DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help YOU.
Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.
Q: I HAVE had a verruca on my foot for more than a year. I’ve tried over-the-counter products but they haven’t worked.
My GP doesn’t freeze them off. What can I do? I am a 55-year-old man.
Mark Crowther, Bermondsey, London
A: Verrucas are due to a viral infection that attacks a specific area in the skin layer and results in a warty appearance.
They often persists for several years, can spread to other areas and are stubborn to treat.
The majority of over-the-counter treatments for them have limited success so if they are particularly bothersome we advise patients to go to a podiatrist.
Verruca treatments are not generally covered under the NHS and options available include localised freezing or heat therapies that have more success than over-the-counter treatments
Q: THREE weeks ago my doctor requested a blood test for me which came back with a high level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
An examination found that I had an enlarged prostate so I was sent for an MRI scan, an ultrasound of my kidneys and a cystoscopy, which was never discussed with me.
I told my GP and the specialist that I have no problems and everything is as normal. I am 52.
If I’ve no problems why the need for all these tests? There is a family history of prostate cancer but I was led to believe it’s not inherited.
John Walker, Hull
A: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (besides skin cancer) and if we live long enough, all of us will get it.
The prostate specific antigen test is a non- specific blood test we use to work out if someone may have an abnormal prostate, but the problem with this is it is not able to determine between an inflamed, enlarged or cancerous prostate.
As a result, PSA testing is not used as an NHS national screening programme.
This does not mean that there is no role for the PSA test, but more that we have to interpret the results carefully.
For many patients with early prostate cancer, the PSA level might be raised, but they do not have symptoms as the cancer has not yet spread outside of the prostate itself and resulted in any secondary complications.
The reason to have all these tests done now, even though you feel fine, is to make sure that if you do have prostate cancer it is caught early enough that treatment is more likely to be successful.
The earlier you detect any cancer, the better the outcome.