Prostate Cancer Home > Prostate Cancer Screening

Special tests are designed to detect prostate cancer before a person exhibits any symptoms. Common tests used to screen for prostate cancer include the digital rectal exam and the prostate-specific antigen test. Some medical experts believe all men should be offered regular screening tests, while others do not recommend it. However, if the screening detects the cancer early, it may make the disease easier to treat.

Screening for Prostate Cancer: An Overview

Some medical experts believe that all men should be offered regular prostate cancer screening tests. Other medical experts do not recommend screening (see Prostate Cancer Screening: Is It Right For You?)
 
Screening for prostate cancer means looking for the disease before a person has any apparent symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time prostate cancer symptoms appear, the disease may have begun to spread.
 
Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to get prostate cancer. They also study the things we do and the things around us to see if they cause prostate cancer. This information helps doctors recommend:
 
  • Who should get a prostate cancer screening test
  • Which tests should be used
  • How often the screening tests for prostate cancer should be done.
 
It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. These tests are given when you have no symptoms and may be repeated on a regular basis.
 
If a prostate cancer screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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