How Often Do I Need a Prostate Exam?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, and it’s also highly treatable if caught early. There are a number of treatment options that have proven to be successful in combatting prostate cancer, even in its advanced stage.

Early detection is crucial because it gives you more treatment options and a better chance of eliminating cancer. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is used to check the PSA levels in your blood, and these levels are different for every man – the indicator is whether the number is going up as compared to your prior PSA exam result. If your PSA is high the first time you have the test, your doctor may ask you to have a biopsy.

Similarly, your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) during your annual checkup to feel for any lumps or enlargement of your prostate. Let’s talk about how often you might need to have a prostate exam and what you can expect.

When Do You Need a Prostate Exam?

PSA is continuously present in the bloodstream for most men, and an increase in its number may be attributed to causes other than cancer. However, men who have an increased risk of prostate cancer should undergo a regular prostate exam.

Age, family history, and race are all possible factors that can increase your risk. Likewise, your doctor may also recommend that you undergo testing if you are experiencing discomfort or pain while urinating.

Symptoms which may indicate that you have a prostate issue include the following:

  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Change in frequency of urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Inconsistent flow of urine

How Often Is a Prostate Exam Necessary?

Your frequency of testing may be due to several factors, including your age and present health condition:

40–49 Years of Age

Medical experts recommend men aged 40 and above to undergo a prostate exam if they have a family history or personal history of prostate cancer. Also, African-American men should talk to their doctor about how often to have these tests performed, because they are at a heightened risk. The PSA test is the gold standard when it comes to prostate screening, and your doctor may also perform a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Your test results will further determine how often you may need a prostate exam. Generally, if your PSA result is under 2.5, you will likely only need to have the test every 2 years. On the other hand, if the result is higher than that figure, your doctor will likely recommend an annual prostate exam.

If the number is beginning to increase, your physician will probably ask you to return within a matter of months to have a follow-up test, because an increasing PSA usually indicates the presence of cancer cells. You may also be asked to have a biopsy.

50 Years and Above

Men who have an average risk of prostate cancer typically start getting a PSA exam at age 50. At this age, your provider may recommend an annual PSA and DRE. Your doctor will guide you regarding future PSA tests, because the frequency may change as you get older.

Prostate Exam in Concord, Mint Hill, and Charlotte

Some men are hesitant about getting tested, but a skilled urologist will give you confidence and knowledge about maintaining your prostate health. Dr. Richard Natale is here to help you maintain optimum sexual health and overall health as well.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Natale, contact our friendly staff at Carolina Urology today by calling (704) 786-5131 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you.


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