Screening Prostate Cancer
How is Prostate Cancer Detected?
There are two components to prostate cancer screening. The first is a blood test called the Prostate-Specific Antigen or PSA. The second is a digital rectal examination or DRE. Typically, both are used by board-certified urologists to help determine the presence of prostate cancer.
What is a PSA test?
PSA is a protein made in the prostate that typically increases when cancer is present. PSA can be elevated for other reasons such as prostate enlargement or infection, but an elevated PSA often will prompt the urologist to recommend a biopsy. The PSA blood test is the most important test to diagnose prostate cancer. Learn more about PSA tests here.
What is a DRE test?
The second part of screening is a digital rectal examination (DRE). This is a routine exam usually performed with the PSA to determine if there are any suspicious nodules or asymmetry of the prostate. To perform this exam, the doctor will feel the prostate through the rectum for any abnormalities. These could include any suspicious areas of firmness, irregularity, or nodules.
What happens after the tests?
If you have an abnormal digital rectal exam (DRE) and/or an abnormal PSA blood test, your doctor may order a biopsy of the prostate. This helps diagnose the prostate cancer and is a helpful tool in providing treatment. Learn more about diagnosing prostate cancer here.
When should you be screened?
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Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Care
Southside Chicago and Northwest Indiana Prostate Cancer Care.
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