Dr Ranj warns any ‘accidents with dribbling’ urine may be cancer sign

Prostate cancer symptoms shared by doctor on BBC Morning Live

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Appearing on BBC’s Morning Live on Thursday, March 9, Dr Ranj warned that “accidents with dribbling” urine could be one of the first signs of prostate cancer. “The prostate is a small, walnut-sized shaped gland that sits at the base of the bladder,” Dr Ranj explained. The tube, the urethra, comes out of the bladder and carries urine out of the body, he said.

The prostate gland is responsible for making seminal fluid, which carries sperm, but if the gland enlarges due to cancer, it can block the urethra.

“That’s what early symptoms show,” said Dr Ranj, who said they could be: “Difficulty passing urine… difficulty emptying the bladder… may need to go [to the toilet] a lot, particularly at nighttime.”

He added: “Some people have accidents with dribbling; some people have blood in their urine as well.

“As prostate cancer advances… then you start to get symptoms of potential spread. You might get back pain. You might get weight loss, weakness and lethargy.”

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Screening for prostate cancer has been on the medical agenda for a “long time”, said Dr Ranj.

And there finally seems to have been a breakthrough, which the doctor went on to explain.

A new prostate cancer test has been developed by researchers at Imperial College London and researchers in India.

Taking a sample of 210 men with symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer, the researchers did a blood test that looked for cancer cells and not (prostate-specific antigen) PSA.

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A third of men went on to develop prostate cancer and the cancer cell blood test correctly identified over 90 percent of cases.

“That’s really good,” said Dr Ranj. “Even more importantly, it correctly identified the negative tests by 100 percent.”

This means the blood test didn’t lead to any false positive results, whereby cancer cells were identified when there were none.

“Tests like this offer new hope in terms of screening because we’re looking for something a bit more accurate to be able to roll out to the wider population,” the doctor elaborated.

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Dr Ranj spoke about the current process of prostate cancer diagnosis.

In the UK, people presenting with symptoms of prostate cancer will undergo a physical rectal examination and a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test.

Should the PSA test come back positive, the patient is referred for an MRI scan and a biopsy of the prostate to test for signs of cancer.

The problem, Dr Ranj pointed out, is that the PSA test is “not accurate”.

There can be numerous reasons for raised PSA levels in the blood, including “infection or inflammation”.

As such, the PSA test can lead to a “false positive” whereby a person is tested unnecessarily for cancer.

The test can also lead to a “false negative”, which is when the PSA levels are normal and so cancer can go undetected.

“That’s why the PSA test is not good enough for screening,” said Dr Ranj.

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