Every year, prostate cancer affects hundreds of thousands of men in the U.S. Skin cancer not included, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. When prostate cancer is detected early and properly managed, survival rates can be very good. In fact, there are more than 2.9 million men currently living in the U.S. who have received a prostate cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives.
Who Should Be Screened for Prostate Cancer?
There are several methods of screening for and diagnosing prostate cancer. However, if you research this topic, you will find that health care organizations are not in total agreement about how these screening methods should be used. It is important to have a conversation with your physician about whether or not prostate cancer screening is right for you. Your doctor will help you weigh the benefits and risks, as well as consider your potential risk for prostate cancer based on known factors.
The American Cancer Society recommends conversations about prostate cancer screening take place at the following times:
- Age 50 for men who are at average risk and expected to live for at least 10 more years
- Age 45 for men at high risk – first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65
- Age 40 for men at higher risk – more than one first-degree relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65
Prostate Screening Options In West Jordan, UT
When prostate screening is called for, physicians may use one or more of the following methods:
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): In this test, the physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate, which is adjacent to the rectum, for any lumps or abnormalities
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: In this test, a small blood sample is collected from the arm and measured for PSA levels; PSA is a substance naturally created by the prostate gland that may appear in elevated levels in men with prostate cancer. However, PSA testing on its own is not necessarily recommended, as not all prostate glands produce the same levels of PSA; additionally, PSA levels can be affected by things other than prostate cancer, such as medical procedures, medications, infection and enlarged prostates.
- Biopsy: If PSA testing and a DRE suggests prostate cancer is likely present, then ultrasound or biopsy may be used for further diagnostic work. Only a biopsy can diagnose prostate cancer with total confidence.
Prostate Screening In West Jordan, UT
For more information about prostate screening techniques used at Jordan Valley Cancer Center, please contact us by calling 801-601-2260.