Pancreatic Cancer UK. While pancreatic cancer often doesn’t show any symptoms in its early stages, some signs may begin to show as the disease progresses. One of the earliest signs of the disease is abdominal and/or back pain. The pain usually starts as a general feeling of discomfort in the stomach area. This then spreads to a person’s back and while it may come and go at first, it often becomes constant over time. “It can be worse when lying down, and sitting forward can sometimes make it feel better. It may be worse after eating. The tummy area may also feel tender,” said the charity. Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer include indigestion and unexplained weight loss. People with pancreatic cancer also develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and may experience difficulty swallowing, vomiting and a change in bowel habits. Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above should see their doctor without delay. While the exact cause of pancreatic cancer still isn’t known, the disease does appear to mainly affect people over 75 years old. Experts say that people can lower their risk of developing it by reducing their consumption of alcohol and red meat. [Related reading: Prostate cancer deaths outnumber those from breast cancer for first time in UK]
New figures show that for the first time ever the number of men dying from prostate cancer in the UK has overtaken female deaths from breast cancer. While lung and bowel cancer remain the top cancer killers, prostate cancer is now third, according to figures released by Prostate Cancer UK. In 2015, 11,819 men died from prostate cancer, compared to 11,442 women from breast cancer – a reality that Prostate Cancer UK says is due to advances in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The charity says that the UK’s aging population is one of the reasons why more men are developing and dying from prostate cancer. Angela Culhane, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said prostate cancer survival rates could be increased by developing better diagnostic tests and using them to form a nationwide screening programme. At present, there is no single, reliable test for prostate cancer. Also, men with the disease can live for decades without showing any symptoms. Those most at risk are men with male relatives who have had the disease, black men and men aged over 50. Ms Culhane said: “It's incredibly encouraging to see the tremendous progress that has been made in breast cancer over recent years. “The good news is that many of these developments could be applied to prostate cancer and we're confident that with the right funding, we can dramatically reduce deaths within the next decade.” You can find out more about prostate cancer treatment with us here at France Surgery by visiting the oncology section of our website and selecting the prostate cancer link.
A new large-scale study has found that using aspirin long-term could slash the chances of developing gastrointestinal cancer. Of all the gastrointestinal cancers, which include pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, oesophageal cancer, stomach (or gastric) cancer and small intestine cancer, colorectal cancer is the most common in the western world. While there are a number of lifestyle changes people can make to reduce their risk of developing cancer, including avoiding tobacco, limiting their alcohol consumption, eating healthier and exercising more, an increasing number of studies suggest the use of aspiring could also help. For this latest study, Prof. Kelvin Tsoi, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and his team set out to investigate the effect of aspirin use on gastrointestinal cancers. Over a 10-year period, the team of scientists examined over 600,000 participants and analysed how aspirin use affected their chances of developing gastrointestinal cancer. They found that aspirin users were 47% less likely to have liver and oesophageal cancer, 38% less likely to have stomach cancer, 34% less likely to have pancreatic cancer and 24% less likely to have colorectal cancer. In addition, aspirin use also significantly reduced the risk of leukaemia, lung cancer and prostate cancer.
A new treatment for early stage prostate cancer has been described as "truly transformative" by surgeons. The approach, which has been tested across Europe, uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumours, without any severe side effects. The results of clinical trials on some 413 men, which were published in The Lancet Oncology, showed nearly half of them had no remaining trace of cancer. One of the biggest issues for men with early stage prostate cancer is that treatment often leads to lifelong impotence and incontinence. That's why many men choose the "wait and see" approach when they are diagnosed in the early stages and only opt for treatment if their cancer starts growing aggressively. These new findings turn that approach on its head and "change everything," according to Prof Mark Emberton, who tested the technique at University College London. The bacteria that the drug is made from live in total darkness and become toxic when exposed to light. This is how the new treatment works. Fibre optic lasers are inserted through the perineum (the gap between the anus and the testes) and into the cancerous prostate gland. When they are activated the drug kills the cancer and leaves the healthy prostate behind. While the fact that 49% of patients went into complete remission is remarkable in itself, the additional finding that impact on sexual activity and urination lasted for no more than three months makes the treatment even more amazing. Even though more research is needed, the findings of the study are being hailed as "truly transformative" for prostate cancer patients.
Here at France Surgery, we’re all about promoting health and wellbeing. Eating right, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy mind, by practising yoga or meditating, for example, are all things we encourage our patients and worldwide followers to do. But now a new study has found that yoga, in particular, could benefit male prostate cancer patients who are undergoing radiation therapy. More often than not, male prostate cancer patients experience a range of side effects while receiving radiation therapy, including fatigue, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and a general decline in their overall quality of life. The new study, however, despite being small, showed found that men who attended a 75-minute yoga class twice a week experienced a stable quality of life throughout. Furthermore, their side effects also remained stable over the same period. In a press release, Dr. Neha Vapiwala, an associate professor in the radiation oncology department of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "Data have consistently shown declines in these important measures among prostate cancer patients undergoing cancer therapy without any structured fitness interventions, so the stable scores seen with our yoga program are really good news." The researchers suggest that regular yoga strengthens pelvic floor muscles and increases blood flow, which could have a positive impact on erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Moreover, the satisfaction and general happiness that patients get from participating in a group fitness activity further boost their quality of life. With nearly 240,000 American men each year diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, which funded the study, research such as this has the ability to vastly improve the quality of life of male prostate cancer patients going forward.
For prostate cancer sufferers, docetaxel is usually only given after hormone treatment has failed. But now a major study has revealed that earlier treatment with the drug can extend life expectancy anywhere from 43 to 65 months. The results, which will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, are being labelled as “potentially game-changing”. In the UK alone, 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die from the disease every year. The trial was conducted across Britain and Switzerland and involved 2,962 men. At the start of their treatment, some of the men were given six doses of docetaxel and subsequently lived 10 months longer than those that weren’t. However, patients who had already seen their cancer spread past their pelvis saw their life expectancies increase by 22 months. One of the researchers at Warwick University, Prof Nicholas James, who was involved in the study said he was very pleased with the results and emphasised that the NHS needed to act upon them quickly: "To see a 22-month survival advantage off six lots of treatment given several years earlier is a very big benefit.” Furthermore, the fact that docetaxel is out of patent means that it represents a potentially cost-effective method of treatment. Commenting on the study’s findings, Cancer Research UK said the results were “important” and "show that it should be given earlier in a man's treatment". Photo credit: NHS
ROBOTIC-ASSISTED (DA VINCI) PROSTATECTOMY A radical prostatectomy is an operation carried out to remove the prostate for patients who have prostate cancer. Your prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that is situated at the base of your bladder. Its main function is to add liquid to your ejaculate (semen). Robotic-assisted (Da Vinci®) laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is the least invasive existing surgical technique to remove the prostate gland. During the operation, the surgeon will usually remove some lymph glands from the side of the prostate. The surgeon then proceeds with removal of your prostate and the two sacs behind the prostate (seminal vesicles). The bladder is then joined to the water pipe (urethra) which runs along the penis so that you can pass urine normally. A tube (catheter) is left in place for about 7 days to allow the join to heal. The operation will be performed by a surgeon who is skilled & experienced. There are several ways of performing a radical prostatectomy: Open radical prostatectomy, Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy carried out in the standard way,Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy carried out using robotic assistance. Prostate’s cancer removal radical prostatectomy is an operation which aims to remove the cancer and the prostate completely. The prostate, seminal vesicles & surrounding tissues are removed to provide the best possible chance of totally removing the cancer. However in some cases, it is found during pathology investigations of the removed prostate that the cancer has grown beyond the covering of the prostate gland. If this is the case, your urologist will discuss with you whether you need additional treatment such as radiotherapy. Therapeutic strategy will also depend on your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level which is monitored in all patients at frequent intervals. In the majority of men, your PSA will be close to zero at all times and you will not require further treatment. The robotic surgery allows faster recovery than open surgery, the most common technique used for prostatectomy. Surgeon’s vision is also improved compared to laparoscopic surgery allowing a more precise dissection. Please remember that early prostate cancer can be effectively treated. Most men with early prostate cancer will remain alive & healthy for many years to come! A robotic console Da Vinci® is placed beside you in the operating theatre. Attached to the console are three robotic arms; two for instruments and one for a high- magnification 3-D camera to allow the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. The two robotic arms have the ability to hold various instruments attached to them and allow the surgeon to carry out your operation. The instruments are approximately 7mm in width. The instruments have a greater range of movement than the human hand and, because of their size, allow the surgeon to carry out the operation using 3-D imaging in a small space within the body.
Even if you feel absolutely fine and a picture of health, there are a number of routine medical tests that you should have later in life. In one of our previous posts we focussed on important medical tests for men and women over 40. Today’s post will look at specific guidelines for men aged over 40-years-old and should be considered in addition to the tests outlined in our aforementioned post above. Colon Cancer Screening Men aged under 50 do not necessarily need to undergo colon cancer screening unless there is a strong family history of the disease or if you have had inflammatory bowel disease in the past. If you are between 50 and 75, however, you should get routinely checked for colon cancer, which could involve a stool test every year or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Prostate Cancer Screening Most men should undergo prostate cancer screening when they reach the age of 50. However, men with a family history of the disease should consider prostate cancer checks earlier in life as a precaution. European-wide trials have shown that prostate cancer screening can reduce deaths from the disease by as much as 20%. Testicular Examination Examining your own testicles can identify abnormalities but the fact remains that most testicular lumps are not cancerous. However, if you do find any testicular lumps it is important to get them examined by a medical professional. Testicular cancer treatment is much more effective when started earlier, so consult medical advice if you find anything untoward.
Clinique des Cèdres, Toulouse Clinique des Cèdres was created in 1966 thanks to Dr Anduze-Acher. Since then it became the biggest private hospital in France with 603 beds and places. In 2003, its acquisition by Capio group – already settled in Toulouse with Polyclinique du Parc, Clinique St Jean du Languedoc, Clinique de Beaupuy – helped its development. Clinique des Cèdres provides state-of-the Art equipment to its medical teams. Amongst the mini invasive surgical techniques: Robotic: In urology for the prostate cancer treatment, the kidney and bladder surgery In gynaecology for the uterus cancer surgery and the pelvic node dissection In ENT for the oral cavity, pharynx surgery, for the cellulo-node, nasopharyngeal surgery (cavum) Coelio-surgery for bariatric surgery Computer-aided surgery and strereotactic for the treatment of brain tumors Mini-invasive surgery for spine surgery (disc prothesis), orthopaedic surgery (perecutaneous foot surgery & trauma surgery) and rectal surgery (haemorrhoidal Doppler-assisted dearterization) 2. Advanced diagnosis techniques: Fluorescence technique in endoscopy for the early detection of lung cancers and bladder tumors 3D plan sensor in cardiology for the diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks and thoracic pains and in neuro radiology for the brain exploration and the therapeutic treatment of some brain vascular anomalies Non invasive Diagnosis-Imaging system: 64 strips scan Computerised diagnosis, evaluation, and follow-up care for knee cruciate ligament UNITS: 1. SURGICAL UNITS: more than 20 theatres covering a extremely wide variety of surgeries: Digestive surgery: ceolioscopy - endoscopy Orthopaedic surgery: arthroscopy Neurosurgery: neuronavigation device (O-arm concept) Ophthalmology ENT Outstanding surgical equipments include a stereotactic frame, a laminar flow, a laser, electronic microscopes and a DaVinci robot. 2. RECOVERY UNITS: the rooms are equipped with modern monitoring equipments and are under permanent anaesthetis supervision. Specialized nurses have the responsability of the post-operation personal follow-up care of the patient. 3. DIAGNOSIS AND MEDICAL IMAGING DEPARTMENT Angiography - Coronarography - Echigraphy - MRI - Mammography - Conventional and interventional radiology - Scan 4. NUCLEAR MEDICINE Functional and metabolic medical imagining, not accessible with conventional imaging equipment is performed in this department. 5. MEDICINE 6. INTENSIVE-CARE AND CONTINUOUS MONITORING UNIT 7. EMERGENCIES 8. HELIPAD 9. FUNCTIONAL PHYSIOTHERAPY 10. PSYCHIATRY 11. ONE-DAY HOSPITALISATION
Clinique Saint-Augustin, Nantes Clinique Saint Augustin is a private health institution, located in the heart of the city of Nantes. Created by the Augustinian Sisters in 1874, it now belongs to Vedici Group. The clinic features an innovative technical platform and disposes of a team of recognized experts who share strong values. The medical-surgical clinic offers the following specialties: Anaesthesia - Resuscitation General and Digestive Surgery Gastroenterology Proctology Urological surgery Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Pneumonology Orthopaedic Surgery Oto-Rhino-Laryngology Ophthalmic surgery Dentistry Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgery Key figures Surgical beds 137 Monitoring units 14 Hospital beds 17 Palliative care beds 4 Ambulatory places 19 Operating rooms 13 Endoscopy rooms 3 Post-operating monitoring rooms 2 The effectiveness of care provided at the clinic Saint Augustine rests, first and foremost, on the competence of the medical and nursing teams, their training and experience. It also relies on an innovative technical platform with advanced technological equipment with Da Vinci robot used since 2010 for the treatment of prostate cancer and kidney cancer.
A radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure which is used for the treatment of prostate cancer by removing the prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue. There are four methods which can be used to perform a radical prostatectomy. One of the most advanced methods is the robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. To carry out this surgery the patient will be given either a general anaesthetic or a spinal/epidural anaesthetic in order to numb the lower half of the body. The procedure to remove the prostate gland is then carried out. The surgeon is in the operating room but does not personally operate on the patient. The surgeon instead sits at a computer and moves a robotic system. It is the robotic system which carries out the procedure guided and controlled by the surgeon. The benefits of this surgery include the fact that it is carried out laparoscopically and so the scarring will be minimal and the healing time will be short. Also the robotic system allows for an extremely high degree of accuracy which cannot be achieved by the human hand. Whilst not every hospital will have access to robotic systems, in France the healthcare system is progressive and advanced, meaning that many hospitals will offer this robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. Photo Credit: France Surgery
Centre For Robotic Surgery: Facts about Enlarged Prostate Gland – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasiacentreforroboticsurgery: Prostate Cancer The prostate is a male reproductive gland that yields the liquefied that transmits sperm during ejaculation. It environs the urethra, the pipe through which urine passes out of the body. The prostate gland (just called prostate from now on) is found only in men. It lies…