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.”
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.