Detect Prostate Cancer Early

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Detect Prostate Cancer Early
Detect Prostate Cancer Early
Video: Detect Prostate Cancer Early
Video: Early Detection of Prostate Cancer |Timothy’s story | Dr. Jim Hu | Weill Cornell Medicine 2023, February

Prostate cancer: early detection

In industrialized countries, prostate cancer (prostate cancer) is the most common type of tumor in men. Prostate cancer is diagnosed in more than 5,000 men in Austria every year. This corresponds to around a quarter of all tumor diseases in men. Every year more than 1,200 men die of prostate cancer in this country (source: Statistics Austria 2016). Prostate cancer rarely occurs before the age of 50. However, the proportion of tumors diagnosed in the early stages is increasing.

In the early detection of prostate cancer, weighing up the advantages and disadvantages seems particularly difficult. The hoped-for advantages are offset by serious disadvantages. Therefore, before making a decision for or against an investigation, it is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks against each other.


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  • What are the causes of prostate cancer?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What screening methods are there for early detection?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What are the causes of prostate cancer?

The exact causes of the tumor development have not yet been clarified, but some factors have a beneficial effect. Most of the time, prostate cancer grows slowly and does not cause any symptoms in the early stages. The most important risk factors include:

  • Age: The incidence of prostate cancer increases from the age of 50 and peaks in the seventh and eighth decades of life.
  • Genetic predisposition: Men with a grandfather, father, uncle, or brother who have prostate cancer are at increased risk.
  • Lifestyle: Studies indicate that a diet high in calories and fat (especially animal fats) and low in fiber increases the risk. On the other hand, grains, vegetables and soy products seem to have a certain protective effect. In addition, getting enough exercise seems to have a beneficial effect.


A healthy lifestyle can prevent many diseases, including cancer. The following measures in particular are recommended by experts:

  • Normal weight,
  • regular exercise,
  • healthy nutrition,
  • low alcohol consumption.

What are the symptoms?

In the early stages, when the tumor is small and limited to the prostate, there are no symptoms. Only when the tumor has grown so large that it presses on the urethra does it become difficult to urinate. At this point, the cancer may have spread beyond the prostate. General symptoms such as fever, night sweats, exhaustion, poor performance and unwanted weight loss can indicate the presence of advanced prostate cancer.

If these symptoms occur, a general practitioner or a specialist in urology and andrology should be consulted to clarify the cause. Only one in ten men actually has prostate cancer; in most cases it is a benign prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia). This can occur in around half of all men over the age of 50. The distinction between benign prostate enlargement and prostate cancer is possible with the help of certain examinations.

What screening methods are there for early detection?

In principle, two different examinations are available for the early detection of prostate cancer:

  • Palpation examination (digital rectal examination, DRU): The doctor palpates the prostate with his finger from the rectum. With this method only superficial and larger tissue changes can be determined. The investigation doesn't take long. It is usually not painful, but some men find it uncomfortable. If the doctor determines anything unusual, further examinations will be carried out to determine whether there is a carcinoma or a benign change.
  • PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test: The benefit of PSA screening - a systematic examination of all men aged 45 and over - is not sufficiently scientifically proven. Early detection, if carried out properly, can prevent deaths. At the same time, however, tumors are discovered that would not have become noticeable without a test and would not have required treatment. In addition, an increased PSA value does not necessarily mean that prostate cancer is actually present. Possible other causes are e.g.

    • Urinary tract infections,
    • physical activity before the test, especially cycling,
    • Sexual intercourse before blood draw,
    • Tactile or transrectal ultrasound examination of the prostate before blood sampling,
    • Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis),
    • benign enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

In three out of four men with an elevated PSA level, no cancer is found in the subsequent tissue sample (biopsy). Furthermore, most of the tumors found by PSA screening grow only slowly and do not require treatment, as they will not lead to disease or death. However, it cannot be predicted which tumor is likely to lead to the disease and which will not. It is for this reason that most men who are found to have prostate cancer on PSA screening choose treatment. However, this is associated with the risk of serious damage, such as impotence, urinary incontinence, heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

You can find more information under: The PSA test for the early detection of prostate cancer (

Whom can I ask?

Examinations for the early detection of prostate cancer are carried out by a specialist in urology and andrology.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The e-card is your personal key to the benefits of the statutory health insurance. All necessary and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures are taken over by your responsible social insurance agency. A deductible or contribution to costs may apply for certain services. You can obtain detailed information from your social security agency. Further information can also be found at:

  • Right to treatment
  • Visit to the doctor: costs and deductibles
  • What does the hospital stay cost?
  • Prescription fee: This is how drug costs are covered
  • Medical aids & aids
  • Health Professions AZ
  • as well as the online guide to reimbursement of social insurance costs.

The PSA test is generally not included in the preventive medical check-up, as there is currently no scientific basis that justifies the use of PSA screening in population-based programs. Men who are interested in a PSA test because they are concerned about possible prostate cancer should, however, be thoroughly and carefully informed about the advantages and disadvantages of PSA screening as part of the preventive medical check-up, in particular about the informative value of positive and negative test results Any additional measures required, such as prostate biopsy, as well as treatment options and their risks. If, after detailed information, a PSA test is desired, it should be carried out by a specialist in urology.

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