How Has Prostate Cancer Screening Changed?

Did you know that a digital rectal exam (DRE) is no longer a part of a routine physical? Research shows this is not as helpful as we once thought it to be for screening for prostate cancer.  

Likewise, the PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test is not recommended for all men for screening.  Although it is no longer recommended for all patients, some patients will need this blood test based on family history, race/ethnicity and health history.  It remains important to talk to your doctor about whether or not you need a blood test to screen for prostate cancer because individual risk factors do matter.   

The truth is, we don’t have great tests for preventing prostate cancer at this point, but researchers are working to find better ways to screen for this common cancer.  If you develop new symptoms like pain with urination, difficulty starting the flow of urine, urinary frequency, blood in the urine, or all of a sudden wake up to urinate more often in the night, you should see your doctor to get tested!

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