About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men – 1 in 6 men will be affected in their lifetime.

It is the second leading cause of cancer death. Fortunately, prostate cancer diagnosed in its early stages can be effectively treated and cured. In order to decrease the death rate from prostate cancer, it is important to be screened on a consistent basis with a blood test called a PSA (prostate specific antigen) and a physical exam, which allows for the best chance of early detection.

Screening for prostate cancer with PSA has been controversial since prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer. However, recent studies from certain areas in Europe (where non-treatment of cancer was standard), Canada and USA have confirmed the benefit of PSA screening. The National Cancer Institute (America’s leading cancer authority) recently supported the use of PSA screening starting at age 40.

Patients with abnormal PSA value or physical exam are recommended to have a prostate biopsy – a procedure done under local anesthesia in the office.

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Current recommendations for PSA testing are as follows:

  • Baseline PSA and exam at age 40
  • Further testing occurs yearly, but can be less often, if the PSA is very low 
  • Patients with a life expectancy of less than 10 years should not be screened for prostate cancer
  • Patients with a strong family history should consider early biopsy, even if PSA is low
  • Use of PSA test in men over 75 is unlikely to be of benefit, but must be individualized
  • In general a PSA value over 4 is abnormal, but in younger men a value over 2.5 could be considered abnormal

The Prostate Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

McIver Clinic physicians have written nationally recognized articles on the use of PSA testing and optimal prostate cancer detection strategies with the use of prostate biopsy.

Once cancer is diagnosed the center provides the following treatment options: