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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death among men.


Available options to screen for prostate cancer include a prostate exam, also known as a digital rectal exam, and the PSA blood test. A majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will not have any symptoms.

The American Urological Association recommends men ages 55 to 69 have a shared discussion with their physician about the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening with a PSA test. Elevated PSA may indicate cancer, but other causes including BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), inflammation, urinary tract infection/prostatitis, or ejaculation may lead to elevated PSA.

Higher risk men should be screened at earlier ages. These men include:

  • Those with family history of prostate cancer in first-degree relatives or relatives with prostate cancer detected at an early age (younger than 55 years)
  • African Americans
  • Individuals with genetic mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes and family history of ovarian or breast cancer

Discussions regarding screening in high-risk men should occur as early as age 40, or 10 years before the age at which the first-degree relative was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

If the PSA is elevated or abnormalities are identified on prostate exam, a prostate needle biopsy can be used to diagnose prostate cancer. In some cases, a prostate MRI may be performed before the biopsy to provide additional diagnostic information.

If prostate cancer is diagnosed, treatment options vary depending on the pathology result and may include:

  • active surveillance
  • surgery to remove the prostate (radical prostatectomy)
  • radiation therapy +/- hormonal treatments

How to get checked

Talk to your primary care provider or contact us for a urologic consultation to see if prostate cancer screening is right for you.