Members of PCSANM are men and their families who have benefited by learning of their cancer through screening. Statistics developed when screening of men was done regularly as part of a normal health checkup showed that about 14% of all men will develop prostate cancer. PCSANM believes that most men should be screened as early as practicable, and we recommend a baseline PSA test at age 45 for asymptomatic men. African American men and those men with family history of prostate cancer should be screened earlier.
‘Friends’ actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, shares prostate cancer diagnosis
“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me,” Tyler said. “Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA test. It’s easily detectable. … If it spreads beyond the prostate to the bones, which is most prevalent in my form, it can be a lot more difficult to deal with.”
If you are 45 or older, insist that your health care provider prescribe a
prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.
With prostate cancer, early detection is essential.
In Dr. Patrick Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer, Patrick Walsh, MD, University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, writes:
“We also know, unfortunately, that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did a terrible disservice to all men in 2012 when it recommended against routine screening for prostate cancer for men with no risk factors. One major problem with this decision- made without the advice of a single urologist -is that a lot of men don’t know they are at higher risk. They might have an African American ancestor, or a family history of prostate cancer, and not know it- because they’ve lost touch with their family, or because many men still don’t talk about this disease. . . . Thousands of men who were told by their family doctors that they did not need prostate cancer screening have been diagnosed when it is more advanced and difficult to kill. This did not need to happen, and we rejoice that in 2017, in response to a huge outcry from urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and from patients themselves, the USPSTF has backed off its bad advice.”
Dr. Walsh advises:
“If you are an American man, you should have a baseline screening for prostate cancer in your forties. With PSA tests, earlier is better; younger men don’t have BPH to muddy the waters, so this makes the PSA test more accurate. If you are African American or you have a strong family history of prostate cancer, it’s all the more important to begin testing at age forty, because in high-risk men– this means you–these cancers are diagnosed at an earlier age.”
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines recommend that at age 40, high-risk men begin annual PSA and prostate exams. All other men at age 40 should be offered a baseline PSA and prostate exams and, if their PSA is 1.0 ng/mL or greater, they should receive annual follow-ups. If their PSA is less than 1.0, the Guidelines recommend that these men be early detected again at age 45. To review the Guidelines, create an account and view page 12 of 166.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recommends that to establish a baseline PSA, men begin PSA testing at age 45. Click here to view screening recommendations.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends men begin PSA testing at age 45, or at age 40 for men of African American descent or with a family history of prostate cancer. Click here to view screening recommendations.