Prostate Cancer Screening at USMDPCC

If you think you may have developed or may be at risk for developing prostate cancer, USMDPCC is the first and only place to turn to.

Through our dedication and commitment to excellence, we encompass all areas of prostate cancer care. We have integrated a concierge style of medicine and very personalized care for every patient at USMD Prostate Cancer Center. Our goal is to help you completely understand your condition, determine the best possible treatment options for you and get you back to a life complete with excellent health!Prostate Cancer Screening

Because symptoms for prostate cancer may not be apparent until the cancer is at a more advanced stage, regular screening is recommended. There is some controversy over when regular screening should begin and at what age. Most medical experts recommend yearly testing starting at age 50. Men with a strong family history and men who are at high risk due to other factors (such as African-American heritage) may want to consider beginning screening at age 40 or 45.

There are two primary screening tests used to detect prostate cancer today: the digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. Both cause little to no discomfort and are administered at USMDPCC.

Digital Rectal Exam

During a DRE, you may bend over or lie on your side on an examining table with your knees drawn up. This allows your physician to gently insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum. The physician can then feel the prostate to identify any abnormalities in size, contour, consistency and texture of the gland.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) - Blood Test

A simple blood test can evaluate the level of a particular protein that is a normal by-product of the prostate gland. The protein, called prostate specific antigen (PSA), is present in small amounts in the blood of all men. A higher than normal level could signal the possibility of prostate cancer. On the other hand, the PSA could be elevated due to infection, inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate, or due to urinary retention.

The PSA was first developed in 1991 and is now used routinely in combination with the DRE to help identify early stage prostate cancer. The tests are not perfect and false positives can result. However, they are still the best available screening methods available today. Prostate cancer rarely has symptoms associated with it and as a result, the PSA continues to remain the best way to detect which patients are at risk of having prostate cancer or developing prostate cancer in the future. Often the blood test is repeated to confirm an abnormal reading as there can be a slight fluctuation in the test depending whether the patient has ejaculated in the previous 24 hours prior to the blood test or has an infection in the urinary tract which could also cause a false elevation.

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