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Prostate Cancer Screening

One of the most common cancers in men can occur without any symptoms, says Dr. Robert Grand, a urologist at Washington Regional’s Ozark Urology Clinic. “About one in nine men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime,” he says. “And most cases of prostate cancer are completely asymptomatic, so it is very, very important to get screened.”

Screening for cancer of the prostate — a male reproductive gland located below the bladder — can be included as part of an annual physical exam or by making an appointment with a urology specialist. “You can go get checked for prostate cancer by your primary care provider or by a urologist,” Grand says.

Screening involves getting a simple blood test called PSA, prostate specific antigen. There are also other tests available, including a digital prostate exam. Elevated PSA levels may indicate cancer, he explains, but further testing can provide a definitive diagnosis.

“The American Urological Association (AUA) recommends prostate cancer screening in men between the ages of 55 and 70,” Grand says. African American men and all men with a family history of prostate cancer have a higher risk and should talk with their health care provider about screening as early as age 40.

The AUA suggests that some men over age 70 may benefit from prostate cancer screening and should discuss it with their health care provider.

Although prostate cancer typically has no early warning signs, it can sometimes cause symptoms, Grand says. Men should see a doctor right away if they begin to experience:

  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent need to urinate

If prostate cancer is caught early, there are many effective treatments available. “Early-stage treatment options for clinically localized prostate cancer include radiation and minimally invasive surgery,” he says. For advanced prostate cancer, treatment options include medication and chemotherapy.

Request an appointment at Washington Regional Ozark Urology Clinic.