4 essential factors to know about genetic screening for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a condition triggered in the prostate gland. The gland is situated in front of the rectum and below the bladder. It plays an imperative role in the nourishment of sperm and its transportation, while also aiding in urine control among men. Prostate cancer grows at a gradual pace and is not very harmful in the initial stages if confined in the gland. However, as the cancerous cells begin to spread aggressively beyond the prostate, there may be grave repercussions. Therefore, the condition can be effectively managed and treated if diagnosed at the initial stage.
Prostate cancer affects a large part of the population around the world. It is one of the most common types of cancer to afflict men. There may be no symptoms exhibited in the initial stages of the development. However, some patients may experience issues such as the abnormal flow of urine, discomfort during ejaculation, and an inability to empty the bladder. The symptoms are also common among other genital conditions, making it difficult for individuals to get a clear diagnosis. A growing number of men are opting for prostate cancer genetic screening in case of family history. They do this to minimize the risk and manage the condition better. Here are some essential factors to understand about the genetic screening and its implication.
What are the types of genetic screening used for prostate cancer?
There are two methods of genetic testing used for prostate cancer, and they include:
- Screening normal cells
This type of genetic screening involves the specific study of normal cells and looking for any change that an individual may have inherited from the parents. Inheritance of some types of cells increases the risk of prostate cancer and other diseases.
- Specific DNA screening
Doctors recommend this method when an individual is diagnosed with prostate cancer. This genetic screening scans the DNA in cancerous cells. It enables the physician to evaluate cancer in a much more effective way.
What are the benefits of undergoing a genetic screening for prostate cancer?
The role of genetic screening in prostate cancer prevention is found to be humongous. Here are some benefits that the screening holds for individuals with a family history of cancer as well as those diagnosed with the condition.
- Prevention and early detection
A huge number of prostate cancer cases are found to be a result of an identified mutation that is inherited. The process of genetic screening can aid in preventing the condition and early diagnosis. It also helps members of the family to understand the risk factors and manage the same.
- Plan treatment methods
Genetic screening for prostate cancer helps choose the right treatment route for individuals diagnosed with the disease. Understanding the mutation will also aid in predicting the response of the given medication.
- Eligibility for clinical trials
Undergoing a genetic test can also make one eligible for clinical trials.
Who must undergo genetic screening for prostate cancer?
An individual at the risk of prostate cancer must be aware of the same and undergo a genetic screening to prevent the development of the condition. Men over the age of 40 should consider genetic screening. Here are some situations under which one should get these screenings in a timely manner:
- Early onset of prostate cancer in the family
- First degree relatives diagnosed with the disease
- Prostate cancer with a record of bowel or womb cancer
- Ancestry of ovarian and breast cancer
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
To determine if an individual has prostate cancer, the doctor may recommend further tests such as:
Ultrasound – A transrectal ultrasound will be used to evaluate the prostate gland. A probe is inserted into the rectum to get a picture of it.
Prostate tissue sample collection – If there are indicators of the condition, a sample of the prostate cells may be collected. The cells are inspected to look for cancerous cells.
MRI fusion – MRI fusion is a relatively new kind of technology and is being adopted rapidly as a diagnostic method for prostate cancer.
Upon learning that one has a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer, health factors must be monitored more closely. However, one must not worry about the disease, and instead, must work towards taking essential precautions.