As one of the most common types of cancer among men, prostate cancer is routinely screened for. This type of cancer is highly treatable when identified early, which further increases the importance of regular prostate screenings.
Understanding the right time to start having prostate screenings will help you protect your health as you age. Here, we’ll discuss prostate screenings and how often men should undergo them.
Understanding Prostate Screenings
Prostate screenings are intended to detect prostate cancer in men. The main type of prostate screening is the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, though some doctors also perform digital rectal examinations or DREs.
- PSA test
The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount in the blood; PSA and is often found in higher amounts in the blood of men with prostate cancer. However, other prostate conditions can also cause elevated PSA levels.
A DRE involves your doctor inserting a finger into the rectum to identify abnormalities, which may indicate prostate cancer.
Timing and Frequency of Prostate Screenings
Men typically don’t need to undergo prostate screenings until the age of 40. Men who are found to have a PSA level of under 2.5 ng/mL may only need retested every two years. However, men with PSA levels over 2.5 ng/mL should undergo prostate screenings every year.
If levels of PSA start to increase with each retest, your doctor will likely recommend that you undergo a follow-up test or even a biopsy. This is because rising levels of PSA in the blood are a potential sign of prostate cancer.
Your doctor will consider your overall health and wellbeing, not just your age when making decisions about your prostate screening. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled medical providers, contact Florida Wellness Medical Group today.