Movember a timely reminder to check for prostate cancer: surgeon

Movember a timely reminder to check for prostate cancer: surgeon

As we enter the final days of Movember, a Vancouver-based surgeon is reminding people of the importance of getting checked for prostate cancer.

Speaking on Steele and Vance, Dr. Martin Gleave, surgeon and director of the Vancouver Prostate Centre, says the test for prostate cancer is less intrusive now.

“Prostate cancer can occur and grow quite extensively before it causes any problems, and so the best way to diagnose it early, which means diagnosing it when it’s still curable, is with a blood test now called the PSA blood test,” Gleave said.

“It’s been well established that this is a way to establish risk for men. If your PSA is normal, you have a very low risk of developing prostate cancer or having it at that particular time. If it’s elevated, it places you into a higher risk for that and then deserves closer investigation.”

A PSA blood test, or prostate-specific antigen blood test, measures the PSA protein in your blood.

Gleave says one of the challenges in recognizing prostate cancer symptoms, is many of them also occur due to the aging process even without the presence of the cancer.

“As men age, it’s very common for them to have a slower and weaker stream, getting up in the night, frequency and urgency of urination — that’s just caused by enlarging prostate gland which is very common with age,” Gleave said.

“And yet it’s also one of the symptoms that a locally advanced prostate cancer can have. It just so happens that benign enlargement is much more common and that causes anxiety.”

Gleave says the PSA blood test is often covered, but sometimes if a person is not showing symptoms they may be required to pay out of pocket for the test. LifeLabs lists the cost of the test at $39 on its site.

Watch the full conversation with Dr. Martin Gleave here:

Or watch the full episode, which includes conversations with Author and UBC Criminal Law Professor Ben Perrin on the toxic drug crisis, and Jesse Miller of Mediated Reality talking about phishing and Black Friday scams:

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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