when should you get tested?

When and how is prostate cancer screening useful? Two specialists give answers on this question while in Algeria, prostate cancer is in 3e position of the most frequent tumors in men.

No less than 2,600 prostate cancers were recorded in 2019 in Algeria. Prostate cancer occupies the 3rd position in the list of the most common tumors in men after lung and colorectal cancers. Prostate cancers represent 14% of cancers recorded in Algeria “Said Professor Kehili, assistant professor and specialist in medical oncology at the University Hospital (EHU) November 1 in Oran.

| Read also: Pr Bounedjar: “There is an explosion of cancer cases in Algeria”

This specialist was speaking during a medical training day on prostate cancer, organized on Monday, November 28, at the EHU in Oran, in collaboration with the Oran cancer society, as part of ” November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month “.

Should systematic screening be done? “ There is no organized screening program for prostate cancer in Algeria and this is also the case in the United States and Europe. It is not recommended to carry out organized screening, i.e. mass screening as is the case, for example, for breast cancer “, answers Professor Kehili.

| Read also: The most common cancers in Algeria

Screening allows the detection of lesions in an asymptomatic patient. Screening will help reduce mortality. We have not reached a high mortality rate as for breast cancer, which has a prevalence rate of 30%, hence mammography is recommended. In Algeria, it is recommended to carry out so-called “individual” screening, depending on the case of the patient.

In general, screening is recommended from the age of 54 or even at 40, if there is a risk factor, such as predispositions or family history, i.e. the presence of prostate cancers within his family (father, brother, etc.)”, continues Pr Kehili who specifies that “the EHU of Oran recorded 120 prostate cancers in 2020 “.

For this specialist, it is ” absolutely necessary to raise awareness among general practitioners, across the national territory “.

Prostate cancer: there are no studies in Algeria

The studies available at the moment only concern European, American and other countries’ populations. There are no studies that have concerned the Algerian population. You need Algerian studies. It is necessary to work in a collegial way with Algerian learned societies like the Algerian Association of Urology to issue recommendations and design a screening program adapted to Algerian clinical and epidemiological data. “, maintains for his part, Professor Chelaf, who presented a communication during these pedagogical days at the EHU of Oran.

Protest cancer can be detected by a “ digital rectal examination or by measuring PSA (prostate specific antigen), a protein produced by the prostate that is detected in the blood. PSA screening and rectal examination are simple to do. However, PSA assays should be handled with caution. “, specifies the speaker.

The debate that followed the papers presented during these educational days, made it possible to learn, for example, that several factors can lead to an increase in PSA such as age, infection, benign adenoma or prostate cancer by example.

When the various examinations reinforce the suspicion of cancer, the urologist suggests performing a prostate biopsy to definitively confirm or rule out the cancer.

When biopsies show cancer, a workup based on imaging tests is needed to check if the cancer has grown and spread to other organs. Among these examinations is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Other tests can check for bone metastases.

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