Prostate cancer screenings are an important part of men’s healthcare needs. A prostate cancer screening can detect any growths and abnormal tissues on the prostate gland. Since prostate cancer can spread to other areas of the body, early detection is key. A new group of studies shows that these screenings may help reduce mortality risk.
Two studies were conducted about cancer screenings, one in Europe, the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) and one in America, the US Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO.) In the ERSPC study men aged 55 to 69 were studied and in the PLCO, men aged 55 to 74 were studied.
The tests showed that prostate cancer screenings had reduced the risk of cancer-related death by 25 to 31 percent in the ERSPC study and 27 to 32 percent in the PLCO group.
When Should Prostate Cancer Screenings Begin?
According to the American Cancer Society, men should work with their health care provider to make the most informed decision for them in regard to when to get screened for prostate cancer. As a general guideline, screenings should take place at:
- Average risk – 50 years of age. Men who are at average risk of developing prostate cancer should begin receiving their screenings around this time.
- High risk – 45 years of age. African American men and men who have had a first-degree relative who has developed prostate cancer before the age of 65 should begin screenings around this time.
- Very high risk – 40 years of age. If family history shows that multiple first-degree relatives who have developed prostate cancer before 65 should bein receiving exams at 40.
Men also have the option of receiving the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA.) The test determines the level of prostate-specific antigens are in the body. This antigen is produced by cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate. When a PSA test shows less than 2.5ng/mL, in general, it is recommended that prostate screenings are performed every two years.
When a PSA test shows less than 2.5ng/mL, in general, it is recommended that prostate screenings are performed every two years.If the level is higher than 2.5ng/mL, exams are recommended yearly.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are ready to talk to a physician about your prostate health to make the right screening schedule for you, we’d love to help. Please call Northwest Medical Specialties at (253) 428-8700.