November 28 2021 | News
According to Cancer Research UK, over 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the country each year, making it the most common cancer in men. That’s more than 140 cases a day. Among these cases, over 12,000 men succumb to illness and death.
Luckily, prostate cancer is treatable if caught early, with a survival rate of up to 90%. Partaking in annual or biannual prostate exams reduces the risk of late-stage prostate cancer and long-term urinary and sexual problems.
This article discusses everything you need to know about prostate screening. How often should men have a prostate screening? More importantly, at what age should men get screened for prostate cancer? Let’s find out.
A PSA test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, but before discussing the recommended frequency of PSA tests, it’s worth noting that they are not always accurate. Although there’s clear evidence to suggest that PSA tests reduce the number of deaths caused by prostate cancer, the NHS asks men of all ages to be informed of the potential risk of the procedure.
According to the NHS, PSA tests can be unreliable and may lead to false-positive or false-negative results. While it’s true that early treatment is beneficial, some patients may suffer unnecessarily from the treatment’s side effects. Therefore, men shouldn’t be screened unless they’re absolutely aware of the risks.
With that said, men should get screened under the following conditions:
If the patient has a family history or a personal history of prostate cancer, medical experts recommend men from ages 40 undergo a semi-regular prostate exam. Depending on the person’s health, the doctor may recommend a PSA test and/or a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam).
The results of the test determine how often the patient needs to get checked. If the PSA result is under 2.5 ng/mL, the patient will need to get tested biannually. If the figure is higher than 2.5 ng/mL, the doctor may recommend annual exams and the occasional biopsy.
In some cases, the doctor will ask the patient for a follow-up after several short months, as high PSA may indicate the presence of cancer cells.
If the PSA level is less than 1 ng/ml, the doctor may ask the patient to return between the ages of 51 and 55 instead of going through biannual checkups.
Men at the age of 50 and above may require an annual PSA and DRE. If the patient’s PSA level is less than 1 ng/ml, the patient might not have to go through testing until he reaches the age of 60 to 65.
Men who don’t have a 10-year life expectancy shouldn’t go through a prostate screening as it might not be beneficial. This is especially true if the individual doesn’t appear to have any worrying symptoms related to the disease.
The frequency of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests depends on several factors, including age, family history, present health, and even race.
PSA tests should be done between the ages of 40 to 55. If the patient’s PSA level appears to be under 2.5 ng/ml, he’ll need to get tested once every two years. If the PSA level is over 2.5 ng/ml, the frequency increases to once every year.
Men who have a PSA level of 1 ng/ml aren’t at risk for prostate cancer, so they may only need to do the screening once every three to five years. For a thorough medical check up, including a prostate examination, book yourself in for a Well Man Medical at Summerfield Healthcare.