WHO SHOULD BE SCREENED FOR PROSTATE CANCER?
There are many different recommendations for prostate cancer screening, also called early detection. It may be confusing to men to know what they should do. It is important for men to discuss the risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer with their physician. For men who choose to be screened for prostate cancer, they may consider the recommendations below.
Men with risk factors for prostate cancer (i.e. family history, African-American) begin testing at age 40
Men without risk factors begin testing at age 50. If PSA greater than 1.0 or if there are symptoms, test annually
Men 70 years of age or older, PSA testing should be individualized
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR PROSTATE CANCER?
One of the many challenges for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is deciding on a treatment. With low-stage disease one option is to choose active surveillance. This usually includes PSA testing every 3 months and a repeat prostate biopsy at one year. The most common treatments include surgery to remove the prostate, brachytherapy (inserting radioactive seeds into the prostate), and external beam radiation therapy. Your physician will explain the various treatment options based on the stage of your prostate cancer and your physical health and age. For more information about treatment options visit:
GENETIC TESTING FOR PROSTATE CANCER
Up to 10% of patients with prostate cancer may have a genetic predisposition for cancer(s). If you have a strong personal or family history of breast, pancreatic, ovarian, or prostate cancer you may wish to be tested for these genetic abnormalities as this may help identify if your children or siblings are at greater risk for prostate cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are strongly associated with breast cancer and may be present in men with prostate cancer.
Eligibility Criteria for referral for genetic testing INCLUDE a personal history of prostate cancer Gleason > 7 at any age and
1) >1 close blood relative with ovarian cancer at any age or breast cancer <50 years of age (OR)
2) Two relatives with breast, pancreatic or prostate cancer (Gleason >7) at any age).
If you meet these criteria talk with your physician about a referral for genetic testing.
Pros and Cons of PSA Testing - Video (below) by Dr. Mike Evans
Getting screened for prostate cancer is an individual decision that patients should discuss with their physician. Dr. Mike Evans gives a clear presentation on the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening.
Take the on-line risk assessment to learn your risk for developing prostate cancer. Discuss the findings with your physician.
WHAT ARE MY RISKS FOR DEVELOPING PROSTATE CANCER?
WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING?
Prostate cancer screening includes a PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam performed by a physician. It does not diagnose prostate cancer but only determines if a man is at increased risk for having prostate cancer. If it is determined that a man is at increased risk for having prostate cancer then a prostate biopsy is performed where pieces of prostate tissue are removed and examined under a microscope.