About 1 man in 9 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime so it is important to discuss the benefits of prostate cancer screenings with your physician to determine the best course of action for you. The good news is that prostate cancer can be treated successfully especially when it is diagnosed early.
When Should I Get Screened for Prostate Cancer?
The standard approach to screen for prostate cancer includes a digital rectal exam, in which your physician will exam your prostate by inserting a gloved lubricated finger into your rectum, and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures the level of PSA (a protein made by the prostate) in the blood.
There are many reasons a man could have elevated PSA levels, including prostate cancer, an inflammation of the prostate or an infection. CentraState advises men who are at average risk of prostate cancer to get a baseline PSA test by age 50 in order to detect abnormal elevation of PSA levels in future tests. Men who are at higher risk, and should get a baseline test earlier, include:
Men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65)
Men with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age
Men should talk to their physician to develop a personalized approach to screening for prostate cancer.