Consider screening if you are at high risk indicated by a family history of prostate cancer.
Many men choose to begin regular prostate cancer screening at age 55. Ask your doctor about early prostate cancer screening if you’re 40 to 54 and you’re at increased risk of prostate cancer. Your risk may be increased if, for example, you have a family history of prostate cancer or you’re a black man age 45 or older. Talk to your doctor about a prostate exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. Keep in mind, however, that experts are still debating the value of prostate cancer screening for otherwise healthy men. Discuss the pros and cons of this test with your provider, so you can make a decision that’s right for you.
What is it?
Prostate cancer screening may include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. During a DRE, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum, feels the prostate gland, and checks for any lumps or uneven firmness in the prostate. The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of a protein secreted by the prostate gland.
A DRE can detect prostate enlargement or prostate cancer, and high levels of PSA may indicate prostate cancer.