One in six men will be diagnosed with it.
Fewer than 3% will die from prostate cancer. But the only cancer that kills more men every year is of the lungs.
The PSA -- that’s prostate specific antigen blood test – may detect cancer early, but the test isn’t perfect. High levels can mean an enlarged prostate, not cancer. And cancer can be present even when the PSA is low.
Some two-thirds of men diagnosed using PSA testing never have symptoms and could be harmed by aggressive treatment. That’s why the American College of Physicians says talk to your doctor about the pros and cons before testing.
Most prostate cancers are slow growing and won’t kill you.
High-risk patients, including all African American men, and anyone whose father or brother has had prostate cancer, should discuss testing between 40 and 45.
If you decide to be tested, the question is “how often?”
The new guidelines say every 4 years, but PSA levels of 2.5 or higher may warrant yearly testing.
Talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.