Common Check-Up questions
45 is our recommended age for your first check-up and subsequently every 18 months. However, some prostate specialists are starting to recommend having your first check aged 40.
You are at increased risk of prostate cancer if:
- You are or African origin
- Your father or brother developed prostate cancer before the age of 60
What does a prostate check-up involve?
There are four parts:
- A prostate symptom questionnaire
- Urine and blood tests
- An ultrasound examination of your bladder
- Physical examination
Prostate Symptom Questionnaire
This is a standardised questionnaire with seven questions. The answers to these questions are added up to get a total score known as the International Prostate Symptom Score, or IPSS.
We will send you a link to complete this online at appointment booking stage. Alternatively you can fill it in here in our waiting room.
Urine and Blood Tests
You will be asked to provide a urine sample, which is tested for any sign of infection or diabetes. The result is instant.
One blood test will be taken. We check:
- Kidney function – urea and creatine.
- PSA – This measures the blood level of a substance called Prostate Specific Antigen. This is the standard test for any indication of prostate cancer. Further details here.
Ultrasound examination of the bladder.
You will be asked to completely empty your bladder in the loo, and after that a simple ultrasound examination will tell whether your bladder is indeed empty.
Unfortunately, an all too common effect of having an enlarged prostate is an inability to fully empty the bladder, even though we may think it empty.
The result of the test is instant, and you will be told on the day.
The prostate is situated deep in the pelvis, and cannot be checked from the front. It is examined using a lubricated gloved finger gently inserted up the rectum (back passage). This is totally painless and only takes a few seconds.
What happens next?
It depends. If all is OK on the day, you will then be contacted within a week with the results of your blood tests. If these are normal, it will be by email. We then suggest that you return in 18 months for another examination, and will send a reminder.
If the blood tests are abnormal, you will be telephoned with the results and management can be discussed. Depending on these results, we can arrange a speedy appointment with a urologist, either one here in the Beacon or else one of your own choice. Alternatively we can refer you to your own GP.