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When to Screen for Prostate Cancer - Oncology

It’s a health risk that increases with age. “I basically take all my patients around age 55 and introduce the concept of prostate cancer screening,” said Dr. Scott Caesar, a urologic surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health. Doctors say if a patient has a family history of prostate cancer, screening may need to start earlier. “Unless it’s very end stage and very advanced, men don’t have any symptoms,” said Dr. Caesar. That’s why doctors encourage men to get a PSA screening each year to measure the prostate-specific antigen that’s produced in the body. “There are a lot of reasons why your PSA could be up. One is prostate cancer, that’s why we’re checking it. Also infections in the prostate, sexual activity, being in urinary tension which is the bladder being too full, riding your bike before you’re checked, any kind of stimulation to the prostate right before you were checked,” he said. But if a patient’s PSA suddenly increases, doctors may want to do a biopsy to determine why. “The way to detect prostate cancer is to do a prostate biopsy. That’s when you have some specimens taken from your prostate, usually, through using an ultrasound probe you send those off to pathologists, and they look at it to see if they can see any cancer,” said Dr. Caesar. Doctors may also use an MRI to examine the prostate. “They have the technology now where you can actually take that MRI, fuse it on to an ultrasound machine and actually do image-guided biopsies that you can direct towards the lesion to detect the cancer,” he said. If prostate cancer is detected early, it’s typically nonaggressive. “it’s something that is very easily treatable for the most part,” said Dr. Caesar. Making it important to screen patients for prostate cancer. View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/ Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit LeeHealth.org