Prostate Cancer Prevention & Early Detection

Prostate Cancer Prevention

You might lower your risk of prostate cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and never smoking or quitting, if you do smoke. More research is needed to determine whether certain foods or supplements lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Early Detection

  • At 50, start talking with your health care professional about the pros and cons of getting tested—or not getting tested.
  • There is no question that in some cases early detection of prostate cancer followed by prompt treatment saves lives.
  • It is also clear that some men are treated for cancers that will never cause them harm, and they must live with the side effects and complications of this treatment.
  • Currently available tests are useful but are not 100 percent accurate. Sometimes a test indicates cancer where none exists, and sometimes it does not indicate cancer where it does exist.
  • A PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) blood test may be done every one or two years, depending on the results. Over time, if a PSA level goes up, the chances of having prostate cancer also go up. Another test, the DRE (Digital Rectal Exam), is optional.
  • Researchers are working to improve screening methods and to determine which cancers are likely to be life-threatening.
  • If you are an African American man, or if you have a close relative (father or brother) who had prostate cancer before age 65, start talking to your doctor about prostate cancer when you are 45. If more than one of your close male relatives had prostate cancer before 65, start that talk when you turn 40.
  • The American Cancer Society (ACS) has a guide to help you decide about getting screened for prostate cancer. This guide can be viewed or downloaded here