What Age Should Men Be Screened For Prostate Cancer
The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends that Black men or men with a family history of cancer be screened at the age of 40 otherwise, the organization advises getting screened at 45. The American Cancer Society recommends that men at “average risk” be screened at the age of 50, while “men at high risk of developing prostate cancer” like Black men and men who have a first-degree relative, like a father or brother, who were diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65, be screened at 45. Men at “even higher risk” should be screened at 40.
In 2018, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation advising men to start talking about screenings with their doctors at the age of 55.
When To Get A Prostate Exam
Prostate screening is essential for most aging males.
For many years, all patients were recommended to get a prostate exam after a certain age.
Right now, the recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are slightly different. Prostate cancer screening should start after 55 years, but not all patients should get screened .
If you dont have risk factors or symptoms, your age is not enough reason to screen.
Still, you can do it if youre worried about your prostate.
Also, keep in mind that some average risk factors could be unknown to you. Thus, the best way to know if you need a prostate exam or not is by asking your urologist.
Men should decide for themselves if they prefer to perform an exam.
Still, health authorities recommend that males with a healthy prostate after 70 years do not perform additional exams .
What Does The Psa Test Involve
The PSA test involves taking a blood sample and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. The results indicate:
Normal levels: Most healthy adult males have PSA levels below 4 nanograms per milliliter .
Borderline levels: PSA levels of 4â10 ng/ml are borderline. There is a 1 in 4 chance that cancer is present.
High levels: If PSA levels are over 10 ng/ml, there is a 50% chance that the person has prostate cancer. The specialist will likely recommend more testing, including a prostate biopsy.
It is important to note that PSA levels can naturally vary from person to person. A person with high levels may not have prostate cancer. On the other hand, about 15% of people who test positive for prostate cancer after a biopsy have PSA levels below 4 ng/ml.
Prostate cancer is not the only cause of high PSA levels. Find out more about the other causes here.
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What To Expect During The Digital Rectal Exam
This examination can be done while you are either standing or lying down. This may depend on the examination room and any other health conditions that you have.
If standing, you will be asked to stand facing the examination bed, with feet apart, body bent forward, and your arms or elbows on the bed. Feel free to ask your healthcare provider to give you a heads up before each part of your exam.
Your healthcare provider will coat their gloved finger in lubricant. They will insert their finger into your rectum at a downwards angle. You may feel a little pressure or slight discomfort, but it shouldn’t hurt. It is important to relax and take deep breaths and let your healthcare provider know immediately if you feel any pain.
It may take a few seconds for your external sphincter muscle to relax, and your provider may ask you to bear down as if you are having a bowel movement. They will move their finger in a circular motion in order to identify the lobes of your prostate gland.
A normal prostate is usually around 2-4 cm long and has a triangular shape, with a firm and rubbery texture.
During this exam, the healthcare provider checks for:
- Lumps on or around the prostate
What To Expect During The Study
This type of test can be done easily and quickly in your doctors office. In the first instance, a rectal examination is carried out to rule out anything abnormal, such as lumps and hard or soft areas. The urologist can also feel if the prostate is in a larger than the normal state.
If your doctor feels any abnormalities when performing the rectal exam, he or she will probably recommend a blood test. The blood test will indicate at what level the prostate cancer is, but it can also indicate other conditions, such as BPH or prostate infections. If you show abnormalities in your rectal exam and high levels in the blood test, the specialist may recommend additional tests such as:
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Prostate biopsy
- Magnetic Resonance Scan
Keep in mind that if any of the screening tests have unfavorable results, you should talk to your doctor about the next plan to perform. This will depend on your age, health status, and family history.
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What Will Happen At My First Prostate Check
This largely depends on the nature of the consult. If youve never had a prostate check before, it would often involve the GP taking a thorough history of your current health, family history of prostate cancer, asking about symptoms, an examination, and tests.
PSA is likely the most common form of test and simply involves a blood test.
The test that many men feel nervous about is called a DRE . However, it is no longer recommended as an initial screening test for prostate cancer. Only if you begin exhibiting signs or symptoms synonymous with prostate cancer, is your doctor likely to refer you for further test/ specialist consultation.
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This examination lasts “15 to 20 seconds,” according to Ehdaie, and is “uncomfortable” but “not painful.” Rettig noted that on its own, the digital exam is “not going to add very much,” but can be paired with the blood test to give a full picture of the patient’s health situation.
After that exam is completed and the bloodwork is done, the results are “evaluated together.”
“A decision would be made to either pursue further tests because the screenings suggest there may be something that would be of concern, or they would return at the next scheduled ,” Ehdaie said.
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What To Do If You Have Symptoms
Talk to your GP if you’re worried about symptoms or have noticed any unusual or persistent changes.
Screening for prostate cancer 2013Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews D Ilic, MM Neuberger, M Djulbegovic, P Dahm
Effect of a low-intensity PSA-based screening intervention on prostate cancer mortality: the CAP randomized clinical trial Richard M Martin PhD and othersJAMA, 2018. Volume 319, Pages 883-895
Mortality Results from a Randomized Prostate-Cancer Screening TrialGL Andriole and othersThe New England Journal of Medicine, 2009. Vol 360, Issue 13
Randomised prostate cancer screening trial: 20 year follow-upG Sandblom and othersBritish Medical Journal, 2011. Vol 342, Issue 1539
Prostate cancer risk management programme : benefits and risks of PSA testingPublic Health England, 2016
Screening and prostate cancer mortality: results of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer at 13 years of follow-upFH Schroder and others
When Do You Need A Prostate Exam
PSA is continuously present in the bloodstream for most men, and an increase in its number may be attributed to causes other than cancer. However, men who have an increased risk of prostate cancer should undergo a regular prostate exam.
Age, family history, and race are all possible factors that can increase your risk. Likewise, your doctor may also recommend that you undergo testing if you are experiencing discomfort or pain while urinating.
Symptoms which may indicate that you have a prostate issue include the following:
- Inconsistent flow of urine
How Often Is a Prostate Exam Necessary?
Your frequency of testing may be due to several factors, including your age and present health condition:
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Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendations
The American Cancer Society guidelines for PSA screening are based on a combination of your age and risk level. Men at average risk and below the age of 55 aren’t advised to get the PSA test.
Other recommendations based on age are as follows:
- Age 40 to 54 – Men at higher risk within this age range may want to consider a PSA screening. For example, if you have a close relative who has had prostate cancer, you may want to talk with your Mercy doctor about getting a PSA test.
- Age 55 to 69 – Men within this age group who are thinking about getting a PSA screening are advised to talk with their Mercy doctor about the pros and cons of the test. If you have no family history of prostate cancer, this is generally when you would have your first PSA screening.
- Age 70 and older – Most men within this age bracket aren’t advised to get the PSA test, since testing in this age group can cause more harm than good.
Some common factors that put men at high risk include:
Men: Cancer Screening Exams By Age
These exams are for men at average risk of cancer.
Take this checklist to your next doctors appointment. Your doctor can help you develop a more tailored screening plan if needed.
These exams are for men at average risk of cancer. If you believe you may be more likely to develop cancer because of your personal or family medical history, visit our screening guidelines page to learn about exams for men at increased risk.
- Beginning at age 40, you should speak with your doctor about the benefits and limitations of prostate screening.
- If you choose prostate cancer screening, you should get a digital rectal exam and PSA test every year starting at age 45 to check for prostate cancer if you are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer.
- If you choose prostate cancer screening, you should get a digital rectal exam and PSA test every year to check for prostate cancer
- Colonoscopy every 10 years or virtual colonoscopy every 5 years to check for colorectal cancer
Age 76 and older
If youre age 76 to 85, your doctor can help you decide if you should continue screening. MD Anderson does not recommend cancer screening for men age 85 and older.
Speak with you doctor about cancer screening exams for lung and skin cancers. Exams are available for those at increased risk.
Regardless of your age, practice awareness. This means you should be familiar with your body so youll notice changes and report them to your doctor without delay.
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Book A Prostate Check Now
It pays to stay ahead of the game. Dont leave it too late. By undergoing regular prostate checks you can ensure that you can stay on top of any developments before things get too serious.
for contact and booking details at your local SmartClinics Family Medical Centre.
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Information for Patients
Two Main Screening Tests
There are two tests commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:
- The Digital Rectal Exam : A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
- The Prostate Specific Antigen Test: This exam measures the level of PSA in the blood. The levels of PSA in the blood are often higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be high in other conditions that affect the prostate.Usually, the higher the bloods PSA level is, the more likely it is that a prostate problem is present. But other factors, such as age and race, also can raise PSA levels. PSA levels also can be impacted by certain medical procedures, some medications, an enlarged prostate or a prostate infection.
Since your PSA level may be high for other reasons, your doctor will need to interpret the test results.
If the results of the PSA and/or DRE suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will need to do a prostate biopsy to find out. This means a sample of your prostate tissue will be removed with a needle and sent to a lab, where a specialist will determine if it contains cancer cells.
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When To Startand Stopscreening
The doctors and researchers who recommend screening argue that cases of prostate cancer found very early can be cured more quickly, with less chance of relapse or spread. Those who recommend against routine screening point to the slow-moving nature of prostate cancer and the side effects of surgical and medical treatment, which can be considerable.
The introduction of PSA screening in the US led to an initial increase in the number of prostate cancer cases diagnosed each year, even though many of these new cases were non-aggressive or low-risk prostate cancer. The issue was not that screening was harmful, it was that many of these low-risk cancers did not necessarily need immediate treatment. It seems strange to say that a patient might be better off leaving cancer untreated, but in some cases, it can be true. For a few years, the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommended against PSA screening. We are now seeing more cases of advanced prostate cancer diagnosed in recent years. This may be a long-tail effect of that USPSTF recommendation. It has now been changed to note that for men aged 55 to 69 years, the decision to undergo PSA screening is an individual one and should be discussed with your doctor. USPSTF continues to recommend against screening for men aged 70 and over.
An Abnormal Psa Test: What Comes Next
If your PSA score is in the abnormal range, your doctor may recommend yourepeat the PSA test. If your levels are still high, your doctor mightrecommend one of the newer prostate cancer screening tests available today.
These tests can help better assess your risk for prostate cancer anddetermine whether a biopsy is necessary. Only a prostate biopsy candefinitively diagnose prostate cancer.
For individualized recommendations that suit you, ask your doctor about:
- What age you should start prostate cancer screening
- New blood, urine and imaging tests that are available
- Improved biopsy techniques, if applicable
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Prostate Exam Age: When Do You Need One
The prostate gland is essential for males.
It is essential to increase semen volume and facilitate the job of sperm cells.
It is located around the urethra, leaning against the rectum and below the urinary bladder.
Prostate problems are increasingly more common as we age.
They cause symptoms such as slow urinary stream, dribbling after urinating, increase in urinary frequency, urinary retention.
But when is the right time to start getting prostate exams?
What Happens During A Digital Rectal Exam
Your health care provider will insert a gloved finger into the rectum and feel the prostate for hard, lumpy, or abnormal areas. The test takes only a few minutes to complete.
You may feel slight, momentary discomfort during the test. The procedure does not cause significant pain or any damage to the prostate.
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Should You Get A Prostate Exam
Ideally, you should discuss the pros and cons of getting a prostate exam with your doctor.
Cancer screening has risks you need to understand before starting the process.
One of them is overdiagnosis and experiencing undesired side effects of prostate biopsies.
There are more risks than benefits in prostate exams for patients above 70 years.
Thats why they are often advised against screening.
After 55 years, patients with urinary symptoms should get screened.
Those with a family history of prostate cancer may also require screening .
What Are The Risks Of A Prostate Exam
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 men’s health threats.
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Prostate Exam In Concord Mint Hill And Charlotte
Some men are hesitant about getting tested, but a skilled urologist will give you confidence and knowledge about maintaining your prostate health. Dr. Richard Natale is here to help you maintain optimum sexual health and overall health as well.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natale, contact our friendly staff at Carolina Urology today by calling 786-5131 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.
Should You Know Your Psa Level
Instead of a national screening programme, there is an informed choice programme, called prostate cancer risk management, for healthy men aged 50 or over who ask their GP about PSA testing. It aims to give men good information on the pros and cons of a PSA test.
If you’re aged 50 or over and decide to have your PSA levels tested after talking to a GP, they can arrange for it to be carried out free on the NHS.
If results show you have a raised level of PSA, the GP may suggest further tests.
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