Prostate cancer is a disease that affects about one in six men, so early detection is essential. Screening helps in detecting cancer early on, when treatment will be most effective. However, there a few things you should know about prostate cancer screening:
1. There are two types
· Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): A PSA test is done through a blood test. PSA is a substance produced by the prostate, and high levels in the blood could indicate prostate cancer.
· Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): During a DRE, a doctor will examine the prostate through the rectum. Any abnormal texture, shape of change in size of the gland could be an indication of prostate cancer.
2. You should begin getting screened by age 40 to 50
Although the age at which prostate cancer can develop varies, it is most commonly found in men age 40 and older. Sometimes the screenings are recommended for men outside of this age group who are at greater risk for developing the cancer.
3. Know what medications you are on
A PSA test may show increased levels in the bloodstream because of something other than prostate cancer. Certain medications and even supplements can increase the level of PSA in the bloodstream, thus causing a positive test.
4. A screening can be false
Because certain medications or an enlarged or inflamed prostate may increase the levels of PSA in the bloodstream, a test can show positive results when an individual does not actually have prostate cancer. In instances where prostate cancer is suspected, an ultrasound or biopsy can determine if the diagnosis is accurate.
Here at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, we know the importance of catching cancer early on. If you would like more information on cancer screening or have other cancer-related questions, contact us today. Visit us online or call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119 for health information and physician referrals.