September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancer in men and it can often be found even before symptoms occur. There are two ways to determine if a man has prostate cancer:
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA): Blood test to determine if higher than normal levels of this antigen are present.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): Physical examination through the rectum to evaluate the size of the prostate gland.
If either of these tests is abnormal, further testing is necessary to make an accurate prostate cancer diagnosis and monitor treatment. Usually, a core needle biopsy is the method used to diagnose prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Screening for Men at Various Risk Levels
Based on the recommendations of the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer baseline screening for men includes talking with their healthcare provider to determine their risk level:
- Men age 40-45 should have a baseline prostate cancer screening (PSA blood test and digital rectal exam) if they are at higher risk for prostate cancer because a father, brother or son had prostate cancer at a young age
- Men age 45 and older that have an increased risk of prostate cancer, including African Americans and men whose father, brother or son had prostate cancer when younger than 65, should have a baseline prostate cancer screening (PSA blood test and digital rectal exam)
- Men age 50-69 at average risk should have a baseline prostate screening (PSA blood test and digital rectal exam)
Follow-up screenings are determined by the results of each individual PSA blood test.
Contact your Primary Care Provider or Urologist to schedule your screening today.