The American Cancer Society says prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men, and screenings often find the disease before a patient has any symptoms. That’s why physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital urge men to consider beginning annual prostate cancer screenings between age 40 and 50.
“A patient’s family history, age, and ethnicity play a big role in when they should get screened for prostate cancer,” says Ramesh Krishnan, M.D., a urologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy. “For example, men who have more than one immediate family member who had prostate cancer at an early age should get checked at 40. African American men are at a greater risk for prostate cancer, so we usually suggest getting screened around 45. The average man who has no family history of prostate cancer in his immediately family can usually wait until age 50. Have a conversation with a physician about your risk factors, that way you can make an informed decision about getting screened.”
Prostate cancer symptoms include a need to urinate frequently, painful or burning urination, painful ejaculation, or blood in urine or semen. However, the American Cancer Society says not all men who have prostate cancer experience symptoms of the disease.
The most common prostate screening method involves a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Dr. Krishnan says the test has made great strides over the last few years in detecting prostate cancer.
“Not only has the PSA blood test become more accurate, but there are additional blood tests that look at several different types of PSA to help us determine the likelihood of a patient having prostate cancer,” says Dr. Krishnan.
The results of the PSA test will help your physician determine whether further testing is needed, and how long a man may wait until having his next screening. Dr. Krishnan says decisions surrounding both prostate cancer screening and treatment are very personal.
“Probably the most valuable thing a man can have when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer is a trusted physician. The decision whether or not to undergo screening, as well as prostate cancer treatment options, varies greatly depending on each man’s health, values, and preferences. Find a doctor who will listen to your concerns and your personal values to make sure you weigh all the options,” encourages Dr. Krishnan.
Dr. Krishnan is board certified by the American Board of Urology and received his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He sees patients at both Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Krishnan visit ScheduleNow online or call 713.830.9100.