According to the American Cancer Society, one out of every seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common cancer among men. Though there is no unanimous opinion on the benefits of prostate cancer screening, all men should talk to their doctors about whether it’s the right options for them.
Benefits of Prostate Cancer Screening
Though screening is an individual decision, there are some benefits to getting screened for prostate cancer:
- The 5-year relative survival rate of prostate cancer is nearly 100%; 15-year is about 95%. This means the survival rate is very high, it just needs to be detected first and early on.
- Since the recent push to prevent prostate cancer, tests have become more diverse and more accurate. While they still aren’t always 100% accurate, they have give good insight to your urologist on whether further testing/actions need to be taken
- Early results from a study done in the United States found that annual screening with PSA and DRE did detect more prostate cancers than in men not screened, but this screening did not lower the death rate from prostate cancer
What are the Screening Options for Prostate Cancer in Tacoma, WA?
There are a few options for prostate cancer screening, including:
- Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test – The blood test checks for elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen. Though it’s the most common form of screening, it can’t decipher between slow-growing cancers and aggressive cancers that require immediate treatment. Given the fact the one in four men have elevated PSA levels, it’s also not an accurate test.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE) – A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.
Early detection of prostate cancer can save your life. Contact your physician at Northwest Medical Specialties, PLLC at (253) 428-8700 if you believe you should be screened for prostate cancer.