Screening for Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland helps regulate both bladder control and sexual functioning in men.
The American Cancer Society recommends annual prostate cancer screenings beginning at:
- Age 45 for African-American men and men with a family history of the disease
- Age 50 for men with no family history of the disease
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
- Enlarged prostate (This could be a benign condition called prostatic hyperplasia.)
- Problems urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent pain in the lower back, hips or other bones
A man’s annual check-up should begin at age 45 or 50 (depending on risk factors) and include a:
Digital Rectal Examination
A digital rectal exam by a family physician can identify prostate abnormalities or enlargements that may warrant further tests.
PSA Blood Test
A simple test to detect the presence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood can screen the prostate gland for cancer. PSA is a protein produced in the prostate. Patients with an elevated PSA level are encouraged to have a biopsy. Tissue extracted during a biopsy provides more information to make an accurate diagnosis.