This depends a lot on your individual situation. If you happen to fall under a certain demographic of men you might be at risk of developing prostate cancer. In this case, it is very important for you to get a prostate cancer screening.
The US Preventative Service Task Force (or USPSTF) has made some specific recommendations. These can serve as a guideline, to help you decide whether it is time for you to get a prostate cancer screening.
The USPSTF’s recommendations go as follows:
- If you are a man between the ages of 55 to 69 you should make an individual decision about going for a prostate cancer screening. Checking for prostate specific antigen (or PSA), also called a PSA test.
- Before you make a decision, however, it is important that you talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can inform you of the benefits and harms of screening for prostate cancer. This conversation should also include information concerning the benefits and harms of other tests and/or treatments.
- According to the USPSTF, men who are 70 years old or above should not get routine prostate cancer screenings.
Who does this recommendation apply to?
The above recommendations at the top of this post apply to:
- Men who are at average risk of prostate cancer.
- Men who are at a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Males without symptoms of prostate cancer.
- Someone who has never been diagnosed with prostate cancer before.
As we have discussed in previous posts, some men are more at risk of prostate cancer than others. If you would like more information on this subject check one of our previous posts on prostate cancer survival rates.
What should I talk to my doctor about?
If you think you might be due for a prostate cancer screening, below is a list of important factors you and your doctor should consider:
- Do you have a family history of prostate cancer? If so, you are at higher risk for prostate cancer, a screening in your case may be more pressing.
- If you are African-American you are more likely to develop prostate cancer and survival rates are lower. This is important to take into account when making a decision about getting screened.
- It is important to discuss with your doctor any previous medical conditions. Some conditions can make it more difficult to treat prostate cancer if it is indeed found. Said conditions may even lower the likelihood of benefitting from a prostate cancer screening. Hence, why it is important to discuss any conditions with your doctor, to see if they might affect your case.
- Your doctor can also inform you of the value and benefits of a prostate cancer screening. As well as, caution you on the harms of screening, diagnosis or treatment. With this information, you can come to a decision together on what is best for you.
Check our resources section for further information. Where you can also find inspiration from success and survival stories, or we can help you connect with a prostate cancer survivor.
If you have any questions, or just want to talk, call us at our toll-free hotline: 1(833)HEAL-MEN. You are not alone in this journey. We are here to help guide and support you through it, every step of the way.