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What Age Should I Start Getting a Prostate Exam?

By    |   Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 02:54 PM

The age at which men should start getting a prostate exam varies based on risk factors and differing views from medical professionals, but it tends to be around age 40 to 50, when the risk for developing prostate cancer increases.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the option to do PSA testing — a blood test for prostate-specific antigen — begins at age 40.  PSA and digital rectal exams are generally done yearly for men ages 50 to 70, or until life expectancy is 10 years or fewer since prostate cancer grows slowly.

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When considering a prostate exam at a certain age, men should factor in possible risks. African-Americans have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from it, the Mayo Clinic notes. Men with a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65 also have an increased risk. Additionally, a high-fat diet may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends prostate exams beginning at age 50 for those at average risk, but age 45 for men at higher risk, including African-Americans and those with an immediate family member who has had prostate cancer before age 65. Men with more than one first-degree relative, such as a father or brother, with prostate cancer should consider screening at age 40.

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Men should consult with their doctor about the risks, uncertainties, and possible benefits of prostate cancer exams at a particular age, since guidelines might differ among organizations and advisory groups.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends screening between age 40 and 45 for African-American men and those with a family history of the disease. Lifestyle factors, such as a healthy or unhealthy diet, may also determine if a man should begin prostate exams at age 40. Whether to continue screening after age 75 may be a personal choice, based on a man’s life expectancy and individual health, the Foundation explains.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recommends speaking to a doctor starting at age 40 about the benefits and limits of prostate screening. It recommends prostate screening every year starting at age 45 if you choose to have it done because of risk factors. Others are recommended to have a prostate exam each year between ages 50 and 75.

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The age at which men should start getting a prostate exam varies based on risk factors and differing views from medical professionals, but it tends to be around age 40 to 50, when the risk for developing prostate cancer increases.
prostate, exam, age, start
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2016-54-19
Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 02:54 PM
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