Prostate Cancer: When Should You Be Screened?
The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 174,000 new cases of prostate cancer this year. In this week's 2 Your Well-Being discussion, Robin Bass, RN, BSN, OCN, talks about what you should know about prostate cancer, including risk factors and screening recommendations.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, but if it is found early, it is treatable. Prostate cancer becomes harder to treat when it travels outside of the prostate to other parts of the body. Being mindful of risk factors and screening recommendations is important so that cancer can be found before it spreads.
There are multiple risk factors for prostate cancer that men and their loved ones should be aware of, including:
- Age: risk of prostate cancer increases with age.
- Race/ethnicity: African-American men are at higher risk for prostate cancer and are at higher risk for more aggressive cases of cancer.
- Family history: having first degree relatives (like a father, a brother or an uncle) who has prostate cancer increases your risk.
The age at which you should start prostate cancer screenings depends on your level of risk:
- Most men with no risk factors should have a PSA blood test screening starting at age 50.
- Most men at high risk (such as African-American men or men with a first degree relative who has prostate cancer) should start screenings at age 45.
- Most men at higher risk (such as men who are both African-American and have a first degree relative who has prostate cancer) should start screenings at age 40.
Prostate cancer screenings are important for most men, but they may not be right for all men. It's important to talk to your health care provider about when you should begin prostate cancer screenings and the best screening options for you.