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What Age To Get Checked For Prostate Cancer

Weighing Your Options For Treatment

When to Get Tested for Prostate Cancer

If you test positive for prostate cancer, you have some options as to what youd like to do about it. Until recently, nearly everyone opted for surgery or radiation, while some patients choose not to undergo treatment, instead opting for active surveillance, during which the cancers are left alone but regularly monitored to be certain that theyre not growing.

Certainly, screening can lead to earlier prostate cancer detection, and with earlier detection, youre eligible for multiple different treatments or active surveillance, said Sia Daneshmand, MD, associate professor of urology at Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of urologic oncology at the USC Institute of Urology at Keck Medicine of USC. So we encourage patients who are candidates for screening to discuss it with their urologist and/or primary care physician so that we can determine whats the best course of treatment for them.

There also is a new option for those seeking prostate cancer treatment. Its called High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound , which uses ultrasound beams to non-surgically destroy prostate tumors.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, schedule an appointment with one of our urologists by calling or by visiting Urology.KeckMedicine.org/request-an-appointment.

How To Keep Your Prostate Healthy

A key part of keeping your prostate in good health is to be aware of any changes when you urinate or any discomfort in your lower abdomen, pelvis and anal area. If you notice anything that concerns you, visit a doctor. At Spire Healthcare, you can get the help you need with our mens health services, which provides specialist care for men with prostate, penile, testicular and bladder problems.

You can also take steps to prevent prostate issues by making changes to your lifestyle that promote good general health, which is thought to have a knock-on effect on promoting good prostate health. There are three main approaches:

When To Get Checked For Prostate Cancer

Establish a routine. As you enter middle age, be proactive and ask your doctor for their recommendations on establishing a prostate cancer screening schedule that makes sense for you, given your risk factors and your family history. Exactly when you begin screening depends on a lot of factors, based on incidence rates among different populations. These are questions to consider in setting up a proactive prostate cancer screening regimen that works for you:

  • Do you have a family history of prostate, ovarian, breast, colon, or pancreatic cancers among your male and female relatives?
  • Do you have African ancestry?
  • How old are you?
  • Where do you live?

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Who Should Get A Prostate Exam

Starting at age 50, all men should discuss prostate cancer screening with their doctor. The American Cancer Society advises men at higher risk to have this conversation at age 45.

Youre considered to have an increased risk if youre African-American or if a first-degree relative had prostate cancer before age 65. If more than one first-degree relative had prostate cancer before age 65, you might want to consider beginning prostate cancer screening even earlier.

The ACS estimates there will be about 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2016. About 26,120 men will die from it.

Prostate cancer is easier to treat before it spreads. However, some prostate cancers are so slow-growing that they dont always require treatment. A lot depends on your age and other factors.

Discuss your risk factors with your doctor, and ask if you should have a prostate exam as part of your yearly checkup.

How Is Prostate Cancer Detected

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors &  Symptoms

There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen blood test and the digital rectal examination .

The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A PSA above the typical range may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.

A DRE is generally conducted by a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.

If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging scan and transrectal ultrasound biopsy.

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Risks Of Prostate Cancer Screening

Screening tests have risks.

The risks of prostate screening include the following:

Finding prostate cancer may not improve health or help a man live longer.

Screening may not improve your health or help you live longer if you have cancer that has already spread to the area outside of the prostate or to other places in your body.

Some cancers never cause symptoms or become life-threatening, but if found by a screening test, the cancer may be treated. Finding these cancers is called overdiagnosis. It is not known if treatment of these cancers would help you live longer than if no treatment were given, and treatments for cancer, such as surgery and radiation therapy, may have serious side effects.

Some studies of patients with prostate cancer showed these patients had a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease or suicide. The risk was greatest the first year after diagnosis.

Follow-up tests, such as a biopsy, may be done to diagnose cancer.

If a PSA test is higher than normal, a biopsy of the prostate may be done. Complications from a biopsy of the prostate may include fever, pain, blood in the urine or semen, and urinary tractinfection. Even if a biopsy shows that a patient does not have prostate cancer, he may worry more about developing prostate cancer in the future.

False-negative test results can occur.

False-positive test results can occur.

Your doctor can advise you about your risk for prostate cancer and your need for screening tests.

What Research Has Been Done To Study Prostate Cancer Screening

Several randomized clinical trials of prostate cancer screening have been carried out. One of the largest is the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, which NCI conducted to determine whether certain screening tests can help reduce the numbers of deaths from several common cancers. In the prostate portion of the trial, the PSA test and DRE were evaluated for their ability to decrease a mans chances of dying from prostate cancer.

The PLCO investigators found that men who underwent annual prostate cancer screening had a higher incidence of prostate cancer than men in the control group but the same rate of deaths from the disease . Overall, the results suggest that many men were treated for prostate cancers that would not have been detected in their lifetime without screening. Consequently, these men were exposed unnecessarily to the potential harms of treatment.

A second large trial, the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer , compared prostate cancer deaths in men randomly assigned to PSA-based screening or no screening. As in the PLCO, men in ERSPC who were screened for prostate cancer had a higher incidence of the disease than control men. In contrast to the PLCO, however, men who were screened had a lower rate of death from prostate cancer .

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How Should I Prepare For The Exam

You should tell your doctor if you have hemorrhoids, anal tears, or other problems with your anus. The exam will be easier if you breathe normally and try to relax.

Before having a PSA test, tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you take. Recent ejaculation can also affect your PSA levels. Ask your doctor if you should abstain from sexual activity before the test.

Your blood must be sent to a laboratory for analysis, so your PSA results wont be available immediately. Your doctor will let you know when they have the results.

The lab report will show the level of PSA in your blood as:

In addition to looking at the amount of PSA in your blood, your doctor will assess how quickly this number is changing. Many things can affect PSA, so test results require careful analysis by an expert. Your doctor will take all of your health information into account.

If you have an abnormal PSA test result, it doesnt mean you have prostate cancer. Most men with a high PSA level dont have prostate cancer. About 25 percent of men who have a biopsy due to a high PSA level have prostate cancer.

Its also possible for men with prostate cancer to have normal DRE and PSA test results.

How To Check Prostate Cancer

Testing for Prostate Cancer | Prostate PSA Test

When youre checking for prostate cancer, its important to know the symptoms. When youre aware of the signs, prostate cancer can be caught early. Because prostate cancer doesnt typically show signs early on, this particular cancer is typically found through PSA blood test or digital rectal exams.

But, there are typically five major warning signs of prostate cancer however, as cancer progresses, symptoms typically involve the urinary system. Because the prostate is located close to the urethra and bladder, symptoms might include 1 :

  • Frequent urination
  • Hip or back pain
  • Leg swelling or weakness

Contact your doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms. And if you do catch any of these symptoms, try not to panic. These particular symptoms can often have to do with non-cancerous conditions of the prostate, as well as bladder infections.

Its important to know that there are also several different types of prostate cancer. The most common types found in prostate cancer patients include:

Also Check: How To Fix A Swollen Prostate

Screenings Can Lead To High Costs

The cost for a PSA test is fairly lowabout $40.

If your result is abnormal, the costs start adding up. Your doctor will usually refer you to a urologist for a biopsy. Costs may include:

  • A consultation fee .
  • An ultrasound fee .
  • Additional professional fees .
  • Biopsy fees .

If the biopsy causes problems, there are more costs. You might also have hospital costs.

Understanding Your Biopsy Results

You might have a negative biopsy. This means that no cancer cells were found. Your doctor might arrange another biopsy even if the first biopsy was negative. Theyll discuss this with you. This is because in some cases biopsies can miss cancer.

If they find cancer cells, a pathologist grades each sample of prostate cancer cells from 3 to 5 based on how quickly they are likely to grow or how aggressive the cells look. You may hear this being called the Gleason grade, Gleason score or Grade Group.

Gleason score or Grade Group

The pathologist works out an overall Gleason score by adding together the 2 most common Gleason grades. This combined score is also now called the Grade Group.

There are 5 Grade Groups. Grade Group 1 is the least aggressive and Grade Group 5 is the most aggressive.

It can be difficult to understand what the Gleason score and Grade Group mean in your situation. We have more information about the Gleason score and Grade Groups. And you can ask your doctor and specialist nurse if you have any questions about this.

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Prostate Cancer Screening Ages 55 To 69

This is the age range where men will benefit the most from screening.Thats because this is the time when:

  • Men are most likely to get cancer
  • Treatment makes the most sense, meaning when treatment benefits outweigh any potential risk of treatment side effects

Most men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough. Some prostatecancers are more aggressive others can be slow-growing. Doctors will takeyour age and other factors into consideration before weighing the risks andbenefits of treatment.

You should ask your doctor how often he or she recommends you get screened.For most men, every two to three years is enough.

Depending on the results of your first PSA test, your doctor may recommendyou get screened less frequently.

When To Get Your Prostate Checked: Warning Signs And Advice

Prostate Cancer Check

A healthy prostate plays a vital role in male fertility, producing fluid that helps keep sperm alive. But as you get older, particularly after the age of 40, you may find that your prostate starts to cause you problems. One reason for this is that the prostate continues to grow as you age. This is a normal process but for many men, an enlarged prostate can cause symptoms that affect their quality of life. This isnt the only problem that affects the prostate, there are several other prostate issues, which can produce similar symptoms to each other. A prostate exam can help you find out whats going on with your prostate so your doctor can then help you get relief from any symptoms you may be experiencing.

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What Is A Prostate Cancer Screening Like

A prostate cancer screening can be conducted in one of two ways. The first, a PSA test, is a simple blood draw. The second is a brief rectal exam that takes less than 30 seconds to perform.

“For a screening, if a patient comes and asks for a prostate cancer screening, it begins with a blood test,” said Ehdaie. “It’s a small vial of blood, and then a medical history and physical examination. In the physical examination there will be a digital rectal examination in which the physician’s finger is inserted into the rectum to feel the prostate.”

Effectiveness Of Early Detection

Potential Benefits of Screening

To understand the potential benefits of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer, the USPSTF examined the results of the ERSPC, PLCO, and CAP trials and site-specific reports from 4 ERSPC trial sites. To understand the effectiveness of treatment of screen-detected, early-stage prostate cancer, the USPSTF also examined the results of 3 randomized trials and 9 cohort studies.3

The ERSPC trial randomly assigned a core group of more than 160,000 men aged 55 to 69 years from 7 European countries to PSA-based screening vs usual care.8 Four ERSPC sites reported on the cumulative incidence of metastatic prostate cancer. After a median follow-up of 12 years, the risk of developing metastatic prostate cancer was 30% lower among men randomized to screening compared with usual care . The absolute reduction in long-term risk of metastatic prostate cancer associated with screening was 3.1 cases per 1000 men.11 After a median follow-up of 13 years, the prostate cancer mortality rate among men aged 55 to 69 years was 4.3 deaths per 10,000 person-years in the screening group and 5.4 deaths per 10,000 person-years in the usual care group .8 The ERSPC trial did not find a reduction in all-cause mortality.8

Neither the ERSPC, PLCO, or CAP trials, nor any of the ERSPC site-specific analyses, found an overall all-cause mortality benefit from screening for prostate cancer.

Potential Benefits of Treatment

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Patient Population Under Consideration

This recommendation applies to adult men in the general US population without symptoms or a previous diagnosis of prostate cancer. It also applies to men at increased risk of death from prostate cancer because of race/ethnicity or family history of prostate cancer. The sections below provide more information on how this recommendation applies to African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

A Cancer Prevention Plan For Men

At what age should men check prostate?

Finding cancer early improves your chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.

Look for:

  • lumps, sores or ulcers that don’t heal
  • unusual changes in your testicles changes in shape, consistency or lumpiness
  • coughs that don’t go away or show blood, a hoarseness that persists
  • weight loss that can’t be explained
  • moles that have changed shape, size or colour, or bleed, or an inflamed skin sore that hasn’t healed
  • blood in a bowel motion
  • persistent changes in toilet habits
  • urinary problems or changes.

These symptoms are often related to more common, less serious health problems. However, if you notice any unusual changes, or these symptoms persist, visit your doctor.

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When Is A Psa Test Needed

If you are age 50 to 74, you should discuss the PSA test with your doctor. Ask about the possible risks and benefits.

Men under 50 or over 75 rarely need a PSA test, unless they have a high risk for prostate cancer.

  • You are more likely to get prostate cancer if you have a family history of prostate cancer, especially in a close relative such as a parent or sibling.
  • Your risks are higher if your relative got prostate cancer before age 60 or died from it before age 75. These early cancers are more likely to grow faster.
  • If you have these risks, you may want to ask your doctor about getting the PSA test before age 50.

This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.

04/2014

Prostate Cancer: A Guide For Aging Men

Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in the world, despite it only being diagnosed in males . In fact, more than 70 percent of men over the age of 80 have some quantity of cancer cells in their prostate.

Its so common that it sometimes doesnt go diagnosed until autopsies are performed, though that doesnt mean the cancer is the cause of death. On the contrary, the overall prognosis for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is as positive as you can get when talking about the dreaded c word. The five-year survival rates for the disease are close to 100 percent, especially when talking about prostate cancer that is caught early on in the processbefore it spreads.

The five-year survival rates for the disease are close to 100 percent, especially when talking about prostate cancer that is caught early on in the processbefore it spreads.

Nevertheless, prostate cancer is serious business, and the best way to handle a diagnosis is to be informed. Lets take a look at the frequency at which its diagnosed, how youre tested for it, how it can affect your daily life, and what we can do to try and prevent the disease.

Average Age of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

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