Whether to test healthy men with no symptoms for prostate cancer is controversial. Medical organizations don’t agree on the issue of screening and whether it has benefits.
Some medical organizations recommend men consider prostate cancer screening in their 50s, or sooner for men who have risk factors for prostate cancer. Other organizations advise against screening.
Discuss your particular situation and the benefits and risks of screening with your doctor. Together, you can decide whether prostate cancer screening is right for you.
Prostate screening tests might include:)
If an abnormality is detected on a DRE or PSA test, your doctor may recommend tests to determine whether you have prostate cancer, such as:
When a biopsy confirms the presence of cancer, the next step is to determine the level of aggressiveness (grade) of the cancer cells. In a laboratory, a pathologist examines a sample of your cancer to determine how much cancer cells differ from the healthy cells. A higher grade indicates a more aggressive cancer that is more likely to spread quickly.
The most common scale used to evaluate the grade of prostate cancer cells is called a Gleason score. Scoring combines two numbers and can range from 2 (nonaggressive cancer) to 10 (very aggressive cancer).
Once a prostate cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread beyond your prostate, imaging tests such as these may be recommended: