Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America. Approximately 242,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 in the United States—that’s 1 in 6 men. 28,000 men will die from it. However, the regular prostate cancer screenings available at Planned Parenthood can catch any possible problems early.
Why Is Early Detection Important?
The earlier prostate cancer is found, the easier it is to treat because the cancer hasn’t spread past the prostate. When caught and treated early, prostate cancer has a cure rate of over 90%.
So, schedule your regular screening. Call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) or visit your local Planned Parenthood health center to schedule your screening and get a professional opinion.
Who Is at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
The American Cancer Society recommends that men should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer screenings:
- At age 40 for men at extremely high risk—those with more than one first-degree relative (father, brother, son) with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than 65)
- At age 45 for men at high risk—African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age
- At age 50 for everyone at average risk.
What Should I Expect During My Visit?
Your prostate cancer screening will be done with two tests: the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE).
Prostate-Specific Antigen blood test:
When you come in to Planned Parenthood for the PSA blood test, your health care professional will take a blood sample to send to the lab. There, your blood will be tested for prostate-specific antigen (PSAs) levels. High PSA levels are associated with prostate cancer, so the PSA blood test is a good first step for screening.
Digital Rectal Exam:
Your health care professional will feel your prostate for hard lumps that might be cancer. To do this, he or she will insert a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum. This may sound uncomfortable, but it is a quick, not painful, and important part of prostate cancer screening.
How Often Should I Get Prostate Cancer Screening?
The American Cancer Society recommends regular prostate cancer screenings:
- Every 2 years for men with a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/ml
- Every year for men whose PSA is 2.5 ng/ml or higher
What Should I Do?
Talk to someone at Planned Parenthood about prostate cancer screening and your individual risks and needs.
Because the knowledge from early detection might be the best weapon.