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5 Risks and Problems of Prostate Biopsy

By    |   Monday, 29 February 2016 09:54 PM

Screenings can help detect prostate cancer, but such tests may include prostate biopsies, which come with risks of their own.

While some institutions argue that screenings are important for catching cancer early on, especially in those with a family history of it, others say that since prostate cancer is such a slow spreading disease, the costs of regular screening outweigh the benefits, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Typically, biopsies are recommended after a cancer screening suggests the prostate is something to look into, the Prostate Cancer Foundation noted. This is usually decided because of low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, digital rectal exam results, different types of PSA, and PSA velocity or density. Family history and ethnicity may also be taken into consideration.

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Before having a biopsy, however, there are some risks of which patients should take note.

1. The most common risk is infection, the Mayo Clinic reported. Typically it develops in the urinary tract or the prostate itself. Rarely, however, it gets to the severity of requiring antibiotics.

2. Another common effect of the biopsy is bleeding. This may occur at the rectal sight. The Mayo Clinic recommended patients do not use blood-thinning medication until their doctors gives approval.

3. Blood may also appear in a man’s semen. The semen may color red or similar to the shade of rust. It is not a cause for concern, the Mayo Clinic noted. Such appearance may last for several weeks following a prostate biopsy.

4. Some men have experienced difficulty urinating following the procedure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Rarely it requires a temporary urinary catheter.

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5. The appearance of such symptoms have shown to cause patients heightened levels of anxiety, as well, according to U.S. News and World Report.

For this reason, cancer experts recommend doctors tell their patients that if they receive a screening, and it comes back positive, they will likely be recommended to have a biopsy done, U.S. News and World Report said. Risks and symptoms of the procedure should also be discussed.

Consumer Reports suggested those concerned about the risks skip screening altogether, wait and repeat PSA testing before having a biopsy, and having a rectal swab done first to determine if antibiotic-resistant bacteria are living there.

“The best way to reduce a biopsy complication is to reduce unnecessary biopsies,” Dr. Edward Schaeffer, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said, according to Consumer Reports.

Since the creation of the PSA screening test, diagnoses of prostate cancers have increased. It is the No. 1 most diagnosed cancer in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report.

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Screenings can help detect prostate cancer, but such tests may include prostate biopsies, which come with risks of their own.
Prostate, biopsy, risks, problems
Monday, 29 February 2016 09:54 PM
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