You’d think there would be a straightforward answer to this, but there isn’t. Although early screening can help detect prostate cancer, screening may lead to more harm than good. Since prostate cancer is generally slow growing, it may be preferable to just live with it. If that is the case, then is screening necessary?
The United States Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based screening for men over 70 years; PSA testing is optional for men 55 to 69 years old. The American Cancer Society recommends discussing the risks and benefits of screening with one’s medical provider, making an informed decision based on individual needs. If you are Black or have a brother or father who had prostate cancer before age 65, have this conversation with your doctor beginning at age 45.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Click here to find out more about this common cancer.