The process of Prostate Cancer Screening
As with all cancers, the earlier that prostate cancer can be detected, then the higher the survival rate of the person diagnosed. There are many methods that are used to screen for prostate cancer; some of the commonest methods are the digital rectum exam and testing of PSA levels.
The digital rectum examination
This procedure involves the doctor feeling the prostate with his finger in order to detect irregularities in the prostate. More info here.
The PSA test
This procedure involves taking a sample of the patients blood. The blood will then be analysed for levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). More info here.
Why have a Prostate Cancer Screen?
By having a prostate cancer screen it can be determined if you have the condition. As a generalisation it is better to know about any medical conditions that you may have, and the earlier that they can be detected the better. This is especially the case with prostate cancer as it has been shown that increased screening, leading to earlier detection, has lowered the death rate from prostate cancer by around 20% in the USA.
Another major advantage of early detection through prostate screening is that if the cancer is detected it will still be at an early stage and not have spread from the prostate. Cancers that are isolated to the prostate are far easier to treat than those that have spread beyond, such as metastatic prostate cancer.
Recommendations for Prostate Screening
It is recommended to have some form of prostate screening at the age of 40 and again at 45. This should help to establish a base line for your PSA levels; and will enable the detection of cancer in people who develop the condition at an early age. Once a man reaches the age of 50 it is recommended the he has a prostate screen every year.
It is thought by many health agencies that screening for prostate cancer helps to save lives; it is recommended by the prostate cancer guide site that if you are of the right age then you seriously consider having a screening for the condition.