If you’re a man, the federal government estimates that you have about a one-in-seven chance of developing prostate cancer at some point during your lifetime. Based on 2012 data, nearly three million American men are currently living with prostate cancer. Although the condition is highly treatable, many men are suffering needlessly because they didn’t know the signs of cancer and catch it before it reached an advanced stage of cancer. Or they didn’t know the causes of prostate cancer and what to do to avoid it.
Knowing how to identify the early-onset signs and symptoms of prostate cancer is critical. It could mean the difference between having to undergo invasive radiation treatment and surgery (and suffering through a laundry list of side effects in the process), or making simple dietary and lifestyle changes now to nip this cancer in the bud and stop it from growing and spreading.
Where is Your Prostate?
Only men have a prostate, which is a walnut-sized gland located directly under the bladder in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. The prostate gland can affect urine control, known as continence.
How to Know if You Have Prostate Cancer: Is PSA Testing a Valid Risk Indicator?
Getting your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels tested on a routine basis is what the medical system says is the best way to catch prostate cancer early and eradicate it with minimal intervention. High PSA levels are suggestive of prostate cancer onset, the public has long been told. Men who fall into this category are often encouraged to get biopsied and undergo invasive treatment like surgery and radiation.
The problem is that a biopsy or the prostate “removal” operation can cause a dormant cancer to spread through the rest of the body. The PSA test is known as the “gold standard” for detecting prostate cancer. But is it really? Does a high PSA equal prostate cancer? This is an important question, because a high PSA leads most men straight to biopsies, then to “the knife,” and then straight to pain, incontinence, and erectile issues such as impotence. Of course, let’s not forget that these procedures will guarantee billions of dollars for your doctor and the medical industrial complex.
According to recent articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, PSA tests are essentially worthless. You see, the PSA test simply reveals how much of the prostate antigen a man has in his blood, which is a marker of inflammation and can indicate cancer, but not necessarily. You see, infections, benign swelling of the prostate, and over-the-counter drugs (like Ibuprofen) are all factors that can elevate a man’s PSA level.
Dr. Thomas Stamey of Stanford University was one of the original boosters of the PSA test. At a 2004 conference, he stated, “PSA no longer has a relationship to prostate cancer. The PSA test is not relevant any more. You might as well biopsy a man because he has blue eyes.” In fact, the PSA test has been such a dismal failure in detecting prostate cancer, its inventor (Richard J. Ablin) has been speaking out against his own discovery for more than a decade!
Most recently, in a March 2010 edition of The New York Times, Ablin wrote, “The [PSA] test is hardly more effective than a coin toss. As I’ve been trying to make clear for many years now, PSA testing can’t detect prostate cancer…The test’s popularity has led to a hugely expensive public health disaster.”
On a side note, a large body of evidence demonstrates that PSA is not a “prostate-specific” antigen at all. As a matter of fact, PSA has been shown to be expressed in many forms of female tissues. The breast is a major female organ able to produce PSA.
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