Prostate cancer is a highly treatable cancer if it is detected early, and discovering prostate cancer in its early stages provides more treatment options. How often should men be screened for prostate cancer? This is a complicated question, so let’s find out the criteria, risk factors, and consensus.
Screening For Prostate Cancer
Men are screened for prostate cancer in several ways. The prostate-specific antigen, or PSA test, looks at the level of PSA (protein) in a man’s blood. Each man has different levels, so the most significant factor is if subsequent tests show the numbers are increasing. It’s important to understand there are other reasons for an elevated PSA level.
Men will also receive a digital rectal exam, or DRE, as part of screenings with Lowcountry Urology. This will determine if the prostate is enlarged or if there is a lump.
How Frequently Should You Be Screened?
Your age, family history, race, and general health can all contribute to your individual risk of developing prostate cancer.
If you have an increased risk of prostate cancer, you should be screened more frequently than others.
In addition, Lowcountry Urology may recommend more frequent testing if you are experiencing any of these issues:
- Blood in your urine
- A change in the frequency of urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Painful ejaculations
- Inconsistent flow of urine (starting and stopping)
Recommended Screenings At Age 40
If you are between 40 and 49, it is recommended you have a baseline PSA test if you have any risk factors. This is especially important if you are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer.
If your PSA test is under 2.5 you will most likely only need another screening in two years.
If it is higher, you may need one every year. If the number continues to increase, you may be required to be rescreened within several months since that indicates cancer cells. Lowcountry may recommend a biopsy if that is the case.
Recommended Screenings At Age 50
If you have only an average risk of developing prostate cancer and you are in good health, you should begin to be tested at age 50. Lowcountry Urology will make recommendations thereafter.
There are many different considerations and opinions about screenings after age 50, so it is essential you follow the advice of Lowcountry Urology regarding frequency.
Prostate cancer is often slow-growing, so it is important to make an informed decision.
Contact Lowcountry Urology to discuss how often YOU should be screened for prostate cancer.