Screening for Prostate Cancer

There’s a very interesting article on the BBC website and on the news today about the screening of prostate cancer by MRI. A simple ten minute scan has
proved to be more effective in finding some cancers than conventional blood tests, Unfortunately it is suggested that it could take up to ten years before a screening programme can be rolled out after it has been evaluated by medical experts.

That’s good to hear. Continued developm nts in healthcare are most welcome.
It should be noted that although this may take some time to be an established service, there are already extensive and effective ways of finding these results.
Most important is for patients to get checked/tested.
Being a cancer survivor from prostate cancer 6 years ago I can speak on this matter.
For me it was a regular Wellman checkup that identified elevated PSA results in Blood tests, followed by 20 sample biopsies, of which 75% were cancerous.
End result for me was removal of prostate and 6 years later being confirmed as cancer free.
Bottom line, get tested.


That’s very true but the report - as I read it in the Guardian - also shows how unreliable and misleading PSA tests can be. In themselves they don’t constitute an effective screening method. I have been having annual PSA tests for some years now as my father died of prostate cancer. My levels have always been very low but after I went to my GP when I had some urinary concerns she did a rectal exam which worried her. A scan and biopsies showed that I had low grade prostate cancer, which is being monitored through annual MRI scans. The irony is that my urinary symptoms were not connected with the cancer, so the diagnosis was more the result of an alert GP and chance. MRI screening followed by biopsy if required seems the most reliable methodology, much like breast cancer screening for women, so I hope it can be introduced.

Glad to hear your cancer was caught and that you are now clear.

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Again, key is proactive healthcare, testing.
Good to hear you are being managed effectively.

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I’m on a similar journey to @CBR600 but elected to have radiotherapy back in 2019. Last blood test was 0.1 so trajectory is good so far.

The PSA blood test is not a precision tool but has saved many lives. I know that it’s a very personal decision but I would strongly recommend any male over 60 to have this simple test especially if they are peeing more often.


I’ve been through something similar. Whilst living in Canada I had regular PSA tests from the age of 50 and was able to track my results. When I moved back to the UK I did similar and when the PSA jumped I took action and got an MRI which identified a mass and then biopsy which confirmed. Caught it early and had radical radiotherapy treatment that was February 2021 and now I am on the stable prostate monitoring program with a PSA of 0.08.

The bugger is that was also recently diagnosed with bladder cancer and had an OP to remove tumour, so far all clear after last checkup. So that’s two monitoring programs I am on.

I agree more could be done to have some sort of monitoring program but as said at the end of the day being aware of how you feel and how your body functions is fundamentally ones own responsibility. Awareness campaigns do help and power to those that keep pushing the message. I know I strongly urged all of my male friends to get checked out.



I was surprised that the MRI scan only lasted 10 minutes. Earlier this year after having elevated PSA readings I was sent for an MRI scan, which took 40 minutes, and was subsequently given an all clear (for now). The scanner is relatively new, and has been discussed under a previous thread: more noise means greater analytical capability, but still required a significant amount of scan time.

I can only assume that the 10 minute scan must be using a more focused machine, and/or identifying / concentrating on a very small area. Does anyone know more about this 10 minute scan?

Pretty much the same for me, except i am still waiting for the outcome from the biopsies, which I’m led to believe could be 50/50 for cancer, although my age apparently tips that in a not too positive manner, we shall see at the appointment in early october!! Bottom line is Get Tested!!


I wish you all the best Nick.

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I strongly suggest researching around prostate screening with independent resources.

The accuracy of any test is one thing (false negatives and false positives). There are also issues about how to identify cancers that will progress, and those that may actually not cause problems if left. Essentially every 100yr old man has Ca prostate. Finally treatments that consistently affect outcomes on a population (rather than individual) basis. Some of these treatments are associated with substantial harms too so identifying which treatment should be used, for whom and when is crucial. The evidence base for treatment choices is not complete. So it is not just about the test.

This is an evolving subject. Be aware of prostate symptoms, and family history, genetics (racial differences in prevalence for example) etc and debate with a health professional. It is a nuanced and complex subject, and whilst individual stories are powerful it is important to take a wider view too.

We don’t yet have universal prostate screening for a reason, although as tests and treatments evolve I suspect we may not be far away. Incidentally this is not an NHS resource issue, the US Urology Association for example recommends shared decision making (for those not at significantly elevated risk) rather than routine screening at present , so that some of these test and treatment uncertainties can be discussed.


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I remember hearing prostate cancer described as being the disease that most men die with rather than die of.


I had my yearly bloods done about six months ago.

When I asked about the PSA test, I was told by the nurse that they no longer bother with PSA testing.

Depends on the ferocity.
Contained within an elderly prostate sac it can be relatively innocuous.
It does like to escape and once in your bones you are in deep….


I would tend to move a bit higher up the medical food chain and ask for an explanation.

It was only regular PSA testing that showed my cancer had moved from the ‘we are keeping an eye on it’ to radio therapy within six weeks.

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I would recommend getting tested from 50. My older brother changed job at 50 and had a medical for the private health scheme. PSA level was 13 and subsequent tests showed an aggressive stage 4 cancer. He had the prostate removed and then follow up radiotherapy and is ok now. As a result of this I got tested and was found to have low level cancer too. Now getting blood tests every six months.
An annual MRI scan would be great but the costs and resources involved will mean this will never happen imo.

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@Fatcat are you in the UK? PSA is not used as a screening test there. Its normally used as a monitoring marker once an issue is found. Depends on location as to what the test is licensed for. In Germany its used differently.

BTW, PSA is a marker for abnormality, its not a B&W test. There are many causes of elevated PSA, not just cancer, you could have an elevated PSA and it not be cancer.

Side topic, so many people here with no / hidden profiles ask questions where the answer is country / region specific. Would be easier to reply if known. For example “PSA test in Singapore” can mean very different answers to " PSA test in Reykjavik"



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Thank you young man! Kind words indeed.

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Hope all progresses well for you.
There are lots of pathways and solutions, so any treatment can be developed to best meet your circumstances.
For example in my case the size of prostate was too small to consider using implanted seeds treatment. Best solution for me was total removal, your experts will guide you to best meet your needs.
Good luck, whatever the plan.

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Turning 50 this year I booked myself a GP to have an examination and a PSA blood test.
Went back a few weeks later to hear the GP say “er, it looks like no one did your blood test, can you give some blood now again”
I know some people have many great things to say about the NHS, and others not - so well worth persevering.

Thanks youngster, I’m sure I’m in good hands, and thanks for your kind thoughts!