Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer diagnosed among American men. And although one in six American men will get prostate cancer in the course of his lifetime, if it's caught early, nearly 100 percent survive.
Screening may detect prostate cancer even before symptoms appear. Men should talk to their doctors about prostate screening and when they should begin testing. These discussions should start at age 50. African-American men and men who have a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65-begin those conversations earlier, at age 45. Men at higher risk-those with multiple family members diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65-should start even earlier, at age 40.
The prostate screening will include the PSA and DRE. The PSA is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen released by the prostate gland into the blood. Normal PSA levels vary by age, so be sure to discuss results with your physician.
During the DRE, the physician inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and uses the other hand to press on the lower abdomen or pelvis area to check for abnormalities.