Two groups of men are at higher risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer and should be tested: all men with a family history of prostate cancer and all Black men. Black men should consider prostate cancer screening at 45 years, rather than the recommended 55 years of age, according to a recent study led by researchers from UW Medicine and Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center. The study was published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Prostate cancer occurs when cancerous cells form in the tissue of the prostate. There is a simple blood test that your physician can order for you, to determine whether you should be referred to a prostate cancer specialist: the PSA blood test. PSA is a protein produced by normal, as well as cancerous, cells of the prostate gland.
The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. The blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer. Depending on your age, family history, and race, and if you have a PSA level ranging from 4 to 4.5 and up, you can be referred to a urologist for a follow-up.
If you have questions about whether you have an increased cancer risk, your doctor can help you determine whether you should be screened early.