Prostate Cancer - Diagnosis
The importance of screening and early detection is key for long-term survival. Prostate cancer diagnosed early, while still restricted to the prostate gland, has a much better chance of successful treatment. Screening for prostate cancer consists of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal examination. Men should start being screened for prostate cancer at the age of 50. Screening should start earlier, at age 40, for men with the following predisposing factors including African-American ethnicity and all men with a family history of prostate cancer in either the mother or father's side.
An elevated prostate-specific antigen and/or an irregular feeling prostate or nodule in the prostate found on digital rectal examination may be an indication of prostate cancer. The diagnosis of prostate cancer is made on the basis of a prostate biopsy performed under ultrasound guidance generally in the physician's office.