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
  • Impotence

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.