Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines

Cancer screening exams are medical tests performed when a person has no symptoms. Prostate cancer screening should begin at age 50 for most men. Screening should begin at age 45 for African American men or men with a family history (father, brother, son) of prostate cancer. Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center recommends:

  • Digital Rectal Exam: The health care provider inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel if the prostate gland is enlarged.
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: This is a simple blood test.
  • Counseling: A man should understand the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening. Talk to your doctor to see if prostate cancer screening is right for you.

These recommendations are provided as a guide. If exam results suggest cancer, other diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound or biopsy of the prostate tissue, should be conducted.

Because prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer, cancer specialists advise that men over 75 consult their doctor to see if a PSA blood test is right for them.