Prostate ScreeningPassaic, NJ
If you are a man over the age of 40, it may be time for you to begin prostate screenings. Prostate screening helps detect prostate cancer and allows patients to begin treatment as soon as possible. By scheduling a screening, you can take the extra precaution toward maintaining your health.
We will go over the procedure and review your medical history to determine if this screening is the right choice for you. Prostate screening is available at the Center for Adult Medicine and Preventive Care in Passaic and the surrounding area.
Understanding Prostate Screening
There are one of two tests to consider for a prostate screening. The first is a digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the surface of the prostate to check for any bumps or hard areas that could indicate cancer. While this exam may be uncomfortable, it is usually not painful. The patient will be able to return to their regular routine after the screening without issue.
The second test is a blood test known as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A protein produced by cells in the prostate gland, PSA is found mostly in semen, but a small amount is also present in the blood. As the level of PSA in the blood increases, so does the possibility of cancer. However, there is no set level of PSA in the blood that definitively indicates cancer.
Factors such as certain medications or an enlarged prostate could increase the level of PSA in the blood. Other factors, including the use of aspirin or herbal supplements, can lower PSA levels, even in someone who has prostate cancer. Due to these factors, a PSA test should not be viewed as an official diagnostic test.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men in the U.S. Thus, a prostate screening is crucial for men's health. Keeping an eye out for signs of prostate issues can help patients seek a screening to help receive the treatment they need.
Signs You May Need Prostate Screening
The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends that most men begin prostate screenings around age 50. It is crucial not to wait until they have symptoms. The goal of prostate screening is to detect cancer at an early stage before symptoms develop.
Men at high risk of developing prostate cancer should begin screening at age 45. Risk factors for prostate cancer include having a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 65. A man with more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age is considered very high risk and should begin screening at age 40.
With early detection, there is a higher rate of cancer treatment being successful. Regular prostate screenings can both lower the number of men who develop prostate cancer and reduce the number who die from the disease.
What to Expect From the Process
The preparation required for prostate screening depends on the type of test we recommend. A DRE requires no special preparation. However, patients need to let our doctor know if they have hemorrhoids, or anal fissures, which can make a DRE uncomfortable. The exam will take only a few minutes.
For a PSA test, the doctor may ask the patient to refrain from any vigorous activity for 48 hours, including cycling, and also to avoid sexual activity or ejaculation for that same period. An individual who has recently had a urinary tract infection may need to wait for a few months before having a PSA test.
In addition, the doctor may ask a patient taking medication that can affect the results to stop taking it a few days before the PSA test. The test itself is a simple blood test. Blood is drawn, usually from the arm, and sent to a lab for analysis.
In most cases, no follow-up care is necessary for prostate screenings. A patient who feels faint or lightheaded after having blood drawn may need to sit and recover for a while. Drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding exercise for at least five hours is also recommended.
If PSA levels are high, the doctor will likely recommend additional testing. These may include a DRE, additional PSA tests, or a prostate biopsy.
Call Us Today
If you are over 50 and have not yet had a prostate screening, or if you're over 40 with additional risk factors, talk to us about whether you should begin screening. Our team can help you determine the best test and screening options for you.
Call us at 862-702-5116 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What factors can increase PSA levels in the blood?
An enlarged prostate, advanced age, or an infection in the prostate gland can raise PSA levels. Activities that put pressure on the prostate, such as bicycling, may also increase PSA levels. Ejaculation can increase PSA for a short time. Certain medications, including hormone replacement therapy, can also increase PSA levels.
What factors can lower PSA levels in the blood?
Certain medications, including those used to treat an enlarged prostate or urinary conditions, can lower PSA levels. Other medications that may lower PSA levels include aspirin, statins, and some herbal supplements. Tell us if you are taking any medications that could affect your PSA levels.
How common is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is very common. In the U.S., it is estimated that more than four million men have prostate cancer. One new prostate cancer case occurs every three minutes, and nearly 32,000 men die from prostate cancer every year.
Can prostate cancer be cured?
Prostate cancer is usually found early, which leads to a very high success rate. Nearly 100 percent of men diagnosed at an early stage will be cancer-free after five years.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Undetected prostate cancer can lead to symptoms such as frequent urination, burning while urinating, difficulty achieving an erection, or pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs. Regular prostate screenings, however, typically detect prostate cancer before any symptoms develop.
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