August 18, 2022

I’m a match and wholesome 50-year-old however my physician says I ought to have a prostate biopsy because the PSA studying in my blood check was a bit of excessive.

Are there any downsides to having one?

It’s at all times essential to ask what the downsides is likely to be of any investigation or remedy.

A biopsy includes taking a small pattern of tissue from an space of the physique in an effort to study it underneath a microscope and search for illness.

Some folks discover them extremely painful, or they endure bleeding. Because of this docs usually suggest one solely when it is likely to be wanted to diagnose a most cancers.

Within the case of a prostate biopsy, you will need to know the details.

This week a reader asks DR ELLIE CANNON: I’m a match and wholesome 50-year-old however my physician says I ought to have a prostate biopsy because the PSA studying in my blood check was a bit of excessive. Are there any downsides to having one? 

PSA is a compound launched in bigger portions by the prostate when most cancers develops, however this isn’t at all times the trigger. Different the reason why a studying is likely to be excessive embrace a urinary an infection or an enlarged prostate.

Even intercourse or heavy train can improve the determine.

Docs ought to suggest a biopsy provided that these different causes have been dominated out. And as of late, an MRI scan is normally organized earlier than a biopsy to ensure it isn’t executed unnecessarily.

Three out of 4 males with a raised PSA won’t have most cancers.

In a prostate biopsy, tissue is taken by way of a needle by means of the perineum, the realm between the anus and scrotum. There may be normally a pointy ache every time a pattern is taken – however typically as many as 30 could also be wanted.

Some sufferers discover that the ache lasts for a few days, and, like all process, there’s a threat of an infection. That is exactly why all the professionals and cons needs to be totally mentioned with a specialist earlier than you go forward and determine to have the biopsy.

I’m a divorced 55-year-old with an grownup youngster who has left dwelling. A couple of weeks in the past a small boy was murdered by his stepmother domestically, which triggered a nationwide outrage.

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I didn’t know them, however for some motive the information has hit me exhausting. I maintain crying about it for hours after work, typically uncontrollably.

I’m discovering it troublesome to sleep. I’m usually a contented individual – what’s occurred to me? 

Prescription payment fiasco IS unfair

Final week I wrote about how prescription prices will be extremely costly whenever you tot all of them up, with some sufferers pressured to pay hundreds yearly.

Surprisingly, I had a lot of letters questioning my details.

Readers drew my consideration to the pre-payment system, which lets sufferers who depend on numerous drugs pay a set payment of about £108 yearly, or £30 each three months.

I’m afraid they’re mistaken. The reality is that pre-payment playing cards will not be obtainable to each affected person, as many pharmacies and GPs don’t supply them.

Current analysis reveals that two-thirds of individuals with long-term circumstances don’t have the playing cards, and one in 5 sufferers don’t even know they exist.

So sufferers must fork out hundreds yearly – and I do know a number of on this scenario.

It’s common to really feel frightened if we have now an excessive emotional response to an occasion – both in our lives or past.

Actually, it’s completely comprehensible, particularly when an terrible tragedy occurs near dwelling. And a few individuals are merely extra empathetic than others.

It’s totally doable to endure grief and really feel the aftermath of a traumatic occasion with out a private connection to it.

When a tragedy occurs in a tight-knit group, it usually makes residents really feel extra fearful for their very own lives and maybe extra conscious of their very own mortality.

Native locations, corresponding to non secular buildings or group centres, might supply occasions or teams the place there are prone to be folks experiencing related emotions.

However there are sensible issues you are able to do to assist on this scenario, too.

It sounds apparent, however attempt to exclude your self from sure situations that might set off the acute feelings – studying in depth in regards to the tragedy on the web, as an example.

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As a substitute, search for actions that chill out you. Maybe studying, or attempt an artwork or train class.

Usually with one thing like this, you simply want time to make the sentiments simpler to deal with.

Within the meantime, deal with distracting your self from disagreeable ideas.

You will need to recognise that is grief and permit your self to really feel it.

For additional help, attempt the helpline run by the bereavement charity Cruse: 0808 808 1677.

I’ve a big, scabby mole my GP mentioned may very well be pores and skin most cancers – both basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma – and I used to be given an pressing referral to a dermatologist.

However the appointment was over the cellphone and, after footage, my guide mentioned it was extra prone to be one thing innocent known as seborrheic keratosis.

Ought to I ask for a second opinion?

In the overwhelming majority of instances, dermatologists are in a position to inform by way of {a photograph} if a lesion is prone to be cancerous.

It appears unbelievable, however trendy tools and know-how implies that it’s protected to depend on a distant specialist session.

Do you have got a query for Dr Ellie?

Electronic mail [email protected] or write to Well being, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Road, London, W8 5TT.

Dr Ellie can solely reply in a normal context and can’t reply to particular person instances, or give private replies. You probably have a well being concern, at all times seek the advice of your personal GP.

The photographs are much more correct if the GP has used a dermatoscope – a particular microscope used for inspecting pores and skin lesions shut up. We use these to take photographs that are then despatched on to consultants.

We additionally used these strategies earlier than Covid to hurry up the time it takes for a specialist to see the pictures.

However this solely works nicely if the photographs are taken on a specialist medical digital camera. The identical doesn’t apply if the affected person, or physician, takes their very own photographs on a smartphone.

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It’s at all times doable to ask for a second opinion – both ask to see a distinct specialist by way of the GP, or ask the GP what they consider the result.

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are sorts of pores and skin most cancers, whereas a seborrheic keratosis is a quite common pores and skin mark that occurs with age.

They appear like crusty, tough lesions and really feel as if they’ve been caught on to the pores and skin.

Every of the pores and skin cancers has particular traits which a dermatologist is nicely positioned to identify on medical photos.

The one method to be 100 per cent sure is to have the lesion eliminated and examined. Nevertheless, eradicating a lesion that may very well be innocent additionally results in issues corresponding to scarring bigger than the lesion.

Most sufferers would somewhat keep away from this, particularly on the face. 

NOW we will ditch USELESS video calls with sufferers

It’s official: video name GP appointments are comparatively ineffective.

That was confirmed final week in a report by researchers on the College of Oxford, which included suggestions from sufferers, docs and know-how specialists.

The research concluded that seeing sufferers by way of a video name risked lacking critical diagnoses and that sufferers had been hardly ever glad.

It's official: video call GP appointments are relatively useless (stock photo)

It’s official: video name GP appointments are comparatively ineffective (inventory photograph)

I’ve been saying for years that video consultations had been largely a waste of time – particularly when the previous Well being Secretary Matt Hancock appeared obsessive about pushing them on sufferers in 2020.

Sufferers are sometimes stunned after I reject their request for a video name and say that I’d somewhat converse to them on the cellphone as a substitute.

Cellphone conversations are much more pure – garbage wi-fi alerts make it exhausting to listen to what sufferers say in video calls.

Fortunately, video calls aren’t broadly utilized in NHS GP practices any extra, the report acknowledged, and I hope it stays that method.