Prostate cancer is considered to be the most common cancer diagnosed amongst men. Of the 14,300 men that are diagnosed with prostate cancer on an annual basis in New York State, 710 of those cases can be found in the Capital Region, including Rensselaer County. In 2020, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area experienced a lower percentage of men who were 40 years or older receiving a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in the past two years. Almost 65% had not received a PSA, compared to the 36.7% that had.
What cancer screening is used for prostate cancer?
The screening test used is called the PSA. This test looks specifically at the level of PSA being produced by the prostate gland. It is typically measured by conducting a blood test to look at the level of PSA in the blood. If the PSA is found to be elevated, this could indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
When should I start to receive the PSA test?
Guidelines for prostate cancer screening suggest starting the PSA tests between the age of 55 to 69. However, it is best to speak with your doctor to identify when the best start is and how often the test should be conducted. This can be helpful in answering any questions about PSA test and any potential risk factors that may make you at a higher risk of prostate cancer.
It is important to note that for individuals ages 55 to 69 years, receiving the PSA test is an individual choice. Before making the choice, it is highly recommended to speak with your physician about your health care needs. For individuals ages 70 years and older, a PSA test is not recommended.
Who is more at risk for prostate cancer?
Depending on risk factors, your physician may suggest receiving the PSA test earlier than the specified recommendation. This includes men between the ages of 40 to 45. Some risk factors to consider include:
- Men who identify as African-American
- Presence of family history, specifically prostate cancer in your father or brother
CDC’s Talk to Nathan: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/talk-to-nathan/
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/psa-fact-sheet#what-is-the-psa-test
CDC’s Prostate Cancer Information: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/index.htm
NYSDOH Prostate Cancer Information: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/prostate/#:~:text=Excluding%20skin%20cancer%2C%20prostate%20cancer,prostate%20cancer%20during%20his%20life.