Prostate Cancer Screening

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If you’re approaching 50 years of age, we recommend you discuss prostate cancer screening with your physician. However, if you’re high risk, you may want to begin testing as early as 40, with a follow-up test five years later. You may be at high risk if:

  • You’re African American
  • You have a strong family history of prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Screening Tools

We use two main screening tools for prostate cancer: the digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. At this state, cancer won’t be diagnosed, but we’ll be able to tell you if further testing is needed. Your primary care doctor can work with you to administer these tests.

Digital Rectal Exam

This is a quick exam for checking the health of your prostate. Your doctor will insert a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum. This allows your doctor to feel the back portion of your prostate for size and any irregular or abnormally firm areas.

Prostate-Specific Antigen

This term refers to a substance produced by cells from your prostate gland and released into your bloodstream. This test will measure the PSA level in your blood. Your doctor will draw a small amount of blood from your arm, and then will check the blood to see if your PSA level is normal. Your doctor may also use this test to check for any increase in a PSA level compared to your previous PSA test.

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