Know If You’re At Risk
All men are at risk for developing prostate cancer as they age. Your risk may be higher because of the following factors.
Age – Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 50, but the risk increases sharply with age. In the U.S., 65% of all prostate cancers are found in men over age 65.
Race – African-American men have the highest risk. They are twice as likely as Caucasian men to develop the disease.
Family History – Your risk increases based on the number of blood relatives who have prostate cancer. For example, if your father and brother have prostate cancer, your risk is twice as high.
The Prostate – The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that makes fluid for semen. It is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra or urine tube.
Prostate Cancer – For reasons doctors don’t completely understand, the cells in the prostate can begin to grow abnormally and form cancerous tumors.
Symptoms – There usually aren’t any symptoms until prostate cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland to other parts of the body.
Prostate Cancer Testing
A routine blood test, called a PSA test, and a quick rectal exam can help detect prostate cancer. Not without it’s controversy, the PSA blood test is the best diagnostic tool currently available. We strongly encourage men to become empowered to make healthcare decisions, along with their physician, to determine what is the best plan of care based upon their own individual risk factors. The Nation Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Clinical Practice Guidelines provide an excellent framework for early detection of prostate cancer.
NCCN’s CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
AGE 40 Talk to your physician about testing and your personal risk
AGE 45-49 Have a baselines PSA and DRE; if PSA above 1 ng/mL, repeat at 1-2 year intervals until 50; if PSA below 1 ng/mL, repeat PSA at 50
AGE 50-70 If PSA is below 3 ng/mL, repeat testing at 1-2 year intervals
AGE 70 and over Talk with your physician and assess general health to decide together if routine PSA testing should continue