They say, “With age comes wisdom.” If that is truly the case, with prostate cancer, men should understand when and why a man should be screened. If you’re not sure about the importance of screening, keep reading.
Know The Facts
All men are at risk for prostate cancer, which is the best reason why a man should be screened. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the US, and the risk for African-American men is 70% higher than white men.
Other risks factors include the following:
- The older you are, your risk increases, especially over age 50
- Being African American
- Having a family history of prostate cancer
- Eating a diet high in animal fats
- Genetic mutations can increase your risk
According to the CDC, “The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread.”
The truth is most prostate cancers grow slowly or not at all.
What Is The Screening Process
Men are screened via a blood test and a DRE. The blood test measures the amount of the protein PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, to determine if there may be cancer cells in the prostate gland. There is usually a follow-up test to see if there are any changes to the levels of PSA.
The other test involves a digital rectal examination, or DRE, to feel the prostate for abnormalities.
When Should Men Be Screened For Prostate Cancer
In consultation with your urologist, men should begin screening from age 50 through 69 if you are at average risk.
For those with higher risk, like African American men, should begin screening at age 45.
Men who are 70 and older should not be screened.
On average, out of 100 American men, 13 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and 2 to 3 will die. Consider your age and your own risk factors and talk with your physician.