Who Should have this?
All men aged 50 plus, but especially men having a father or brother with prostate cancer – especially at an early age – and men of African descent.
How Can I Arrange This?
You can arrange this in the Morehampton Clinic by telephoning 01 2693921 office hours and just ask to make an appointment for a Prostate check-up.
What Am I Checked For?
Two common but completely unrelated problems.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (B.P.H.) In our fifties the centre portion of the prostate slowly enlarges, gradually affecting our ability to pass urine. As we get older, this worsens. It is not possible to prevent this, but it is totally treatable.
Prostate cancer. There are no warning signs for this until it is fairly advanced, but early prostate cancer can be detected by testing.
What does this Check-up Involve?
- A questionnaire concerned with the affect an enlarging prostate has on ability to pass urine. View it here. Print this off, fill it in and bring it with you for your appointment. This questionnaire is known as the International Prostate Symptom Score, or IPSS.
- A physical examination of your abdomen, and a DRE. Because the prostate lies deep in the pelvis, it can only be felt from the back. DRE means Digital Rectal Examination, where a gloved and lubricated finger is very gently passed up, the back passage to feel the prostate. It is quick and painless.
- Urine and blood tests. These check kidney function, possibility of infection or diabetes, and include a PSA test. Further details of this test on the website.
- Ultrasound examination of your bladder, to check that it fully empties after passing water. This test is very similar to the ones done for women in pregnancy. It is instant, safe, reliable and there is no discomfort.
How Long Does This Take?
The whole check up takes about 30 minutes, especially when the IPSS has been completed beforehand.
Do I Need Any preparation?
None, except filling in the IPSS. If you have not done so, one of the receptionists will give you a blank one to fill in while waiting. It takes less than 5 minutes to do it.
When Do I Get The Results?
The IPSS, DRE and ultrasound are all instant. Most men will know where they stand in relation to BPH immediately, but the blood test of kidney function is not available for 2 days.
Prostate cancer is picked up from two tests – the DRE and the PSA blood test. The PSA test report is available within 2 working days. We will phone you with the result of this.
So It’s Good News. What Next?
Nothing. Come back in 2 years and do it again.
And If There Seems To Be A Problem?
It depends. If BPH is present, it can usually be managed here in the Morehampton Clinic or by your own GP. In more severe cases you may be referred to a consultant urologist.
If cancer is suspected, either the PSA test may be repeated after an interval, or you will be referred to a specialist.
What Is The Cost Of Prostate Check?
The whole check up costs €150. It is not covered by a medical card, but some of the health insurers do cover it. Check with them.