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At What Age Should You Check Your Prostate

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What Happens During A Prostate Exam

At What Age and How Often Should You Get Your Prostate Screened?

Prostate exams might be uncomfortable. Here is what to expect when you receive your first prostate exam. Prostate exams can include two major tests: the PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam .

PSA Blood Test

The PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. PSA is a protein that is produced by your prostate. Normally, your prostate produces only small amounts of PSA. However, if you have prostate cancer or diseases such as benign prostate hyperplasia , your prostate might release more amount of PSA. As such, high levels of PSA can indicate disease.

Digital Rectal Exam

The DRE exam is used to physically examine the size, shape, and texture of your prostate. In order to examine your prostate, your doctor will insert a lubricated, gloved, finger into your rectum to inspect your prostate. This exam should not be painful and will only last 1-2 minutes. Your doctor will be feeling for hard, lumpy, or other abnormalities of the prostate. Although slightly uncomfortable, this test can be extremely helpful for detecting prostate cancer at an early age.

During the exam, you will be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown. There are a number of possible positions to stay in but will completely depend on your physician and your own preference. For instance, you can lie on your side, bend over the table, or squat on the exam table. These options will be disclosed to you by your doctor.

How to Prepare for a Prostate Exam

When Is It Time To Stop Being Checked For Prostate Cancer

Image: Thinkstock

Its essential to be fully informed about the potential risks of PSA testing, which includecomplications from biopsies and teratments.

The answer depends on your current health and your level of concern about cancer.

Routine PSA testing to check for prostate cancer is no longer recommended for most men. But despite what the experts suggest, many men continue to opt for annual PSA tests. This includes a surprisingly large number of men in their 70s. In a recent study in the journal Cancer, more than half of a group of men 75 and older had PSA tests and biopsies.

These men have placed their hope in the value of early diagnosis and treatment, yet stand to gain less from PSA testing than younger men. Across all ages, routine PSA screening leads to life-saving treatment for cancer in about one in every 1,000 men screened.

Force guidelines: These independent experts on preventive medicine do not recommend PSA screening for prostate cancer in men at any age, due to a lack of definitive evidence that the benefits of PSA testing are greater than the risks.

Recommended Reading: New Jersey Prostate Cancer Center

What Is Cancer Screening

Screening means testing people for early stages of a cancer, or for early changes that could develop into cancer if left untreated. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • need to be reliable at picking up cancers that need treatment
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
  • must be something that people are willing to do

Screening tests are not perfect and have some risks. The screening programme should also be good value for money for the NHS.

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How Often Should Men Have A Prostate Screening

A prostate screening is extremely important to have regularly. Because, without them, a mans health is at a high risk of developing prostate cancer. Knowing how often prostate screenings should be had can be helpful to those men who are not sure.

A mans health is just as important to maintain as a womans. But most people are under the assumption that womens health needs more attention. However, that is not true. Men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, and it can become very problematic if not addressed.

Keep reading to find out how often a man should have a prostate screening.

What You Need To Know About The Prostate What Age Should You Check Prostate

What Age To Start Prostate Screening

A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

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Mens Cancer Prevention & Care At Southwest General

Men should see their doctor regularly for recommended health screenings and testing. Our Southwest General Medical Group offers primary care and specialty care to help men protect and monitor their health. To learn more about our cancer care services or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.

When Should I Get Tested

Visit Am I at Risk? to learn more. All men are at risk of prostate cancer, so it is important to talk with your doctor to make an informed decision. Check out our recommended age and testing guidelines, which are based on the NCCN provided recommendations.

Detecting prostate cancer early gives you the best chance of living longer. In fact, more than 99 percent of men survive prostate cancer when it is caught early.

Watch prostate cancer experts, Dr. Lowentritt and Dr. Siegel in this video discuss detection and diagnosis:

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New Prostate Cancer Blood Test

If you have an abnormal PSA score, your doctor may recommend another newertest that gives a better sense of yourprostate cancer risk. The prostate health index is one such test that is a more accurateblood test and measures your risk for having prostate cancer. Its approvedby the FDA for men who have PSA scores between 4 and 10.

What are the benefits of the PHI test?

  • Fewer unnecessary biopsies: Some men who have elevated PSA scores are unsure about getting an invasive biopsy. This tool can be used to better determine whether your risk is high enough to warrant a biopsy.
  • More accurate: This test is better at detecting prostate cancer. It can also detect whether you have a more aggressive type of cancer. This information can guide doctors to a more targeted treatment plan for you.

If you score low on the PHI test, your doctor may recommend monitoring youover time to see if your levels rise enough to cause concern.

Why Prostate Screening Is Important To Discuss After Age 55

How to Check Your Prostate

Prostate cancer is both treatable and curable. Yet, this year, it will claim the lives of almost 30,000 men, according to the American Cancer Society.1 Screening via prostate exams and a blood test can ensure early detection and treatment. Heres why prostate cancer screening is important to discuss for all men over 55 years old.

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Should I Get Screened For Prostate Cancer

This video helps men understand their prostate cancer screening options.

In 2018, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force made the following recommendations about prostate cancer screening

  • Men who are 55 to 69 years old should make individual decisions about being screened for prostate cancer with a prostate specific antigen test.
  • Before making a decision, men should talk to their doctor about the benefits and harms of screening for prostate cancer, including the benefits and harms of other tests and treatment.
  • Men who are 70 years old and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely.

This recommendation applies to men who

  • Are at average risk for prostate cancer.
  • Are at increased risk for prostate cancer.

What You Need To Know About The Prostate What Age Should You Check Your Prostate

A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.

While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.

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How Are Researchers Trying To Improve The Psa Test

Scientists are investigating ways to improve the PSA test to give doctors the ability to better distinguish cancerous from benign conditions and slow-growing cancers from fast-growing, potentially lethal cancers. None has been proven to decrease the risk of death from prostate cancer. Some of the methods being studied include:

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What Is A Digital Rectal Exam

Does prostate cancer screening matter?

The most common way for doctors to check on the health of your prostate is with a DRE. Its a fairly quick and simple procedure.

For the exam, youll bend at the waist while standing or lie on your side with your knees bent toward your chest.

Your doctor will lubricate a gloved finger and gently place it inside your rectum. Theyll press one hand on your prostate, and their other hand will feel your pelvic area. It should only take a few moments.

You may experience momentary discomfort. You may also feel the urge to urinate, especially if your prostate is enlarged or inflamed.

Your doctor will be able to tell you if your prostate seems to be a normal size and shape. In general, a DRE has no risks.

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Screening For Prostate Cancer

There is no national screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. This is because there isnt a reliable test that can pick up prostate cancer that needs treatment at an early stage.

Overall research has shown that current tests dont reduce the number of men dying from prostate cancer. Research is going on to find a new test. Or see if the current test is more effective if used in a different way and can find the cancers that need treatment more accurately.

How Is Prostate Cancer Detected

There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen blood test and the digital rectal examination .

The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A PSA above the typical range may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.

A DRE is generally conducted by a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.

If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging scan and transrectal ultrasound biopsy.

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Living With Prostate Cancer

As prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, you can live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment.

Nevertheless, it can affect your life. As well as the possible side effects of treatment, a diagnosis of prostate cancer can understandably make you feel anxious or depressed.

You may find it beneficial to talk about the condition with your family, friends, a GP and other people with prostate cancer.

Financial support is also available if prostate cancer reduces your ability to work.

What Are The Risks Of A Prostate Exam

Should I have a PSA Prostate Cancer Screening Test?

In the medical community, there is some controversy regarding the risks and benefits of a prostate exam. When a DRE is performed and irregularity is detected, 50% of the time there is prostate cancer and 50% of the time there isnt. The risk, then, becomes over-treatment.

Although not a physical health risk, the possibility of further testing, such as a prostate biopsy or an MRI of the prostate, can be anxiety-provoking.

Overall, the benefits highly outweigh the risks. Patients should discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with their physician to make the best decision for their health.

As men age, they can face physical, sexual and medical health concerns that have an impact on their everyday lives. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, along with regular checkups and screening tests can help prevent or lead to early treatment of many mens health threats.

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What Is A Dangerous Psa Level

PSA levels are measured as a number of nanograms in each milliliter of fluid tested. This is written as ng/mL.

  • PSA level 2.5 ng/mL or lower: This is a normal PSA level for those under age 60, but in some cases, prostate cancer may still be present.
  • PSA level between 2.5 and 4 ng/mL: This is a normal PSA level for most people.
  • PSA level between 4 and 10 ng/mL: This indicates that prostate cancer might be present. At this level, there is about a 25% chance that you have prostate cancer.
  • PSA level 10 ng/mL or above: There is a 50 percent chance that prostate cancer is present. The higher the PSA rises above 10 ng/mL, the greater the chance that you have prostate cancer.

Your doctor may also monitor your PSA velocity, or doubling time, which means recording your baseline PSA the level at your very first PSA test and seeing how fast the PSA level increases over time. Rapid increases in PSA readings can suggest cancer. If your PSA is slightly high, you and your doctor may decide to keep an eye on your levels on a regular basis to look for any change in the PSA velocity.

Whats The Best Treatment For Prostate Symptoms

Treatments for prostate cancer include surgery to remove the prostate, radiation therapy, and ablation therapies, as well as active surveillance. Some treatments are better for some men and some prostates than others. There are side effects for each, so it really requires an informed discussion to help each man make an educated decision.

One thing we do at Yale is use an MRI of the prostate to evaluate the location of the prostate cancer for surgical planning. Ive found it to be quite helpful. Its not done everywhere.

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Are You Seeing Prostate Cancer Becoming More Prevalent In Younger Patients

Its pretty rare. Its less common that men in their 40s have prostate cancer, but, we also are very rarely screening them. The young men who come in to be screened tend to have one of those high-risk features. They most likely had a father who had prostate cancer, so theyre nervous about it. Or theyre African-American, and theyve been flagged by their health care providers.

If youre young, your quality of life is even more important to you right now. We know that, if diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer, a person will need treatment at some time in life. If we can delay treatmentwhich could negatively impact urinary or sexual functionby several years, then we should do that and obviously discuss that there is a low but possible chance of metastasis developing during that time.

The Importance Of Prostate Health

PSA Screening

Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and one in 41 men will die from prostate cancer. More than 90 percent of men aged 80 or older have an enlarged prostate.

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that is a vital part of the male reproductive system. Located below the bladder and in front of the rectum, the prostate produces seminal fluid, which helps nourish and transport sperm.

There are several risk factors for prostate cancer, including age, family history and race. African American men are at a higher risk for prostate cancer than Caucasian men. Men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer also are at an increased risk.

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Prostate Cancer Screening Ages 40 To 54

The PSA test is a blood test that measures how much of a particular protein is in your blood. Its been the standardfor prostate cancer screening for 30 years.

Your doctor will consider many factors before suggesting when to startprostate cancer screening. But hell probably start by recommending the PSAtest.

While the general guidelines recommend starting at age 55, you may need PSAscreening between the ages of 40 and 54 if you:

  • Have at least one first-degree relative who has had prostate cancer
  • Have at least two extended family members who have had prostate cancer
  • Are African-American, an ethnicity that has a higher risk of developing more aggressive cancers

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