There is no one test or procedure that everyone agrees is helpful for screening men for prostate cancer. Two commonly used tests are:
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor examines your prostate with a gloved finger to look for unusual lumps or growth.
- Prostate-specific antigen test (PSA): This blood test looks for higher levels of PSA in the blood, which may indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
A biopsy of the prostate may follow an abnormal DRE or elevated PSA. The decision to get screened depends on many factors, including a man’s family history, age, race and symptoms. Discuss the risk and benefits of screening with your doctor.
Signs and Symptoms
Men are often diagnosed with prostate cancer following a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Advanced prostate cancer can cause symptoms such as:
- Weak urine stream
- Blood in urine or semen
- Swelling in the legs
- Discomfort or evidence of swollen lymph nodes in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Weight loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor right away. If your primary care doctor determines that you have prostate cancer, ask to be referred to a specialist in medical oncology, radiation oncology and/or urology for confirmation of your diagnosis and next steps.