Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: psa | test | prostate | cancer | screening

Should I Get PSA Test?

Thursday, 02 August 2012 09:09 AM

Question: My younger brother was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Does this mean I should be tested?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
How old are you? A PSA screening is generally recommended in men between the ages of 40 and 75, especially with an increased risk of prostate cancer. As you get older, your risk of prostate cancer increases. After age 50, your chance of having prostate cancer increases substantially, but it still is not very common yet. As we approach our 90s, most men will have at least a small amount of prostatic changes consistent with malignancy. If a close family member — your father or brother — was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65, your risk of the disease is greater than that of the average American man. The American Urological Association recommends that doctors offer a baseline PSA test to men who wish to be screened at age 40. It also encourages men who expect to live at least another 10 years to discuss the risks and benefits of PSA testing with their doctors. The American Cancer Society suggests that men should explore the risks and benefits of the PSA test starting at age 50 for men at average risk of prostate cancer, at age 45 for men at high risk. Discuss the interpretation of your results also with your doctor. If you come out positive, do not panic. Many prostate cancer cases grow very slowly and sometimes need minimal or no treatment until later, while others with more rapid presentations need aggressive management. If you are worried, see your doctor and have your rectal examination and PSA performed and avoid any guesswork. Until better predictors are available, it probably is better to have an annual PSA, in my opinion.

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If you have an immediate family member with prostate cancer you are at increased risk and should get a PSA screening.
Thursday, 02 August 2012 09:09 AM
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