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Prostate Cancer Screening

When Should I Get Tested?

Beginning at about age 45, all men should talk to their doctor about screening for prostate cancer. If you are Black or have a family history of prostate or other cancers, you may be at higher risk and should talk to your doctor beginning at age 40. Other risk factors include an increased age and a history of exposure to chemicals. 

Routine prostate cancer screening starts with a PSA blood test and may include a rectal exam—both are quick and simple.

A Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer. The PSA level may also be elevated for other reasons. Learn more about the PSA test here

A Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) is a physical exam that is done when a doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps or other abnormalities.

Talk to your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer and when to begin screening. If you do not have a doctor, do not have insurance, or cannot afford a test, find out if free screenings are available in your area on our Free Testing Map. If you do not see a free screening in your area, check back in the fall. Many screenings occur in September, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Watch prostate cancer experts Dr. Lowentritt and Dr. Siegel in this video discuss screening and diagnosis:

Interactive Prostate Cancer Screening Tool

Talk to Nathan about Prostate Cancer Screening is Nathan prostate cancer screeningan interactive conversation tool, developed in partnership with the CDC. Nathan shares information and answers your questions about prostate cancer screening and treatment. He also suggests some questions you might want to ask your doctor. Click the image to the right to get started!


What if My Test Results Are Abnormal?

If the results of the PSA test or the DRE suggest that you might have prostate cancer, your doctor will conduct further testing. The PSA test may be repeated, or you may be sent to a specialist for more tests such as a biopsy.

Detecting prostate cancer early gives you the best chance of living longer. In fact, when it is caught early, the 5-year survival rate is over 99 percent.