Recommendations for the Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
Loyola Medicine is committed to the screening and early detection of prostate cancer for men who have a susceptibility to this cancer type.
Screening tests are used to look for disease before you exhibit any symptoms and effective when they detect disease early, leading to more effective treatment and positive outcomes.
Loyola will partner with you to review your personal medical history, beliefs on the benefits of screening and susceptibility to prostate cancer to determine if screening is right for you.
Loyola follows the American Urological Association’s (AUA) screening guidelines for early detection and prevention of prostate cancer. Their recommendations are as follows:
For men ages 40 to 54 years, routine screening are not recommended, but for those at higher risk (e.g. positive family history or African American race), decisions should be made on an individual basis.
For men ages 55 to 69 years, they recommend shared decision-making that are considering screening, and proceeding based on a man's values and preferences. The greatest benefit of screening appears to be in men ages 55 to 69 years.
The AUA does recognize the decision to undergo a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test involves weighing the benefits of preventing prostate cancer mortality in one man for every 1,000 men screened over a decade against the known potential harms associated with screening and treatment.
A routine screening interval of two years or more may be preferred over annual screening in those men who have participated in shared decision-making and decided on screening.
Compared to annual screenings, two year interval screenings can preserve the majority of the benefits and can reduce overdiagnosis and false positives. Internals for rescreening can be individualized by a baseline PSA level.
For men ages 70+ years or any man with less than a 10- to 15-year life expectancy, routine PSA screenings are not recommended. However, some men age 70+ years who are in excellent health may benefit from a prostate cancer screening.
What are the Screening Tests Available?
If you and your doctor determine that prostate screening is right for you, your doctor will perform one or both of the following tests:
- Digital rectal exam, which tests for bumps or enlarged areas of the prostate
- PSA test, which tests for the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood
If the results of either of these tests are abnormal, your doctor will request additional testing to see if there is cancer in your prostate. If you are concerned about the possibility of prostate cancer due to family history, symptoms or screening results, contact your primary care physician who can make additional recommendations for your specific concerns.
We also invite you to learn more about the Loyola cancer risk assessment and prevention program, which provides comprehensive risk assessment, preventive treatment and access to clinical trials through an interdisciplinary approach, including access to specialists within Loyola's highly regarded academic medical center.