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6 new prostate cancer patients are diagnosed in Israel every day

Every day a person in Israel is monitored for the disease. Prof. Eliezer Robinson, chairman of the association: "Every man over the age of 50 must know the signs of the disease"

The logo of the Cancer Society
The logo of the Cancer Society

Every day a person in Israel dies of prostate cancer and six men are diagnosed with the most common cancer among men in Israel. This is according to the data of the National Cancer Registry in the Ministry of Health, which is published by the Cancer Society. According to the data, about 2,250 new cases of prostate cancer are discovered in Israel and about 380 men die from it every year.

Older age and origin increase the prevalence rates. A family history that states that men whose father has ovarian cancer are twice as likely to get this type of cancer. In addition, improper nutrition, drinking alcohol and smoking are suspected to increase possible incidence, but more studies are needed to strengthen this assertion.

The chairman of the Cancer Society, Prof. Eliezer Robinson, calls on men over the age of 50 and men in the risk group, "not to die of shame", to get to know the disease and its symptoms and contact their doctor for advice. "Prostate cancer develops mainly among men over the age of 50," explains Prof. Robinson. "This is a cancer that develops over years. Therefore, every Israeli man must be aware of the disease and its symptoms. ask and be interested in his doctor and if necessary, get tested. You shouldn't be ashamed, because detection and proper treatment save lives."

Prostate cancer incidence rates have been steadily increasing over the past decade. As the age increases, so does the risk of getting it. The main signs of the disease are expressed in difficulties in urinating (such as an urgent need to urinate, pain, etc.), but additional signs may appear such as blood in the urine, blood in the semen and a sharp decrease in sexual function.

Currently, screening tests for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer are not recommended for the entire male population, because to date it has not been proven that the existing tests reduce mortality from the disease. However, for men who are in a high-risk group, diagnostic tests are recommended before the age of 50, once a year. High risk is defined as the appearance of prostate cancer in first-degree relatives (brother, father or son) who had prostate cancer before the age of 70. For the high-risk population, it is recommended to conduct PSA tests to detect a protein produced in the cells of the prostate gland and found in the blood, a rectal examination and an ultrasound. Accordingly, supplementary tests are prescribed for the patient.

The Cancer Society is holding a symposium for prostate cancer patients that will be held on Thursday, November 15.11.07, XNUMX in the village of Maccabiah.

The Cancer Society invites the general public to call Telemedia, the telephone information center of the Cancer Society to receive information and promotional materials by dialing toll-free: 1800-599-995.

Questions and answers - prostate cancer

What are the ways to diagnose prostate cancer?

Rectal examination - during which the doctor inserts a rubber-gloved finger into the anus to feel the size and firmness of the prostate gland, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test, a blood test designed to test the level of PSA, which is a protein produced by the prostate gland, scan By transrectal ultrasound, during which a small cylinder, which contains a transducer that transmits sound waves, is inserted through the anus. The ultrasound examination gives an image of the prostate gland and allows the doctor to see if there are any abnormal areas in the gland. The test is painless and lasts about half an hour. Also, a biopsy may be performed, usually under the guidance of a transrectal ultrasound, by inserting a special needle with a small diameter, towards the prostate through the anus (rectum). Usually, about six biopsies are taken in the same test. The biopsy is performed quickly and most men report only mild discomfort. The pieces of tissue are examined under a microscope by a pathologist, and the diagnosis of the existence of prostate cancer is determined solely based on the results of the examination of the tissue removed in the biopsy.

When should tests be performed for the early detection of prostate cancer?

The recommendations of the National Oncology Council in Israel, which are in line with recommendations in other countries, do not include screening tests for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer for the entire male population, except for men who are in a high-risk group, for whom tests for early diagnosis are recommended from the age of 50, once a year. High risk is defined as the appearance of prostate cancer in first-degree relatives (father, brother or son), who had prostate cancer before the age of 70. For the high-risk population, it is recommended to perform PSA tests, a rectal examination and a transrectal ultrasound. Additional supplementary tests are determined according to the results of these tests. The American Urological Association recommends a PSA test and a rectal examination once a year for every man over the age of 50, or every man over the age of 40 who is in a high-risk group. This recommendation has not been adopted in Israel and European countries since many experts believe that there is not yet enough accurate data to support these recommendations.

What is PSA?

PSA is a protein found as a natural component in the seminal fluid, produced in the cells of the prostate gland. The PSA maintains that the sperm, in its various components, will remain in liquid form. Tiny amounts of PSA are also released into the bloodstream, and therefore the level of this protein can be measured with a simple blood test.

How and when is a PSA blood test performed?

This test is an important tool that helps diagnose prostate cancer, especially if it is combined with a rectal exam. The decision to perform a blood test must be based on medical judgment and consultation with the man being tested. The doctor must explain to him what the test means and its possible results. A blood sample is usually taken from the arm and sent to a laboratory where the PSA level is determined accurately. Upon receiving the answer, you can discuss with the doctor about the meaning of the result.

What is a normal PSA?

In general, it can be said that a PSA value higher than the normal value of the laboratory "separates" between those who have a low chance of finding a cancerous tumor in the prostate gland, and those who need to undergo another test. These facts make it difficult to use PSA as a marker for the early detection of prostate cancer.

What causes PSA to rise?

With increasing age, an increase in the PSA level in the blood is also observed. Its level can also increase as a result of any process that causes the proliferation of PSA-producing cells, such as a prostate tumor. The most common process that causes an increase in PSA values ​​is a benign tumor of the prostate gland. Inflammation of the prostate, certain treatments, such as: biopsy of the prostate, cystoscopy, and drugs can also cause the PSA values ​​in the blood to rise. Sexual contact can also raise the PSA level, so the test must be performed at least 24 hours after having sexual contact.

For whom is an initial PSA test recommended?

The doctor may recommend a PSA test for one or more of the following reasons: a man aged 50 or older who is in the high-risk group, the discovery of a suspicious finding in the rectal examination, or if there are urination disorders that may indicate a possible problem with the prostate.

Can I, as a healthy person, perform a PSA test?

It is important to reach a decision rule that you are indeed interested in performing the treatment, if prostate cancer is diagnosed. If, after consulting a doctor and receiving appropriate information, you decide that the advantages of the diagnosis and treatment outweigh its disadvantages and side effects, then you should undergo the test. Since there is still a debate among doctors regarding the importance of this test for the early detection of prostate cancer, the decision remains in your hands.

How often should the PSA level be checked?

If the rectal examination and the PSA value are both normal, a repeat examination is recommended after a year. If the PSA level is high but other tests are normal, the doctor may recommend more frequent PSA monitoring, or recommend PSA tests in an extended format.

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