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Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

The decision to screen is yours. 

The prostate is a gland in man's genital area that lies below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis and out of the body. The prostate makes fluid that forms part of semen. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Nevada, after skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. Prostate cancer often has no early symptoms and many types are slow-growing. According to the National Cancer Institute, "Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease." However, some prostate cancers can grow and spread quickly.

The current method for screening for prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test. The PSA test measures the amount of PSA, a specific type of protein, in the blood. An elevated PSA level may be caused by prostate cancer, but it could also be caused by other conditions too. New genetic research is helping us to understand how prostate cancer develops, and additional studies are helping doctors to find more accurate screening and diagnosis methods.  

Screening Guideline
Ages 55-69 Age 70 and older

Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential harms and benefits of PSA screening for prostate cancer. Screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of dying from prostate cancer. However, many men will experience potential harms of screening.

Men at higher risk, including African Americans and those with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 should being discussing screening at age 45.

It is not recommended that PSA-based screening for prostate cancer be performed for men age 70 or older.

* Screening Guidelines posted are currently draft recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force.  

Is Prostate Cancer Screening Right for You? - Download this handout to discuss the potential benefits and risks of screening with your health care provider.