Prostate Cancer Screening
Cancer screenings can help find signs of cancer early, before you notice any symptoms. In many cases, finding cancer early makes it easier to treat or cure. However, at present it is not clear if screening for prostate cancer is helpful for most men. For this reason, you should speak with your health care provider before having a prostate cancer screening.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that checks the level of PSA in your blood.
• In some cases, a high level of PSA could mean you have prostate cancer.
• But other conditions can also cause a high level, such as infection in the prostate or an enlarged prostate. You may need another test to find out if you have cancer.
• Other blood tests or a prostate biopsy can help diagnose a cancer if the PSA test is high.
Digital rectal exam (DRE) is a test in which your provider inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. This allows the provider to check the prostate for lumps or unusual areas. Most cancers cannot be felt with this type of exam, at least in the early stages.
In most cases, the PSA and DRE are done together.
Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or an MRI do not do an accurate job of screening for prostate cancer.