The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland at the base of the penis that essentially lubricates semen providing the jetstream of energy that allows male DNA to interface with a recipient female.
In Trump your Prostate I describe the forces driving the almost inevitable enlargement of this gland as men age, a source of endless consternation until it’s surgically eliminated, which alleviates urinary angst while sadly abrogating sexual pleasure.
Prostates that are growing bigger might also be harboring cancer cells, the most common cause of cancer in Australian men. Until now we’ve relied on the PSA blood test, which if significantly raised or heading in an upwards trajectory has often resulted in biopsies of the prostate and sometimes unnecessary surgery as prostate cancer can be slow growing and often not lethal. There is the old adage that men die with not because of prostate cancer.
With the advent of the MRI investigation a new tool has emerged to identify and hopefully treat prostate cancer appropriately. A British trial just completed which offered an MRI investigation to any male between the age of 50-70 found that one in sex men had a positive MRI, just short of 50/300 and of those 2/3 had what was considered a normal PSA. In other words relying on the PSA test alone would have missed those cancers. In addition to which of those in whom cancer was detected almost half of those were clinically significant meaning that they were destructive cancers but uncovered early can be managed and mitigated before they mushroom uncontrollably. Fascinatingly a number of these men were asymptomatic and had no idea they were propagating potentially lethal cancer cells.
The prostate MRI, still a costly examination, has yet to be rolled out as a national screening initiative, but if this provides a test that makes the prostate less of a menace then we might have an intervention which preserves an integral part of male sexuality and saves lives.