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If you have a symptom or test result that suggests cancer, your doctor must find out whether it is due to cancer or to some other cause. Your doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history, and you’ll most likely have a physical exam as well as lab tests. Your visit may include a digital rectal exam, a urine test to check for blood or infection, and a blood test to measure the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level. It is important to remember, however, that PSA can be elevated in men for a variety of reasons, and a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer can only be achieved by biopsy of the prostate.

Screening Recommendations

The AdventHealth Cancer Institute recently released recommendations for prostate cancer screening.

At age 40 men with greater than 10-15 year life expectancy should be risk stratified and considered for prostate cancer screening.

Doctors should start conversing with men about the potential benefits, uncertainties, and risks of prostate cancer screening in the following risk categories:

  • Very high risk - (men with more than one first degree relative) begin the conversation at age 40.
  • High risk - (men of African American descent and/or those who have a single first degree relative - father, brother or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65) begin the conversation at age 45.
  • Average risk - begin conversation at age 50.

Testing should include the PSA blood test and digital rectal exam.

Those with less than 10-15 year life expectancy should not be offered prostate cancer screening.

The exact interval (yearly, biennial, or every 4 years) of subsequent prostate cancer screenings are still uncertain and the pros and cons of future screening intervals should be discussed with each patient.

*These recommendations are adopted based upon the guidance of our FHCI expert panel and with consideration of the American Cancer Society Recommendations on Prostate Cancer Screening and the American Urological Association (AUA) Guideline.

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