Find out what you need to know about prostate cancer screenings.
There are many components involved in maintaining good health. From eating a well-balanced diet to getting enough sleep to staying active, leading a healthy lifestyle can help you to stay in optimum condition. However, it’s also important to visit your doctor for routine check-ups. Certain health screenings can help to catch health issues before they become serious. One such test is for prostate cancer. Find out more about prostate screenings so that you can stay as healthy as possible.
Screening for Prostate Cancer.
When screening for prostate cancer, doctors order a PSA test. Using a blood sample, the PSA test (prostate-specific antigen) looks at a specific protein that’s associated with the prostate gland. Generally, when prostate cancer is present, there are elevated amount of this protein present in a patient’s blood. However, an elevated protein count doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has prostate cancer. There are other factors that can cause a spike in the amount of protein present. The use of this test was approved for use in screening for prostate cancer in 1986 in men already diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was then approved as a screening method in asymptomatic men when paired with a digital rectal exam in 1994.
Prostate Cancer Screening Recommendations.
It has been recommended by the medical community that men should begin screenings for prostate cancer at age 50. However, men that are at a greater risk for prostate cancer should begin screening as early as 40. There is, however, controversy about prostate cancer screenings for the general population. Talk to your doctor about the best recommendation for your specific health needs.
Prostate screenings are a Medicare-approved service, so make sure you understand your plan’s coverage. SeniorChoices NW can help review your options, contact us today.