Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines

Recommendations for the Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Loyola Medicine is committed to the screening and early detection of prostate cancer for men who have a susceptibility to this cancer type. Screening tests are used to look for disease before you exhibit any symptoms and effective when they detect disease early, leading to more effective treatment and positive outcomes. 

Loyola follows the American Urological Association’s screening guidelines for early detection and prevention of prostate cancer. Their recommendations are as follows:

“The Panel does not recommend routine screening in men between ages 40 to 54 years at average risk. For men younger than age 55 years at higher risk (e.g. positive family history or African American race), decisions regarding prostate cancer screening should be individualized.”

“For men ages 55 to 69 years, the Panel recognizes that the decision to undergo PSA screening involves weighing the benefits of preventing prostate cancer mortality in one man for every 1,000 men screened over a decade against the known potential harms associated with screening and treatment. For this reason, the Panel strongly recommends shared decision-making for men age 55 to 69 years that are considering PSA screening, and proceeding based on a man's values and preferences. The greatest benefit of screening appears to be in men ages 55 to 69 years.”

“To reduce the harms of screening, a routine screening interval of two years or more may be preferred over annual screening in those men who have participated in shared decision-making and decided on screening. As compared to annual screening, it is expected that screening intervals of two years preserve the majority of the benefits and reduce overdiagnosis and false positives. Additionally, intervals for rescreening can be individualized by a baseline PSA level.”

“The Panel does not recommend routine PSA screening in men age 70+ years or any man with less than a 10- to 15-year life expectancy. Some men age 70+ years who are in excellent health may benefit from prostate cancer screening.”

Loyola will partner with you to review your personal medical history, beliefs on the benefits of screening and susceptibility to prostate cancer to determine if screening is right for you.

What are the Screening Tests Available?

If you and your doctor determine that prostate screening is right for you, your doctor will perform one or both of the following tests:

  • Digital rectal exam, which tests for bumps or enlarged areas of the prostate
  • PSA test, which tests for the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood

If the results of either of these tests are abnormal, your doctor will request additional testing to see if there is cancer in your prostate. If you are concerned about the possibility of prostate cancer due to family history, symptoms or screening results, contact your primary care physician who can make additional recommendations for your specific concerns.
 
We also invite you to learn more about the Loyola cancer risk assessment and prevention program, which provides comprehensive risk assessment, preventive treatment and access to clinical trials through an interdisciplinary approach, including access to specialists within Loyola's highly regarded academic medical center.

To learn more about prostate screening, we encourage you to visit auanet.org, cancer.org, cancer.gov and cdc.gov.