Cancer of the prostate rarely occurs in men before they reach 50 years of age. By the time they reach their eighth decade 60 per cent of men will develop cancer of the prostate.
Obstruction or infection of the urinary tract is common presenting symptoms. Nearly 50 per cent of men present with weight loss, anaemia, bone pain and evidence of secondary spread. At this time a doctor can feel a hard lump at the back of the prostate by digital examination.
Only 20 per cent of men with cancer of the prostate receive curative therapy. This percentage would be much higher if the cancer was caught earlier in the course of the disease. To that end all males over 50 years of age are advised to have a digital examination of the prostate once every year. If it is good enough for the ladies to have a pap smear it is good enough for men to have digital examinations of the prostate.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) has recently been shown to be elevated in 60 per cent of men with prostatic cancer. There is some suggestion that PSA testing done on its own is a sufficient screening procedure in the detection of cancer of the prostate; but digital examination is also advised.
Beginning at the age of 50 present for a PSA test and a digital examination of the prostate. Detected early the cure rate for cancer of the prostate is 100 per cent. An enlarged prostate is not considered to be a sign of prostate cancer and it is an inevitable side effect of ageing in the male.