Important Screening Tests
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RAI LAUNGANI, MDSo typically prostate cancer is a disease that is what we call asymptomatic, which means you likely will not have any symptoms. If you are suffering from symptoms of prostate cancer, it's very likely that the disease is advanced. Nowadays, with the use of PSA, it is rare that we find men who show up or present to our office with advanced disease. So typically prostate cancer is a silent cancer, much like many cancers are. That's why we use screening tests. That's why we use the PSA blood test. Every year, a man over the age of 50 should have a PSA blood test, as well as a digital rectal exam to screen for prostate cancer.
In the same regard, gentlemen that are at high risk for prostate cancer-- those that are African-American or those that have a strong family history of prostate cancer-- should likely start their screening a little bit early, probably at the age of 40 or 45. But generally there are no symptoms of prostate cancer. That's why we screen so aggressively to make sure that we can catch the disease early. And by catching the disease early, we have that many more treatment and/or management options so that those gentlemen can be cured of their disease.