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Get Screened: Prostate Cancer Awareness

  • Category: Cancer
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Frederick Health
Get Screened: Prostate Cancer Awareness

With prostate cancer being the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer, it’s a serious disease with symptoms that may be overlooked. About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, with 6 in 10 diagnosed cases occurring in men aged 65 and older. This year, more than 174,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 31,000 will die from the disease. With such daunting statistics, it’s important to realize the significance of getting screened.

About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. It's important to note that prostate glands are only found in males. When understanding prostate cancer, it’s important to know the symptoms:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Persistent back, hip, or pelvis pain
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs and feet
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Some of these could be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer, so it’s important to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Prostate cancer develops mainly in older men and is rare for men younger than 40. However, it disproportionately affects Black men, who are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than white men. Black men develop prostate cancer at a younger age and tend to have a more severe and advanced form of the disease than other men.

Risk Factors

Other than race, there are some other risk factors to keep in mind that increase the likelihood of getting prostate cancer. Your age plays a significant role. The older you are, the higher your risk of developing prostate cancer. Your family history is another source of importance, with certain genes inherited from parents possibly affecting your risk. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you are two to three times more likely to develop the disease.


The best way to detect and prevent prostate cancer is through screenings. Screenings are done through a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, which checks the blood for high PSA levels in tandem with a physical exam. High PSA levels are an indicator of prostate cancer. If a PSA test comes back abnormal, your doctor may order a biopsy, where a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and reviewed for cancer.

You should begin screening at:

  • Age 40 if you have a family history
  • Age 45 if you are Black
  • Age 50 if you have no history and are not Black
  • From age 55 to 69 on a case-by-case basis (discuss with your doctor)

Screenings are not recommended for men aged 70 and above.

As always, preventative measures are the best defense against diseases like prostate cancer. Ask your doctor the following questions at your next checkup:

  • Am I at a greater risk for prostate cancer?
  • At what age should I start screenings for prostate cancer?
  • If I get my blood test and it is abnormal, what other health issues could I have besides prostate cancer?
  • What are the side effects of a biopsy?
  • If my biopsy shows cancer cells, what does that mean?

Contact your doctor today and ask about your risk for prostate cancer. With routine screenings and awareness, you can protect yourself against prostate cancer. Learn more about prostate cancer prevention and detection at