Prostate Cancer Screening
Early Detection Can Be a Lifesaver
- When Should I Get Checked?
Scott & White’s recommendations for prostate cancer screening are consistent with those of the American Cancer Society.
All males 50 years and older should be screened once a year as part of their annual well-check. African American males and males with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer should be screened annually starting at age 40.
Prostate cancer — the second most common cancer in men (skin cancer is first) — will affect more than 200,000 men this year. The good news is that death rates from prostate cancer are on the decline.
The increased attention given to prostate cancer in recent years has been paying off. Early detection and more innovative and precise technology are helping to combat this deadly disease.
Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
One of the most important diagnostic tools in the fight against prostate cancer is the PSA test. PSA, prostate-specific antigen, is a substance produced by the prostate gland. The PSA level in a man’s blood is an important marker for prostate cancer. If your PSA is high for your age and is steadily rising, that is an indicator there is a potential that cancerous or abnormal cells are present in the prostate. If your levels are high, or increasing, your doctor may recommend a biopsy.
Doctors can assess the health status of each patient to determine if he should have PSA testing at any age. This is true for all men, including those in excellent health with no other serious health concerns and no family history.
When deciding on prostate cancer screening, there are several things to consider.
- A variety of factors can elevate PSA levels.
- Prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer may cause elevated PSA levels.
- Blood PSA levels tend to increase with age.
- Larger prostates produce larger amounts of PSA.
- All males 50 years and older should be screened once a year as part of their annual well-check. African American males and males with a father or brother who has had prostate cancer should be screened annually starting at age 40.
- An initial baseline PSA can be compared with future results to help identify those men with life-threatening prostate cancer.
- PSA level in a man’s blood is generally a good predictor of the risk of prostate cancer and the extent of the cancer.
- Men whose PSA levels rise sharply over a short period are more likely to have prostate cancer than those who do not see significant changes in their PSA velocity.
- A prostate biopsy confirms the presence of prostate cancer.
- The decision to proceed should be based on the two common and required diagnostic tools, PSA and DRE (digital rectal exam).
- If prostate cancer is detected through a biopsy, all treatment options should be discussed.
Scott & White Offers Expert Prostate Cancer Care
Scott & White's board-certified urologists offer the complete range of treatment options for prostate cancer, including advanced robotic surgery, a minimally invasive approach that reduces pain and lets you get back to your daily activities more quickly.
If you are a male over the age of 40, talk to your doctor about a prostate exam. Early detection can truly save your life.