As men age, their bodies continue to change, and cancers become an increasing concern. Men are uniquely vulnerable to developing prostate cancer, and the disease is best treated if it is detected early. Prostate cancer can develop without showing any symptoms, so routine visits to the doctor can be a critical step in identifying this condition before it becomes more serious. Although the procedure can be daunting at first, it is best to be on the safe side and get checked at regular intervals.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is uncontrolled cellular growth in an organ that is only found in men. Each year in the UK, over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Unlike other cancers, tumours in the prostate can develop slowly, and some men live with the condition for years before it is recognized. Symptoms usually only appear when the tumour is large enough to put pressure on the urethra, restricting the flow of urine from the bladder. If this happens, you may notice difficulty urinating, and feel unsatisfied after using the toilet. The only way to identify this serious medical condition early is through routine prostate cancer screenings at your local clinic.
What is the screening procedure like?
Many types of tests exist for detecting prostate cancer in men, and if you are at least 50 years of age, it is a wise decision to start getting screened for this disease. Every test has benefits and risks, so you should discuss your options with the doctor before you get screened. Typically, blood tests are performed to test for unusual protein levels, but the results can be unreliable. Physical examinations of the prostate can be more conclusive and are recommended to identify the condition of the patient’s prostate better.
How much does a prostate cancer screening cost?
Depending on the clinic that you visit, different health packages are offered at various prices. It is impossible to put a price on your well-being, but the fees associated with your visit can be a deciding factor. Talk to the clinic about their health screening packages, and learn more about what services they provide. Many clinics in Singapore are willing to negotiate payment plans, and it is better to get tested than to live without knowing if your health is in jeopardy.
When should I get tested?
Because the symptoms may not show up for years after the tumour first develops, the safest solution is to get screened at regular intervals after you turn 50. For patients with a family history of prostate cancer, it is recommended that you get tested at an earlier age and more frequently. The results of your blood test will guide physicians to schedule your next screening, and the interval between tests can fluctuate depending on your initial results.
Where can I get screened?
In Singapore, many clinics offer their screening services for men that want to be checked for prostate cancer. The best clinics have a reputable staff with a passion for delivering healthcare to their patients. You want to find a clinic that is friendly and will make you feel at ease with the screening procedure by carefully answering any questions that you may have. If the doctor incorrectly interprets the results of your screening, it can have devastating effects on your health and livelihood. Choose a clinic that comes highly recommended by people you trust. If you have just relocated to Singapore, there is a strong expat community that is more than happy to share recommendations for clinics. Also, your employer may be a valuable resource, and someone in your company’s HR department may be able to recommend a clinic that is trusted by your employer and your colleagues.