Prostate Cancer Screening / PSA and Digital Rectal Exam
Dr. Banno and Midwest Urological Group believe that early detection and screenings can save lives in many areas of medicine. This includes the PSA and Digital Rectal Exam for Men for the early detection of Prostate Cancer. This routine blood test and exam can assist with the early detection of prostate cancer in men. We believe that this simple screening test and exam can assist us with early detection and ultimately help us successfully treat the cancer in our patients. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a prostate health exam including a PSA blood test, please call our office at 309-692-9898. Please read more below about the PSA screening and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE).
PSA Blood Test
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is one way to screen for prostate cancer. This blood test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein made only by the prostate and prostate cancers. The test can be done in our office.
Very little PSA is found in the blood of a man with a healthy prostate. A low PSA is a sign of prostate health. A rapid rise in PSA may be a sign that something is wrong. Prostate cancer is the most serious cause of a high PSA result. Another reason for a high PSA can be benign (non-cancer) enlargement of the prostate. Prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, can also cause high PSA results.
A rise in PSA level does not tell us the type of cancer cells present. The rise tells us that cancer may be present.
The digital rectal examination (DRE) helps find prostate problems. For this exam, Dr. Banno or one of our physician extenders (Nurse Practitioneror Physician Assistant) puts a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum. The man either bends over or lies curled on his side on a table. During this test, they feel for an abnormal shape or thickness to the prostate. DRE is safe and easy to do. But the DRE by itself cannot detect early cancer. It should be done with a PSA test.
Who Should Get Screened?
Screening is recommended if you are a man:
- Between 55–69 years old
- Have a family history of prostate cancer
What are the benefits and risks of screening?
The PSA test and DRE are very important tools. They help to find prostate cancer early, before it spreads. When found early, it can be treated early which helps stop or slow the spread of cancer. This is likely to help some men live longer.
A risk of a PSA test is that it may miss detecting cancer (a “false negative”). Or, the test may be a “false positive,” suggesting something is wrong when you are actually healthy. A false positive result may lead to a biopsy that isn’t needed. The test might also detect very slow growing cancer that will never cause problems if left untreated.