The Importance of Early Detection for Prostate Cancer

“To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha

Laboratory Staff

posted on 10/29/2019 in BLOGS from St. Anthony

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, except for skin cancer. This year, an estimated 174,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Approximately 60% of cases are diagnosed in men over 65. The average age of diagnosis is 66; the disease rarely occurs before age 40. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. It is estimated that 31,620 deaths from this disease will occur this year. Luckily the cancer death rate has dropped since early screenings became popular in the early 1990s.


Your first step should be consulting your physician to determine if you are a good candidate for screening. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, men should start considering screening for prostate cancer at about age 50 (earlier if your family history suggests it). Routine screening typically involves two simple tests: the PSA and the DRE.


This test measures levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. When you reach an age where you’re ready to add prostate testing to your routine physicals your physician will most likely add this blood test along with all the other routine blood work. Your PSA levels will provide your physician with a good baseline over time. Some cases of prostate cancer are slow-growing that they don’t even need to be treated or a cause for concern. However, even if your level is still within the normal range, but is slightly higher than it was the last time it was checked, it’s worth investigating.


The other routine screening for prostate cancer is a digital rectal exam. After this exam, your doctor will be able to determine if your prostate feels enlarged or irregularly shaped, or bigger than it was at your previous exam, is a red flag that should be investigated.

Common Risk Factors

  • Age 50 or older
  • Race/Ethnicity (African-American males are more likely to have prostate cancer)
  • Family history
  • Poor eating habits
  • Genetic changes
  • Agent Orange Exposure

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is, without exception, a very difficult time for both individuals and their families. At St. Anthony we offer Medical and Radiation Oncologists, and Urologists along with support services such as registered dietitians, social workers, mental health, education, chaplains, and oncology certified nurses. St. Anthony Regional Hospital (Carroll, IA) is dedicated to improving the health of the people we serve. We believe in providing high quality, healthcare, and cancer care services responsive to the needs of our patients. For more information, visit our website or call us at 712-792-3581. Follow us on Facebook!



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