Routine screening crucial for early detection of prostate cancer
Routine Screening Crucial
for Early Detection of
Routine and timely screening
testshelp in early diagnosis of
prostate cancer and determine the
correct treatment modality required
for this syndrome.
Regarded as one of the most common non-skin cancers among men,
prostate cancer (PC) occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate (a
small walnut-shaped gland). According to reports from the American Cancer
Society (ACS), about 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer occur each year
in the US and nearly 26,000 men die from this disease each year (2016
statistics). It is estimated that more than 2.9 million U.S. men are prostate
cancer survivors. Generally, this type of cancer grows slowly and in most
cases is initially confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause any
serious harm. However, some other types of this cancer are aggressive and
can spread quickly. Prostate cancer that’s detected early (when it is still
confined to the prostate gland) has a better chance of successful treatment.
Medical billing and coding task for prostate cancer is complex, and to meet
the complicated documentation needs, most oncology practices now depend
on medical coding outsourcing.
What Causes PC?
The potential factors that cause prostate cancer are not clear. It generally
begins when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the
abnormal cells’ DNA makes the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than
normal cells do. The abnormal cells that accumulate form a tumor that
grows to occupy nearby tissues. On the other hand, some abnormal cells can
also break off andspread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Generally, this type of cancer may cause no specific signs and symptoms in
its early stages. However, when the disease becomes more advanced,
certain signs and symptoms such as the following may appear.
Pain in the back, hip or pelvis
Pain or burning sensation when urinating
Blood in urine
There are several risk factors that increase the chances of this condition
which include – age, family history and obesity.
Diagnosis and Screening of Prostate Cancer
Generally, this type of cancer is more common among older men aged 65
years or above and it is very rare in men younger than 40 years. The
average age at the time of diagnosis is 66 years. The American Cancer
Society (ACS) recommends that men should undergo cancer screening tests
at an early age (right from their early 50s or sooner).Regular screening
helps to recognize the disease symptoms and ensure early treatment.
There is no single, definitive diagnosis test to identify this condition. Urology
specialists recommend different screening tests such asprostate-specific
antigen (PSA) test, digital rectal exam (DRE), cystoscopy or bladder scope
test to confirm this malignancy. If a DRE or PSA test detects any specific
abnormality, urologists may recommend further tests such asultrasound,
collecting a sample of prostate tissue, and MRI fusion to determine whether
the patient suffers from cancer related to the prostate gland.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued new guidelines
that recommendmen aged 55-69 years todiscuss with their physician and
make an individualized decision whether to undergo prostate cancer
screening tests. However, men above 70 years who don’t exhibit symptoms
can still skip the test.(The new draft guidelines are a change from the U.S.
Preventive Services Task Force’s 2012 opposition to prostate cancer
screening at any age, a recommendation that led to far fewer screenings and
diagnosis of prostate cancer).
Medicare (Part B) provides coverage for an annual preventive prostate
cancer screening – PSA test and DRE once every 12 months for all male
beneficiaries aged 50 years and older. Accurate diagnosis and submission of
proper clinical documentation helps to promote error-free billing practices.
Relying on the services of a professional medical coding company can
ensure this. ICD-10-CM codes for prostate cancer screening include -
Z12.5 - Encounter for screening for malignant neoplasm of prostate
Prostate cancer generally grows very slowly. Most men with prostate cancer
are above 65 years old. Regular screening and diagnosis will not only help
patients better manage the symptoms, but also improve patient function
thereby enhancing their quality of life.
Physicians can work to increase awareness regarding prostate cancer among
the patient population and make them understand the advantages of the
screening test for this condition.
High-diet Fat May Help SpreadProstate Cancer – Finds Study
A new study reports a surprising link between obesity and the spread of
prostate cancer. The study was conducted by a team of researchers at Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the results were published in
the Journal Nature Genetics.
Prostate cancer (PC) often starts when a protective gene (PTEN) shuts down.
But the tumors in men that lose only PTEN tend to languish in line with
genetics, rarely spreading beyond the prostate gland and becoming deadly.
The cancers change, only if a second gene called “PML” also shuts down. The
study showed that prostate cancers that had not lost the gene can also
spread but only if they have a ready source of fat from diet.
As per the new study, researchers found that when PML is lost, cancerous
cells may start churning out fat, which in turn may protect the cells from
certain toxic molecules. However, the study highlights the finding that high
dietary fats maypromote more aggressive cancer. Furthermore, the
investigators found an obesity drug that blocks fat production can make PC
regress in mice and prevent it from spreading.
Even though the study was conducted on mice, researchers are planning a
clinical trial in men suffering from prostate cancer to evaluate whether
obesity drugs may be an effective treatment for this cancer.