Should You Be Screened for Prostate Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 man in 9 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men.
It’s recommended that beginning at age 40 (depending on risk level), men should have a discussion with their health care provider about prostate cancer screening. It’s up to each individual to make an informed decision carefully considering the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of screening.
Benefits of Prostate Cancer Screening
Although screening is an individual decision, there are potential benefits to getting screened for prostate cancer:
- The 5-year relative survival rate of prostate cancer is nearly 100%. 15-year is about 95%. This means that the survival rate is very high, it just needs to be detected first and early on.
- Since the recent push to prevent prostate cancer, tests have become more diverse and more accurate. While they still aren’t 100% accurate, they can provide good insight to your urologist on whether further testing or other actions need to be taken.
What are the Screening Options for Prostate Cancer?
There are a couple options for prostate cancer screening, including:
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) – This blood test measures how much PSA is in a man’s blood.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – Your doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland. They will assess if the shape, size and texture and feel normal.