Because Prostate cancer is common in men, many doctors recommended testing for it even in the absence of clear symptoms. Screening is usually done to most men at the age of 40 and above. However, many experts disagree whether this screening is helpful or not.
In theory, screening offers the advantage of finding prostate cancer early. But prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer; it often never causes symptoms or death. Often times, using conventional methods to treat early cancer can prove more damaging than leaving the cancer undetected.
Even though biopsy is regarded as the major way to detect cancer, prostate biopsy side effects far outweigh the benefits of this detection. And above all, it’s not 100% reliable in detecting cancer because it takes a very small sample of your tissues.
To begin with, biopsy is invasive and damaging. The biopsy procedure involves needles, scalpels (knife) and other such instruments to remove a small piece of your living tissues from the prostate gland for microscopic examination and evaluation. Tissue injury occurs because an excision made in the prostate.
Bleeding is a regular, well-known side effect experienced after the procedure. You may see blood in the semen, urine or stool. In some cases it lasts for weeks, but at other times it can take months to stop. But prostate biopsy side effects don’t stop at bleeding.
Another common downside is urinary problems. Since the prostate gland is located and related to the urinary tract, there is a good chance something may happen that will affect your urinary system. Common urinary side effects of prostate biopsy include incontinence and dribbling.
And if it gets worse, you may also end up with a catheter or in diapers for a long time. Afterward, removal of the catheter will depend if you’re able to recover well. Patients are also advised to refrain from any heavy lifting and vigorous activities to prevent an increase in pressure. Ambulation (walking) should also be minimal after a biopsy so as to prevent further pain and discomfort.
One of the most annoying side effects of prostate biopsy is how it affects your sex life; most men are advised to refrain from any sexual activity for several weeks, sometimes months. Erection is difficult for some because of damage in the tissues.
Another major problem with biopsies is that each time you have a biopsy, it tends to increase the level of your PSA so it’s very easy to get into a spiral of biopsies, ever-increasing PSA and worry. Plus multiple biopsies can do you serious harm.
Prostate biopsy is an invasive procedure, a number of side-effects and symptoms would always occur after the procedure. Some clients are able to cope up well after the procedure, but some will not.
Please feel free to get in touch with us using the Question Form and ask any question specific to your prostate health. Our prostate experts will reply soon with a specific response tailored to your conditions.