Screening for Cancer

Screening for prostate cancer is done with a physical exam and blood tests. These tests can help determine whether it is likely that you have cancer. The American Urological Association recommends that men with risk factors begin yearly screening at age 40. Men with no risk factors are offered yearly screening at age 50.

Prostate cancer screening tests include the digital rectal exam (DRE) and a lab test called the PSA test. If the DRE or PSA suggests that cancer may be present, other tests are then done. These tests help show whether a man has prostate cancer.

PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a protein produced by prostate tissue. The PSA level is measured with a blood test. The result helps assess the likelihood of prostate cancer. To screen for prostate cancer, the PSA test is done once a year.

Abnormalities found with DRE may not be tumors. And a high PSA level doesn't always mean cancer. More tests need to be done. After looking at the results of your screening tests, your doctor may recommend other tests.