Tuesday, November 29, 2022

When Should I Start Getting Prostate Exams

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Whats The Best Treatment For Prostate Symptoms

Should I Get Tested for Prostate Cancer?

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.

What Is A Prostate Cancer Screening Like

A prostate cancer screening can be conducted in one of two ways. The first, a PSA test, is a simple blood draw. The second is a brief rectal exam that takes less than 30 seconds to perform.

“For a screening, if a patient comes and asks for a prostate cancer screening, it begins with a blood test,” said Ehdaie. “It’s a small vial of blood, and then a medical history and physical examination. In the physical examination there will be a digital rectal examination in which the physician’s finger is inserted into the rectum to feel the prostate.”

There Are Risks To Getting Prostate Cancer Tests And Treatments

If your PSA is not normal, you will probably have a biopsy. The doctor puts a needle through the wall of the rectum and into the prostate to take a few samples. Biopsies can be painful and cause bleeding. Men can get serious infections from biopsies, and they may need hospital care.

Surgery or radiation are the usual treatments for prostate cancer. They can do more harm than good. Treatment can cause serious complications, such as heart attacks, blood clots in the legs or lungs, or even death. In addition, 40 men out of 1,000 will become impotent or incontinent from treatment.

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Finding Prostate Cancer Early

There is no national screening program for the early detection of prostate cancer. Doctors have different opinions about whether all men without symptoms of prostate cancer should be tested.

There is concern that testing healthy men will cause unnecessary harm and lead to treatments that may not offer long-term benefits. Treatment for prostate cancer can leave men with side effects such as erectile dysfunction and continence issues, which can affect their quality of life.

Testing may identify fast-growing or aggressive cancers that have the potential to spread to other parts of the body and would benefit from treatment. It may also detect very slow-growing cancers that are unlikely to be harmful.

Weigh up all the risks and benefits before deciding whether to be tested for prostate cancer, particularly if you dont have symptoms. Talking to your doctor can help.

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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

When getting my prostate exam I asked the doctor where I should put my ...

If youre 50 and you havent had your first prostate exam yet, call your healthcare provider to set up an appointment. If youre at higher risk, such as if you’re Black or prostate cancer runs in your family, you should have your first prostate exam by age 45.

Furthermore, if you develop symptoms of urinary tract obstruction, schedule a visit with your provider right away. This may indicate an enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia or a urinary tract infection.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Most people are understandably apprehensive about their first prostate exam. Learning all you can about the process can help abate any fears or uncertainties you have. Talk to your healthcare provider about your screening options. A prostate exam is the first step in the early detection of prostate cancer and early detection is key to successful treatment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/04/2022.

References

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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.

What Age Should I Get A Prostate Exam

Prostate exams are an essential basic health screening test that everyone at risk of prostate cancer should consider. Current American Cancer Society guidelines suggest that men over the age of 50 should speak with their primary care physician about getting screened routinely for prostate cancer. This guideline may change depending on your risk for prostate cancer.

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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.

Two Main Screening Tests

What it’s like to go for a rectal screening for prostate cancer

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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At What Age Should You Get Screened For Prostate Cancer

The following prostate cancer screening guidelines apply to men expected to live at least ten years.

Men ages 45 to 49 should have a baseline PSA test.

  • If the PSA level is 3 ng / mL or higher, men should talk with their doctor about having a biopsy of the prostate.
  • If the PSA level is between 1 and 3 ng / mL, men should see their doctor for another PSA test every two to four years.
  • If the PSA level is less than 1 ng / mL, men should see their doctor for another PSA test between the ages of 51 and 55.

Men ages 50 to 59 should have their PSA level checked.

  • If the PSA level is 3 ng / mL or higher, men should talk with their doctor about having a biopsy of the prostate.
  • If the PSA level is between 1 and 3 ng / mL, men should see their doctor for another PSA test every two to four years.
  • If the PSA level is less than 1 ng / mL, men should see their doctor for another PSA test at age 60.

Men ages 60 to 70 should have their PSA level checked.

  • If the PSA level is 3 ng / mL or higher, men should talk with their doctor about having a biopsy of the prostate.
  • If the PSA level is between 1 and 3 ng / mL, men should see their doctor for another PSA test every two to four years.
  • If the PSA level is less than 1 ng / mL, no further screening is recommended.

Men ages 71 to 75 should talk with their doctor about whether to have a PSA test. This decision should be based on past PSA levels and the health of the man.

What Should I Expect During A Prostate Exam

As mentioned above, there are two types of screenings that your healthcare provider may use to detect prostate cancer: a PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam . Research shows that the PSA blood test is more effective for detecting prostate cancer. However, the DRE can still find cancer in people with normal PSA levels. For this reason, many healthcare providers recommend both.

Neither test confirms you have prostate cancer, which is why theyre considered screening assessments rather than diagnostic tests.

PSA blood test

For this test, your healthcare provider simply draws a sample of your blood and sends it to a lab for analysis. The PSA blood test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your blood.

There is no official cutoff score that can determine whether or not you have prostate cancer. Instead, the results are used as a gauge to determine if more testing is needed.

If you have a high PSA, you may need further testing such as a prostate biopsy, MRI or other lab tests to determine if prostate cancer may be present.

Digital rectal exam

During a DRE, your healthcare provider inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. This way, they can feel your prostate to see if there are any lumps or bumps on the back portion of the gland .

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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 410 ng/ml are borderline. There is a 25% chance that cancer is present, and the person will usually need additional tests.
  • 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.

Mens Cancer Prevention & Care At Southwest General

Prostate digital rectal exam diagram

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.

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Is Going To The Bathroom Frequently A Sign Of Prostate Cancer

Thats one of the challenging things having urinary symptoms is very rarelyalmost nevera sign of prostate cancer. Having urinary symptoms means you should probably be evaluated for an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . We can treat your urinary symptoms and help you pee better.

If urinary symptoms bring men to the doctor, we can discuss screening for prostate cancer. Thats important because not all men will go to a doctor until theres something wrong with them. And prostate cancer screening really is the only way to detect prostate cancer, because its almost always asymptomatic.

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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Why Should I Get Both Prostate Cancer Screenings

Both screenings provide valuable information about your health that can detect prostate cancer, even at an early stage. One result without the other may not provide enough indication of whether or not treatment is necessary.

There are many reasons why a mans prostate may be enlarged, and prostate cancer is only one. When paired with a PSA blood test, results can better indicate whether further testing is needed to determine a diagnosis.

Why Prostate Screening Is Important To Discuss After Age 55

Avoid prostate biopsies with new cancer screening

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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Rettig said that someone who has a “strong family history” of early onset prostate cancer might want to talk to their primary care provider or other health care practitioner earlier in life, while someone with less risk might prefer to wait.

The guidelines for how often men should be screened again also vary. If you have a high prostate-specific antigen , a protein made by cells in the prostate gland, you may be recommended to come back for more frequent screenings, but those with lower PSA levels might only be advised to come back every four years or so.

“If you’re 55 and have you have a PSA of less than one, you can wait four years to get screened again,” Rettig explained. “Alternatively, if you’re 45 and have a PSA of two and a half, that might be someone who might get a biopsy or be re-screened within the year. … How frequently one would be prescreened is really contingent upon the specifics of the patient.”

What Happens If Psa Is High

A PSA level thats elevated may indicate prostate cancer, but it may also indicate other conditions, such as benign prostate hyperplasia or prostate infections. PSA levels can increase due to several factors, including age, infection, size of the prostate gland, and more.

If your PSA is high, your doctor may recommend another PSA test to confirm the number, and follow up with regular PSA tests and DRE exams to observe over time. If PSA continues to increase, your doctor might recommend additional testing and imaging.

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What Is A Digital Rectal Exam

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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Reach Out To Us Today

Prostate Exam

Prostate screenings are crucial to have so that men can catch any signs of prostate cancer early on. Once a man reaches the ages of 40 and above, it is best that he begins to consult with a doctor about this test.

If you have questions about getting a prostate screening and the importance of them, then reach out to our office so that we can help you further. Give us a call or stop by our office today and wed be happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Request an appointment here: or call Center for Adult Medicine and Preventive Care at for an appointment in our Passaic office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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Who Needs Screenings

Measuring the PSA level can increase the chance of finding prostate cancer when it is very early. But there is debate over the value of the PSA test for detecting prostate cancer. No single answer fits all men.

If you’re 55 through 69 years old, before having the test, talk to your provider about the pros and cons of having a PSA test. Ask about:

  • Whether screening decreases your chance of dying from prostate cancer.
  • Whether there is any harm from prostate cancer screening, such as side effects from testing or overtreatment of cancer when discovered.
  • Whether you have a higher risk of prostate cancer than others.

If you are age 55 or younger, screening is not generally recommended. You should talk with your provider if you have a higher risk for prostate cancer. Risk factors include:

  • Having a family history of prostate cancer
  • Being African American

How Do I Get Tested

A general practitioner or an urologist can perform a full prostate cancer exam. This would usually include a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam, also called a DRE.

  • A Prostate-Specific Antigen screening measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated in other conditions.
  • A Digital Rectal Exam is a test that is done when 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.

Talk to your general doctor or urologist about receiving a prostate exam. If you do not have a doctor, do not have insurance, and cannot afford a test, find out what free screenings are available in your area on our Free Testing Map. If you do not see a free screening in your area, check back in the fall. Many screenings occur in September, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

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