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Prostate cancer detection

  • Prostate cancer screening is done two ways:

    expand to learn more a digital rectal exam

    expand to learn more a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

  • If a suspicious area is found, or if your PSA level is elevated, your doctor may perform more tests such as ultrasound, and/or lab tests. The doctor may also choose to perform a biopsy, which is the removal of small pieces of tissue for lab tests.

    How often should I have a prostate cancer detection test?

    The earlier cancer is found, the more successful cancer treatment can be. This makes prostate cancer detection or screening important to a man's general health.

    If your father or brother has had prostate cancer or if you are African American, we recommend starting annual prostate cancer screenings at age 40. For others, annual screening should begin at 45 to 50 years.

    Contact your primary care provider about when you should be screened for prostate cancer.

  • Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Prostate Cancer, can-ahc-14188 (3/02)
    Reviewed by: Lisa Hiedeman, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program and Heather Christie, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program
    First published: 03/01/2009
    Last reviewed: 09/22/2009