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Prostate Cancer: When Should I Be Screened?

You may be curious when you should start being screened for prostate cancer. This guide will help you decide.

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his life. And those men who survived did so because they got checked for prostate cancer, it was found and treated, and they have gone back to living their life.

When should men start getting screened for prostate cancer? “All men should get a baseline PSA in their forties,” says New York University urologist Stacy Loeb, M.D. PSA stands for “prostate-specific antigen.” While PSA is prostate-specific, it is not cancer-specific, which means, basically, that it’s a helpful but imperfect test.

“This is especially true for men at higher risk due to family history or African-American descent, but the baseline PSA also identifies others at higher risk who may need more close attention.” In addition to getting the baseline PSA blood test, you need a very brief prostate exam (the doctor feels your prostate through the Rectum).

Loeb’s research with urologist William Catalona, M.D. of Northwestern University, and others has helped establish what a good baseline number should be.  “We looked at the PSA levels of 36,000 men, and found that for men in their forties, the average PSA level was 0.7.  For men in their fifties, it was 0.9.”

Source: Prostate Cancer: When Should I Be Screened?

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