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The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder and surrounds the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder out through to the penis. It produces some of the fluid in semen and is crucial to sexual function.

The prostate often enlarges as men get older, but for two-thirds of men aged 50 or over this does not cause problems. However, in some cases an enlarged prostate can press on the tube carrying urine from the bladder and cause urinary problems. This is known as benign prostate enlargement.

Another prostate condition that includes swelling is known as prostatitis; this can make urinating painful and is sometimes caused by infection.

Prostate cancer is also a common cancer identified in men.

What will the Prostate Screening involve?

Two appointments with a OSD Healthcare GP will be required. During the first appointment, the GP will take a full history and explain the screening program. These include:

Symptoms of Prostate Problems:

  • Needing to urinate often, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Straining to urinate or taking a long time to finish
  • Pain when urinating or during intercourse

1. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

The PSA is a blood test that measures the level of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in the blood. PSA is made by the prostate gland, and some of it will leak into the bloodstream depending on age and the health of the gland. A raised PSA level may be an indicator of prostate cancer. However, other conditions which are not cancer (for example, enlargement of the prostate, prostatitis and urinary infection) can also be the cause of higher PSA levels in the blood. About 2 out of 3 men with a raised PSA level will not have prostate cancer.


2. Prostate examination

A PSA test alone cannot tell whether you have prostate cancer. The doctor may also need to perform a digital rectal examination (DRE). This is an examination of the prostate gland, during which the doctor will insert a gloved finger into your back passage (rectum).

A DRE is not recommended as a substitute for the PSA test as many early cancers may not be detected by this.

3. Testing of the urine with possible laboratory examination if infection is suspected.


Further information will also be required through:

4. International Prostate Symptom Score.

A short questionnaire that asks you to score your urinary symptoms, based on severity, during the past month.


5. Bladder Diary / input and output chart.

The diary requires you to record urinary output over three consecutive normal days.
Once completed these need to be given to the GP at either the initial or follow-up Clinic appointment to better help assess your urinary symptoms and determine how best to manage your condition.


Test results and follow -up

A follow up appointment will be made with the GP within seven days to discuss the results of the PSA, symptom score, bladder diary and urinalysis, as applicable. Depending on the clinical picture, history and test results, the GP will discuss the next steps. This may include discussion around the need for further PSA blood tests, lifestyle changes including medication or referral to a Urology specialist.


Cost from £250.

To find out more or to book an appointment please call 01442 331 900.

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