General Health

Signs You Need To Schedule A Prostate Cancer Screening!

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 20 April 2023, Updated on - 19 June 2023

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A part of the male reproductive system, the prostate gland is situated adjacent to the rectum and beneath the bladder. Prostate gland is necessary for the production of semen and regulation of urine flow. Prostate cancer is one of the top 5 cancers reported globally. It is described as extensive growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland, resulting in the formation of tumour.

Prostate cancer is typically slow-growing and may not cause symptoms in its early stages. However, as cancer progresses, symptoms such as difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or semen, and bone pain may occur. Let us understand more about this condition and how to diagnose it. 

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

It is essential to know the symptoms of prostate cancer to detect it early and receive prompt medical attention. Here are some symptoms of prostate cancer:

1. Urinary problems: Men with prostate cancer may struggle to urinate, which might appear as a weak or slow urine stream, an urge to pee repeatedly, or a quick, strong urge to urinate.

2. Blood in urine or semen: Prostate cancer can cause blood to appear in the urine or semen. It can also be a sign of a more advanced stage of the disease.

3. Pain or discomfort: Men with prostate cancer may feel discomfort or pain in the spine, hips, groin, or the prostate region.

4. Erectile dysfunction: Impotence or erectile dysfunction may pose a serious issue for men suffering from prostate cancer.

5. Weakness or numbness: Weakness or numbness in the legs, feet, or even other parts of the body could be a possible symptom if prostate cancer has travelled to other parts of the body.

It's important to remember that many of these symptoms can also occur due to other conditions. Furthermore, not all men with prostate cancer will experience these symptoms. Therefore, diagnostic tests are required to confirm the diagnosis. 

Screening for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer screening includes checking for the disease's prevalence before indications develop. The digital rectal examination (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test are the two most prevalent screening procedures for prostate cancer.

1. Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA test)

It calculates the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level in the blood, which is a protein secreted by the prostate gland. Although higher PSA levels can be a symptom of prostate cancer, they can be increased due to infections or other problems such as an enlarged prostate. If the result of your PSA test comes out to be abnormal, then your doctor may ask you for a biopsy to check if you have prostate cancer.

2. Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)

In DRE, a healthcare professional feels the prostate gland with a gloved, moistened finger to check for any anomalies, such as masses or bumps.

Screening Frequency Schedule

Men should discuss with their doctor the benefits and limitations of prostate cancer screening starting at age 50. Men with a family history of prostate cancer or multiple relatives diagnosed at a young age may need to consider screening as early as 40. The following is the screening frequency schedule for prostate cancer:

  • Age 40-45: Men with a family history of prostate cancer should discuss if and when they need to get a screening done. 
  • Age 45-50: For men at higher risk, such as African Americans, it is advised to discuss the positive and negative aspects of screening with their physicians.
  • Age 50-55: Men with an average risk should talk to their doctor about the advantages and restrictions of monitoring. Personal choices and risk considerations must be taken into account when deciding whether to be checked.
  • Age 55-69: For men at average risk who decide to undergo screening, it is recommended to have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE) performed every two years.
  • Age 70 and older: Screening for prostate cancer is not recommended.

It is significant to highlight that this screening frequency schedule is intended to serve as a general guideline after visiting your doctor. The necessity for more often or even less often monitoring could depend on variables such as family history, personal health history, and overall health.

Regular screening for prostate cancer is vital for early detection and successful treatment. By following the recommended screening frequency schedule based on individual risk factors and personal preferences, men can make informed decisions about their health and take control of their well-being. Don't hesitate to discuss prostate cancer screening with your doctor and take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy prostate. Remember, early detection can save lives.

Consult A Cancer Specialist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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