September 27, 2018
Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Therefore, it’s important to learn some facts about prostate cancer screenings and make sure you, or the males in your life, are getting screened for prostate cancer in a timely manner.
Early Detection of Prostate Cancer Can Provide Better Outcomes for Patients!
All men, even healthy ones, can benefit from making prostate cancer screenings part of their regular healthcare routine. Doctors sometimes recommend testing simply because of age or family history. Other times, patients have some symptoms, and their doctor may suggest a prostate cancer screening as the first step to understanding the problem. Below is some information that can help you know when it’s the right time to get screened.
1. When Symptoms are Present
Sometimes men experience symptoms associated with prostate cancer, but those same symptoms can also occur in non-cancer-related conditions such as an enlarged prostate ("BPH"). When a patient visits their general practitioner or urologist with concerns, a prostate cancer screening is a very common part of the diagnosis process -- even if the diagnosis isn't cancer.
2. When You Have a Family History of the Disease
Between 5-10% of prostate cancers are hereditary. Men are at risk of developing prostate cancer if another male in your family has been diagnosed with prostate cancer previously. Several newer genetic tests, such as the PHI (Prostate Health Index), 4KScore, and PcA3, seem to be more accurate than the PSA test, your doctor may recommend one of those as well.
The ACS suggests screening for men over 50 years old if they have one family member who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at a relatively young age (under 65 years old). Men with two or more family members who developed prostate cancer should be screened once they reach the age range of 40 to 45. Also, African American men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, and the ACS recommends that they be screened beginning at the age of 45.
3. When You Turn 50
Prostate cancer treatments have a much higher success rate when found at an early stage. This is why prostate cancer screenings are regularly done on patients who have no symptoms or immediate family history of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends screening for men over the age of 50 who have no unusual prostate cancer risk factors.
It’s important for men to talk with their doctors to make an informed decision on when they should start prostate cancer screenings. After the initial screening, their doctor will also make recommendations on how often to continue follow-up screenings.
To learn more about prostate cancer screenings, ask your doctor for a referral to your local prostate cancer specialists. If you are located in Arizona and would like to make an appointment with one of Arizona Oncology’s prostate cancer specialists please contact us for an appointment. With cancer treatment centers located throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Tucson, Green Valley, Nogales, and Safford, you'll find advanced and personalized treatment, expert guidance from our specially trained and board-certified oncologists, and leading-edge cancer research options.