PSA Testing: To Screen Or Not To Screen

When it comes to screening for prostate cancer, there is some controversy. Because it is such a slow-growing form of the disease, some practitioners consider no treatment at all to be an appropriate measure. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some treatments can cause serious side effects, such as impotence and incontinence. So, the question remains, "Should men receive a PSA test?" Learn what the experts have to say. 

If you are concerned about prostate cancer, or if it is time for you to think about testing, talk with your doctor. Learn about the possible benefits and risks of testing. Then decide if testing is the right choice for you. Have this talk with your doctor starting at age 50. If you are African American or have this cancer in your family, talk to your doctor starting at age 45. 

What experts know about prostate cancer testing and treatment:
  • Testing for prostate cancer is done with the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test with or without a rectal exam.
  • Testing will find this cancer earlier than if no testing is done. 
  • Testing is not perfect. Some men with increased PSA in their blood may not have  prostate cancer. And some men with prostate cancer may have a PSA level that is not increased.
  • Not all prostate cancers are the same. Many grow slowly and do not cause any harm. Some grow fast and cause serious health problems or death.
  • The treatments for prostate cancer can have side effects  There can be problems passing urine, problems with your bowels, and/or problems having sex.
  • If you have blood in your urine, or pain or difficulty passing urine, see your doctor now. These could be symptoms of prostate cancer. They could be caused by other diseases, too. They only way to know for sure is to see a doctor. 

The highly-skilled urologists at Gwinnett Medical understand the many questions and concerns that men have about prostate cancer and screening. You can be assured that we seek to educate every man and empower them to make the best decision for them. If cancer is detected, Gwinnett Medical Center offers state-of-the-art robotic surgery to treat the caner. This means minimal scarring, faster recovery and a reduction in side effects. If you are 50 or over, have the conversation with your doctor. To find a board-certified urologist, click here


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