In each issue, we'll ask a doctor from your community to answer a frequently asked health question
Q: When should men begin to get prostate cancer screenings? Who performs them?
A: I recommend men to begin annual prostate screenings at age 50. However, I advise those who are considered high-risk, such as men with a family history of prostate cancer, or African American men, to come in between ages 40 and 45. Screenings consist of a rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Both primary care providers and urologists can perform prostate cancer screenings. However, prostate health is important for other reasons besides cancer. I create a urinary profile checklist for all my patients, and find that talking about prostate health can uncover other important prostate issues, such as an enlarged prostate, urinary symptoms, and infections. So not only can early detection of prostate issues prevent death from prostate cancer, it can improve a man’s quality of life, too.
Manas Jain, MD, is a urologist specializing in robotic and laparoscopic surgery, with an interest in urinary and erectile dysfunction and prostate health. Dr. Jain sees patients at Harrison HealthPartners Urology in Bremerton and Poulsbo.