LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Based on the American Urological Association and the American Cancer Society, it is recommended that prostate screening should begin now at age 55 and continue every other year after that until age 75.
The exception would include high-risk men with a family history of prostate cancer. It is recommended that those men begin the screening at age 45 and every other year after that. African American men are also considered high risk for prostate cancer. So, all men should consult with a doctor to determine if their personal risk calls for testing even earlier than age 45.
Along with a digital rectal exam, the PSA test is still considered the standard in screening for prostate cancer.
But there are a lot of factors that can trigger a false positive in that blood test, leading to unnecessary biopsies to determine if it really is cancer.
Dr. Pranav Sharma, a Urologist and Texas Tech Physician, says "As you get older your prostate can get larger and make our PSA higher. Recent ejaculation can make your PSA higher. Any certain urinary tract infection or difficulty emptying the bladder can also make your PSA higher so we've tried to develop new biomarker tests for men who have an abnormal PSA to better identify those who really need a prostate biopsy for a diagnosis of prostate cancer."
Now, look what's new at Texas Tech, a urine test that gives doctors another simple way to add to the screening process before suspecting cancer.
"So at Texas Tech, we have the opportunity and the availability of a new urinary genetic marker. And based on this genetic analysis, they can better identify those patients at higher risk of prostate cancer. And not any prostate cancer, but a significant prostate cancer that could affect a patient's life expectancy."
If screening shows there is reason for a biopsy, there is also a new Prostate MRI at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. Dr. Sharma says that allows a radiologist to create a road map of the prostate to identify specific lesions that may be suspicious and avoid sampling other areas.